Learn from your Employer, or Fail
Talking about a Revolution
10 Years ago, an employee rounded up a small group of colleagues and suggested they launch a company to compete with their current employer. His argument was “Let’s face it, we’re the ones doing the work! And without all the meetings and rules imagine what we could achieve”
We’ve probably all been in the situation where we look around at whatever company was in and think I could do it better. But could we?
A business needs to make a lot of money just to keep the lights on. Salaries, building costs and equipment alone can quickly add up. You should remember, the money you receive each month is just a small part of what a company pays for your services. If you’re not a billion-dollar social media company, then the government will expect to tax you!
As we look at any business, we realise that there’s a lot more than just our role. Developers working on a company's main product may think they’re the most important part of the business and that they could build the same product somewhere else but better.
So what does the company do?
Products need customers which involves sales and marketing. Customers need support, teams need managing and as a company grows this becomes more and more complex, often at the expense of the flexibility and creativity behind what originally drove the company.
If you want to improve upon a business, then working in a successful company is a great place to learn. Starting a business is hard and if we only focus on the product, we will fail. Spend the time looking at all the other parts of the business outside of development and ask why they’re needed. Try to learn how the company started out, how they got their first customers and how they’ve adapted over the years.
Creating products as a developer is the easy part. Finding and persuading people to pay you is the challenge.
Also, rather than competing with your employer, consider how you could partner with them. Perhaps you can explore a niche that your current company has not focused on.
So how did the revolution end?
10 years later, everyone involved in the original discussion has moved on except the ringleader who’s chosen not to risk a career change.
So what do you think is the most important aspect of starting a business? We’d love to hear your comments.