I love startups because I love building something out of nothing. Problem solving. Creating. Inventing.
I enjoy small, passionate, teams completely focused on a core mission or an idea. Teams that dream big but are starting small and focused.
So I talk with a lot of people about a lot of ideas.
Some are starting companies, some are creating art, some are just playing with and learning about things that interest them. I love them all and I am energized and inspired by all of them.
And of course as a developer, I have a skill set that can add the most value at the earliest stages of an idea. And I love to help get the movement actually started.
So I build a lot of stuff.
Sometimes I build stuff as an employee (I have to pay bills too). Sometimes I build things as a contractor (rarely these days unless I *really* need the money). Sometimes I build stuff just for the challenge and to be helpful to a team/person I like and believe in. Mostly though I just build stuff because I’m interested in it, I believe in the ‘big dream’ of it, and I can.
This all helps define me, I think, as a 'startup guy’. And I enjoy that label. Or 'a hacker’. I enjoy that label even more.
But the one label that is sometimes used and I don’t agree with is 'entrepreneur’.
Because I don’t do any of what I do because I have a strong desire to build a business or work for myself. To me an entrepreneur is someone interested in business, especially in starting their own business.
Don’t get me wrong, I like thinking about the business side of each project.
Though I am not personally motivated by money, I do think a lot about how a project can and will make money. It’s one of the core things I think and talk about at the start of any idea.
And I’m actually *very* passionate about branding, marketing, and even sales.
What I mean though is that I’m not in it for the sake of building a business. I’m not in it just to be rich, famous, or even to take control of my own destiny.
These are all things I could find much more success with, much easier, in many many other ways.
No. I’m in it for the challenge, the journey, and the vision. I’m in it because it puts hope, excitement, and passion into every day of my life.
I’m building gawk.it because I believe it should be easy to find and access amazing content and people for whatever you’re interested in.
The people are already out there, they have already and will continue to create amazing content. More than any one of us can ever hope to fully consume or connect with. The internet has given us the ability to connect with all of them, past, present, and future.
What we need more help with now, and what I’ve been interested in over the past few years, is in finding and filtering. Relevance and relationships.
These are the problems gawk.it is being built to address. First within an existing community and website, then across specific topics and hubs, and with hard work and a little luck eventually across all of the internet.
It’s a big challenge and a big idea. I am starting very small.
I am focused on the idea, crafting and framing the story properly, the users, the product, and finally the business…and in that order.
So it will not be an overnight success. It is unlikely that I will raise outside funding. It will be challenging to find and build a core team. It will take a very long time before it can become my full time focus.
But, then again, none of that is why I’m doing what I’m doing anyway…because I’m not an entrepreneur…and that’s OK.
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Kevin has a day job as CTO of Veritonic and is spending nights & weekends hacking on Share Game Tape. You can also check out some of his open source code on GitHub or connect with him on Twitter @falicon or via email at kevin at falicon.com.
If you have comments, thoughts, or want to respond to something you see here I would encourage you to respond via a post on your own blog (and then let me know about the link via one of the routes mentioned above).