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I am a software developer with 10+ years experience, and run my own profitable business - AMA!

michaelgv profile image Mike github logo ・1 min read  

As title suggests, I'm a software developer with 10y+ experience, run my own profitable business (profited within 2 months of operation, and remain profitable), AMA! :)

I’m also preparing to launch another business, if you’re interested give me a shout I’s love to collaborate.

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Hey Michael!
I have a few questions for you, if you don't mind.

  • Many people dream of starting their own profitable businesses. What pushed you to finally do it?
  • Is this something you started in parallel with a salary job, or did you commit full time to it?
  • What challenges did you face initially, and how did you iterate to attain profitability?

I've been listening to the IH Podcast lately, I think you might enjoy the community if you don't already!

 

Sure!

  1. I was constantly getting requests for X (code modules etc), so I wanted a central place to put them under and sell without effecting my personal tax level

  2. Parallel

  3. Simply the costs to start the business and advertisement. Advertising is key, but since the audience is a small niche, I ended up doing a lot of manual local city advertisements until I gained a few customers

 

I'll share two perspectives when answering this question!

From a personal perspective

Personally, I like to see the best quality being the ability to ask good questions. There's a really good article on asking good questions here, it outlines exactly what personally I look for in anyone

From a business perspective

As a small business owner, I look for one strong quality, your attitude towards working, the culture, and other employees. If you often get hot-headed, angry, aggressive, and there is not fair reason to be, then it makes the environment uncomfortable for other individuals, and it's not a good fit.

In summary

Ask good questions, and have a good attitude towards life in general!

 

What advice would you give to a 17 year old just about to graduate High School? I've been working as an intern at a local edutech company for about a year now, and I probably won't be going to college due to financial reasons.

Do you think freelancing on the side would be a good way for me to go? If yes, then how should I get started? Otherwise, what other avenues do you suggest? I really don't want to be a burden on my family. I'm the eldest son of a single mother (father passed) and she also has my sister to take care of.

 

congrats on your success. what is the next business you are thinking of? or if you want to keep that secret, what would be its platform and industry domain? what do you expect from a collaborator? do you have anything like white paper, proposal or similar? 🤗😎

 
 

A mixture of server administration, and code modules / support, mainly the money is from sysadmin and small support for third party code

 

What would be tasks of sysadmin and small support for third party code.

 

You are the awesome guy whom I really want to ask for. I have few question I want to ask for.

  • How can you find a target client?
  • How can you advertising your business?
  • How can you find your partner? Or do you think partner is important for your business. If so, how do you manage the partner relationship
  • How can you explore your business opportunity?
  • How can you find funding?
 

Sure, finding clients is difficult when starting out. You need to draft proposals, and send them in. I found after a while, if you hand drop them off and happen to speak with the person doing it, you’ll get the contract within a few days.

Advertisement is very targeted over Reddit/Facebook/Google/Bing since we hit a small niche, we have a churn rate of 7% annually, acquisition is 49% of all inquiries, so we stand to make a fairly nice profit - our churn rate is always bugging me however.

I don’t think a partner is important to start, in order to start you need a few things:

  1. A product
  2. A mission for said product
  3. Drive
  4. You have to use your own product

I now have partners for marketing, etc. which we do PPT on for the small stuff. Management is easy, we each control a section and don’t step on each other’s toes, we let that person in N section do it.

Exploring for me was gathering up emails of friends in the tech world, sending them an email asking for feedback, and if they know anyone to pass it along. It worked better than expected initially but does die out fast.

I can’t answer funding per se, I’ve never gotten funding from any VC/angel aside some nominal amounts I’ve repaid. I honestly just reached out over Facebook to VC’s, waiting many months for a reply, called and pitched, and had a little success rate but enough to get the cash I needed.

 

Have you ever tried remote jobs? I am unable to find a remote-job, no matter how many interviews I take.
Any hint?

 

Indeed, it is difficult for many to start into the remote atmosphere. Here's my advice:

  1. Even if it says "previous remote experience required" - still apply
  2. During the interview, express how you can and will be productive, often times it may be beneficial to show the interviewer your office, ensuring them you have a space ready that is well setup
  3. If and when you feel the conversation starting to die off, try to get the interviewer to talk about their infrastructure. The best management skill you can have is to make every question they have into a question back to them, for example:

interviewer: "Can you tell me about your skillset? What stack are you familiar with?"

you: "I'm familiar with [....], what is the team familiar with? I love learning and subsequently sharing my knowledge, so I'm upmost interested in what you're already running with, and seeing where I'll fit in the team"

Now, do this within reason, I've found it's best to ask open-ended questions, so the conversation doesn't close out quickly.

 

How did you manage your time when you first started the business?

 

Spending $50 on the JIRA suite to self host, and forcing myself to weekly sprint deadlines, if I failed to complete them I was okay with that if I had good reason. I also had friends and family push me to get a confidence boost in my work, helping keep me productive.

 

What kind of business do you run currently, and what are you planning to launch?

 

Heres what I run currently

The future holds a very nice product for anyone who cares about load times, and content reliability. It’s a modern take on an old delivery method for content, providing sub 30ms globally for any content (effectively a CDN, heavily optimized, and ready to use without any configuration necessary)

 

Sounds really interesting! Can I have a look at it somewhere?

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Mike profile image
Full-time freelancer; Former Lead Engineer / Senior Management; speaker; 14 years in development; open for consulting and freelance opportunities.