2016-12-18

How many times do you have to stand in the rain before lightning strikes?

Recently, I have seen this picture a number of times:





This is a cute little anecdote about taking risks and being open to opportunities.

Here is a counter thought:

How many people were invited to other rooms, and those people are not billionaires now?

How many people have spent nights and weekends coding or building someone else's idea only to never see a dime?

Now don't get me wrong. I absolutely love working with entrepreneurs!

The excitement of a new idea, the thrill of building things from scratch, the camaraderie of working on something that is new and rushing to get something to market before someone else builds something similar.

These are fun things to work on.

However, everyone should be committed to the goal with the same amount of buy-in.

As I wrote about previously Beware The Partnership where the technology person or team is the only one working on the project. This is called contracting.

If you and a friend have an idea, and you are both working various angles on the idea, go for it.

If you are not a technology person, and you need a "partner" to do the actual building part, you have just hired a consultant. They may work with you for some sort of percentage of future ownership (sweat equity), but at some point sweat, motivational speeches, possible future options do not put food on the table.

Never be afraid to take risks.

The risk for the technologist is spending time, effort and expertise on a project that may never pay off.  My caution for you if you are a technologis is this: Don't expect to make your expected hourly rate. Be flexible, negotiate maybe even suggest that the idea person pay for equipment of some other tangible if they are unwilling or unable ot pay you directly.

The risk for the idea person is that you may be paying for something that does not quite fit in with your vision. My caution for you if you are an idea person is this: Either be willing to pay for expertise that you do not have, or simply do not talk about your idea with anyone. If you do not have the ability to pay for expertise, use Lean techniques to figure out the quickest path to make money with your idea. If you are currently working, leverage your savings or take a portion of your current income and save it till you can afford to pay for expertise, experience, equipment or some other tangible item to help you build your idea.


If you can't risk losing a bit of money(for the idea person), or time (for the technologist) then don't get involved in building out something.

If you are currently in either of these situations, and are uncomfortable talking about these things, share this link with your business partner. Have a conversation about the uncomfortable topic of money early on. If you are willing to commit your future to an idea with your partner, you should be willing to discuss money, and you should do it sooner rather than later.


You do have to take risks to be successful. Sometimes it simply rains.

On rare occasion lightning strikes and you are able to convert from working on a side project to doing something you love full time.

Either way, you will get wet.

The question is, how wet are you willing to get?

Will you take a bath, or be singing in the rain?