What To Start

There are lots of people talking about “startups”. The talk is about starting a small tech company. Its interesting to techno-weenies, because of the potential payoff. I think that starting a small tech business is interesting to many because of the freedom, control and autonomy. But I am not only talking about a business. When I think of starting, I think much more broadly.

There are many other things that you can start. The universal requirements for starting are:

1) Motivation
2) Vision
3) Time

But this post is about what, so lets just throw out some ideas. Lets just get rolling and think about the consequences later….

By yourself you can start:

1) a blog – today, this may be the simplest thing to start. You can have a blog for free, as long as you have something to say and some time to say it in. The technical expertise required to start is negligible. Google has its blogger platform, wordpress, tumblr, posterous, blogspot all have free hosted offerings that you can just start.

2) A practice – You have a certain expertise in what you do. If you document, formalize, and refine that into something that you could share with or teach others you can start a practice. You are capturing the secret sauce that makes you successful and bottling it so that others can be successful as well.’

3) An Open Source project – You have software development skills, and a vision for some product that if it already existed you would use, or a motivation born out of frustration using an already existent product. Starting an open source project is as easy as opening an account on Github or Sourceforge or one of the other open source repositories or accelerators. Then all you need is the skill and time to solve the problem.

You need others to start:

4) A small business – You have some skill or capability that you will perform for a fee. You have the ability to make a product that you will sell. It doesn’t need to be full time, could be “moonlighting”, for some extra income. You need clients or customers.

5) An event – a block party, a fund raiser, a class reunion – you have organizational skills, and connections to a group of interested people. You need participants.

6) A volunteer organization – you have a worthy cause, and some time to give, you want to amplify the impact of your time by making it easier for others to participate. You need volunteers.

7) A club – some regular get together of like-minded people, or folks who like to do the same things. You need members.

Sooooo…. What are you waiting for? If you are like most of us, it is one of the three requirements – motivation, vision, or time.

Or – you worry that it will not work very well, and you will look like a fool or worse. Go back to the last post: A Fast Start…

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