Should you be leaving your day job?


David St. Lawrence has posted the third installment of his “Don’t give up your day job” series. The premise of today’s post is:

There is at least one really good reason for not giving up a day job in order to do something you love. The things you love to do may not be exchangeable for enough income to live on.

While many microISVs never reach their goal of leaving their day job, there’s no reason that you can’t create a decent, but not income replacing, stream of money from your software. I think David has a good point when he says:

Freeware is the programming equivalent of a musician playing for the joy of it. Shareware is the equivalent of playing for tips. Both have their place in the world and are best supported by a solid day job that does not take over your life.

We are all aware of the huge shareware success stories that are out there but those two sentences from David sum up the reality that we’re facing. My belief is that thousands of small success stories, even though they won’t get the press and the shareware author won’t leave their job, are even better than a handful of blockbuster successes……unless, of course, you’re one of the blockbusters.

5 Responses to “Should you be leaving your day job?”

  1. David St Lawrence Says:

    Thanks for your comments. I was thinking of you and your readers when I wrote those particular paragraphs.

    I personally think that the microISV has a better chance of success than any other person who is balancing a day job and a part-time career doing something creative. The products are more easily accessable and their utility is more conveniently demonstrated.

    Furthermore, if software fills a need, and that need can be entertainment or a service, the customer will use it again and again. This is in direct contrast to so many other products like books, pictures, and Podcasts which are used only once and then rarely thereafter.

    The customer exposure, if managed correctly, gives you long-term access to someone who can recommend your product to others.

    You are doing a great job encouraging MicroISVs. Keep on blogging!

  2. O'Neill Says:

    I’m a shareware author and I quit my day job 2 years ago.

    I don’t like your post at all, and don’t aggree with your opinion. Believing what you believe is betraying the shareware movement.

    Shol’va!

  3. Warren Says:

    I disagree that you should keep your day job. You have to make up your mind about some things in life. Starting a business is one of them.

    If you’re entering think it will be a hobby, then it WILL stay a hobby. If you’re starting a real business, then commit to it fully. They are two different things.

    Remember the quote (Henry Ford, I believe)
    “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.”…

    I quit my job cold turkey about 10 months ago, and I have no regrets.

    Warren

  4. » You should be leaving your day job »   microISV :: community for independent shareware developers » Archive Says:

    […] Last Tuesdays post, “Should you be leaving your day job?”, brought a few comments from people who disagreed with me, and I think that’s great! These disagreements, especially Warren who left his day job and couldn’t be happier (way to go Warren!), point out that there is no one solution for everyone. Some people think the only way to succeed to is to remove all obstacles, even if that obstacle is a salaried day job. Others think that leaving a salaried job is insane. Neither method is right for everyone. […]

  5. Steve Troxell Says:

    I gotta side with Warren on this one. While certainly it’s not the right thing to do for everyone in every situation, my business would not be anywhere near as successful as it is today had I not quit the day job 18 months after my first sale. I had reached a point where I simply did not have the mental energy to work full-time and devote needed time to the business. The business was starved for my attention and may have foundered, or certainly would have grown at a much slower pace, had I continued to work. It was a risk for sure, but in business you have to take risks sometimes. Hobbies are nice and safe. Businesses often require tough choices.

Should you be leaving your day job?


David St. Lawrence has posted the third installment of his “Don’t give up your day job” series. The premise of today’s post is:

There is at least one really good reason for not giving up a day job in order to do something you love. The things you love to do may not be exchangeable for enough income to live on.

While many microISVs never reach their goal of leaving their day job, there’s no reason that you can’t create a decent, but not income replacing, stream of money from your software. I think David has a good point when he says:

Freeware is the programming equivalent of a musician playing for the joy of it. Shareware is the equivalent of playing for tips. Both have their place in the world and are best supported by a solid day job that does not take over your life.

We are all aware of the huge shareware success stories that are out there but those two sentences from David sum up the reality that we’re facing. My belief is that thousands of small success stories, even though they won’t get the press and the shareware author won’t leave their job, are even better than a handful of blockbuster successes……unless, of course, you’re one of the blockbusters.

5 Responses to “Should you be leaving your day job?”

  1. David St Lawrence Says:

    Thanks for your comments. I was thinking of you and your readers when I wrote those particular paragraphs.

    I personally think that the microISV has a better chance of success than any other person who is balancing a day job and a part-time career doing something creative. The products are more easily accessable and their utility is more conveniently demonstrated.

    Furthermore, if software fills a need, and that need can be entertainment or a service, the customer will use it again and again. This is in direct contrast to so many other products like books, pictures, and Podcasts which are used only once and then rarely thereafter.

    The customer exposure, if managed correctly, gives you long-term access to someone who can recommend your product to others.

    You are doing a great job encouraging MicroISVs. Keep on blogging!

  2. O'Neill Says:

    I’m a shareware author and I quit my day job 2 years ago.

    I don’t like your post at all, and don’t aggree with your opinion. Believing what you believe is betraying the shareware movement.

    Shol’va!

  3. Warren Says:

    I disagree that you should keep your day job. You have to make up your mind about some things in life. Starting a business is one of them.

    If you’re entering think it will be a hobby, then it WILL stay a hobby. If you’re starting a real business, then commit to it fully. They are two different things.

    Remember the quote (Henry Ford, I believe)
    “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.”…

    I quit my job cold turkey about 10 months ago, and I have no regrets.

    Warren

  4. » You should be leaving your day job »   microISV :: community for independent shareware developers » Archive Says:

    […] Last Tuesdays post, “Should you be leaving your day job?”, brought a few comments from people who disagreed with me, and I think that’s great! These disagreements, especially Warren who left his day job and couldn’t be happier (way to go Warren!), point out that there is no one solution for everyone. Some people think the only way to succeed to is to remove all obstacles, even if that obstacle is a salaried day job. Others think that leaving a salaried job is insane. Neither method is right for everyone. […]

  5. Steve Troxell Says:

    I gotta side with Warren on this one. While certainly it’s not the right thing to do for everyone in every situation, my business would not be anywhere near as successful as it is today had I not quit the day job 18 months after my first sale. I had reached a point where I simply did not have the mental energy to work full-time and devote needed time to the business. The business was starved for my attention and may have foundered, or certainly would have grown at a much slower pace, had I continued to work. It was a risk for sure, but in business you have to take risks sometimes. Hobbies are nice and safe. Businesses often require tough choices.

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