I’ve just finished my first day of Fluent 2014. I’ve talked and listened to people about jobs, careers, internships, startups, and businesses. Also, by quick observation, I think I’m the youngest person here. It’s pretty weird when I’m in conversations where people talk about their jobs or careers. I haven’t been working that long – I think I’ve worked for a grand total of less than 2 years. I barely know what it means to have a job!
I think most people around here are ~30 years old, a decade older than me. I’m just thinking, “do I even belong here?” Like, am I supposed to be doing something else at this age rather than attend a conference like this? Honestly, I can’t think of anything else (other than coding) that I’d be doing.
I think it’s interesting when I talk to people ~15 years older than me about starting a business or working for/at a startup. I’ve started a business and worked for at least one startup but my perspective is totally different. This is how I got started. Who knows where I’ll be when I’m 35? Here’s a thought: did I get a 15-year head start?
I’ve been thinking lately about this business idea I have. It’s no secret, by the way. I’ve tweeted about it several times and if you’ve looked at my GitHub profile recently, you know where my mind’s been lately. I think there’s a market for it, and I think I can make a business out of it. I’ve looked at competitors, other projects like it, asked people about it, and so on. I got a quote from a company that builds a project sort-of like this, and when I saw the bottom line ($4,995), I think I went “holy @!#$!” I feel like the product I envision needs to exist. I’ve also been thinking about an MVP. I thought about finding a “cofounder.” Heck, I’ve even thought about Y Combinator and the UVa i.Lab.
Right now, I’m thinking that I don’t even want to do it. Start another business, that is. I don’t need to. I’m 20 years old. I don’t need to take a huge risk, invest a lot of time and/or money, and put in a lot of effort into something right now. There’s plenty of time for that. There’s no rush.
So here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to start working on this thing. As much as I can. I’m going to try to compete directly against that thing that costs $4,995 and (drumroll please……..) make it completely free and open-source. Starting a startup can wait. I have time. I’m not out of ideas. There’s no rush.
By the way, when I started my web hosting business, one of the thoughts that went through my head was, “I have no job experience. Who’s going to hire a 16-year-old without any experience? Maybe I should start something myself…”