“Drink lots of coffee,” I tell them. Which—back in my roles as an engineering manager and later, a product manager—was what I mostly did then anyways.
Except now, my office is whichever cafe I go to.
It’s a great lifestyle. Sometimes I’m meeting with a friend to talk about business ideas. Sometimes I’m meeting with an ex-coworker to catch up on old times, plus talk about business ideas. And other times, I’m on my laptop, researching business ideas.
Some people quit their full-time jobs and jump into entrepreneurship only after they’ve come up with The Great Idea. A few of them even start The Great Idea while still employed.
Me, I took a riskier route. I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. So I took my savings, calculated out how long I could survive on them, and made the leap.
I have a bunch of ideas too. Some could be great, some are mediocre, some totally suck ass. Not all are web-based either, though web-based businesses are much easier to start, because of their low capital costs (free software rules). So I’ll probably aim for a web-based business first.
But I’ve learned that ideas are the easy part. Planning and executing is the tough part. The relatively low barriers to entry for web-based businesses mean lots of competition. If you have a great idea, chances are, a competitor will sprout up a few months later. Being first-to-market doesn’t necessarily give you an edge. It’s more about having a great product, great marketing, and a sound business model.
That’s where all the chatting with friends and market research comes in. Who knows when a random news story, market report, friend, or ex-coworker could ignite an idea spark that leads to The Great Idea? Or more finely tune one of my existing ideas?
And that’s why I’m here, working in a cafe. My new office.