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Eran's blog

How to quit your software job and become a millionaire instead

Some notes from a talk by Thane Plambeck at USF on April 4th, 2006.

* Don’t look for good ideas. Look for good people and good problems instead.
* Start the company with a partner.
* One person will be the technical wizard, the other is the master salesman.

Create a California S Corporation
Split stock 50/50
Make sure both partners are fully commited.

Plan for 18-24 moths with no income.
An office can make the company and its progress seem real (are people visiting us? do we have more people working? etc.)

How to find a problem?
Based on your area of expertise and contacts. Must be interesting to you.
* Inside knowledge
* High pain levels caused by lack of appropriate tools.
* Paradoxical situations (sell to X what X is selling to others)

Bad problems:
* Vague.
* No one will pay
* Can’t say who will pay
* Technobabble
* Problems that everyone is trying to solve

Bootstrapping
* Be a sociable prospector. Get to know people, ask questions, listen, try to understand.
* Bootstrap via IP (consulting while you own the IP or at least rights to resell, keep right to use customer’s name)
* How to know you’re on the right track?
* You have a customer, a contract and a dealine to deliver a solution.
–> You’re making money
* Focus – You can say exactly what you are doing.
* The tech wizard is busy coding, the sales person is busy selling that.

What’s the market?
* Don’t five stuff away for free – you don’t know who your customers are.
* Sell high-cost software
* A market of one is enough to succeed in the long term (where there is one, there are more)

* Get used to people saying you’re wrong.

The end
* Dont hope to sell your company until you have a profitable, growing company.
* Dont bring up selling the company yourself but be open to discussions.
* Dont sell yourself short.

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Filed under: General