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INTRO Introduction, how I started the journey and hurdles to take

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Ed Schimmel

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Introducing myself, I am Ed Schimmel, working as a software developer for over 25 years. Besides software development, I have a great affinity with graphic design and making art, in the form of paintings and prints. I have always been open to starting something for myself, as a software developer or as an artist. Unfortunately, so far it hasn't been successful.

In 2013 I moved from The Netherlands to Australia, where I continued my software development career. I became unhappier about my working situation and was looking for a way out.

I joined another group about becoming independent and started reading some of the advised books, The Millionaire Fastlane and Unscripted , together with a few other useful books. This gave me more insights into where I went wrong in the past and how I could avoid making the same mistakes in the future. I regret not joining this forum earlier. I think it might have helped me a lot the last few years, but alas it is never too late.

The main lesson that I got from your books is that a person has to create a passive income stream that doesn't request much of his time. Being a software engineer I got the opportunity to start building on a SaaS product, that is soft-launched not long ago. My partner, who requested the product, would take care of the marketing, but is less interested.

So I am on the way up, but need to take the last few steps.

Currently, I am in the situation that I have a complete product, that is primarily interesting to my partner's following/members. His large following was an important reason for me to start this journey and activate a passive income stream.
At the moment, he is not interested in marketing the product under the proposed conditions. We agreed that I could market the product myself, not using his name. I will also not directly post my product to his following. There is a lot more to explain about this, but as this is an introduction I will leave that for later.

Another complication is that in my current contract I am not allowed to work on my own business without the permission of my employer. I think the clause is there to keep employees focused on the company's work and not drifting away. This makes it more difficult to promote my service on social media or LinkedIn, as it might get noticed by colleagues.

I have a few ideas on how to promote the product, like writing a short booklet and publishing it on Amazon, but I am open to suggestions.

Kind regards,

Ed Schimmel
 
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lowtek

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Welcome to the forum, Ed. It's a rare breed to have talent in both software engineering and graphic design.

How enforceable is that clause in your employment contract? If the product you're going to sell doesn't conflict with their core business, I'd be inclined to speak to a lawyer to see how that works in the real world. Just because the contract says something, doesn't necessarily mean it's iron clad.

If you really can't do the business, can you perhaps start it up in someone else's name? How about a sibling / wife / other really close associate?
 

Ed Schimmel

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Welcome to the forum, Ed. It's a rare breed to have talent in both software engineering and graphic design.

How enforceable is that clause in your employment contract? If the product you're going to sell doesn't conflict with their core business, I'd be inclined to speak to a lawyer to see how that works in the real world. Just because the contract says something, doesn't necessarily mean it's iron clad.

If you really can't do the business, can you perhaps start it up in someone else's name? How about a sibling / wife / other really close associate?
Hi lowtek,

I think you are right. It is most likely not iron clad, because it doesn't interfere with their business. My initial thought was to avoid the confrontation, but maybe I should be less nervous about it. It s more about the initial phase where it is not clear whether or not this will be successful. As it is a Saas product, in worst case scenario, I might have to jump in to get problems fixed during business hours. So in that sense it could have an impact for my employer.
 

lowtek

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Hi lowtek,

I think you are right. It is most likely not iron clad, because it doesn't interfere with their business. My initial thought was to avoid the confrontation, but maybe I should be less nervous about it. It s more about the initial phase where it is not clear whether or not this will be successful. As it is a Saas product, in worst case scenario, I might have to jump in to get problems fixed during business hours. So in that sense it could have an impact for my employer.
Just make sure to talk to a lawyer. Also, hiring someone to be a maintainer is probably a reasonable step, once the product is launched.
 

Ed Schimmel

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Just make sure to talk to a lawyer. Also, hiring someone to be a maintainer is probably a reasonable step, once the product is launched.
I probably will have to talk to a lawyer anyhow to check about the terms of service and privacy statement. I am not sure how this works. At the moment I copied an existing one and changed it to fit on my product. However, living in Australia might have an influence on the legality of the terms of service.

In the first instance, I want to keep the costs as low as possible. As long as nothing unexpected happens I will be able to maintain and further develop the product. Doing it myself saves me a lot of time explaining what needs to be done and I learn from the process, which is also beneficial.

Currently, I am not the position to hire people. Maybe if the product takes off, but I think I prefer to do it myself and quit my job to focus on this.
 

MJ DeMarco

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Welcome Ed, almost missed your intro. Glad to have ya.

Another complication is that in my current contract I am not allowed to work on my own business without the permission of my employer. I think the clause is there to keep employees focused on the company's work and not drifting away. This makes it more difficult to promote my service on social media or LinkedIn, as it might get noticed by colleagues.

Wow. What a rip.
 

Ed Schimmel

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Read Millionaire Fastlane!
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Nov 19, 2021
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Brisbane, Australia
MJ DeMarco" data-source="post: 974602" class="bbCodeBlock bbCodeBlock--expandable bbCodeBlock--quote js-expandWatch">
Welcome Ed, almost missed your intro. Glad to have ya.



Wow. What a rip.
Hi MJ,

It has been a bit of a bumpy ride, so far. When I started working on this, with minimal specifications, I was still working for another company. I realized that I couldn't release it in the requested format, as it would not meet the needs of the majority of the people. I added a lot more features over the last few years. Some, obvious ones. Others, smart additions.

Currently, it is in a state to be useful to people, but much more than an MVP. I didn't want to release an unfinished product that loses out from the start against completed products. Obviously, I have a few more additions and as you have experienced yourself, once being used, requests for new features will stack up quickly.

The Terms of Service and the marketing are the last step to take. It is really unfortunate that my partner is not interested to market this product, under my proposed conditions. I have worked on this free of charge and added a lot of features to make it a sellable product. Therefore, the dynamics between me and my partner have changed. Starting, I was more of a contractor, making his bespoke tool, nowadays, I decided to take all the responsibilities and risks and make it my product, for my company.

On the upside, it gives me full control of the product and the image. The downside is that marketing takes up a lot of time and effort, but not completely new to me. At the moment, I am working on some texts to explain the benefits of this technique and product. The plan is to publish it on Amazon Kindle for free or 1 USD to spark the interest of a large public.

Cheers,
Ed
 

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