GO IT ALONE!
that framework, they do everything they can to limit the costs of failure.”
Go-it-alone entrepreneurs actively manage risk. Indeed, it’s common for them to find a way to test the validity of their business idea before making it a full-time effort. As we will see, a surprising number of successful go-it-alone entrepreneurs start businesses in their spare time before they quit their day jobs.
For example, Niveus Media (www.NiveusMedia.com) produces an all-in-one low-priced entertainment PC that combines the power of a computer with the functionality of a digital video recorder (DVR), a DVD player, and an MP3 jukebox that has received rave reviews. The company’s innovative business model was lauded in Business 2.0 magazine. Nonetheless, Tim Cutting, Niveus Media’s CEO, is happy to point out to that he and his two partners built their entire business at night and on weekends while maintaining their existing jobs. At the time the Business 2.0 article was published, Cutting was an employee at Sun Microsystems.
What’s particularly relevant here is that by maintaining their day jobs, Tim Cutting and his partners dramatically reduced the risk associated with starting their own firm. With a new baby in the house, he wanted to pursue his dream of starting a new business but did not want to put financial pressure on the business to yield instant profits. And, as he said, “What if despite all of the best-laid plans, we discovered a flaw in the business?” By starting it in their spare time, Cutting and his partners got the business off the ground with minimal personal risks.
The story of Tim Cutting and his partners illustrates two important tactics of go-it-alone entrepreneurs: While they are still refining their business concept (1) they reduce risk by gaining as much experience as possible with paying customers, and (2) they avoid putting pressure on the business for fast financial success by keeping their day jobs.
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GO IT ALONE! Copyright 2004 by Bruce Judson. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.