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INTRO Programmer looking for the best way to make money

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FlightFight

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Aug 22, 2020
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Germany
Hello, my dream is to no longer have to worry about money so I can focus on game development and other things like exercising, socializing etc.

Books like TMF, Unscripted and many more made me face the tangibility of this dream and to learn programming in the first place (in my free time).
It enabled me to quit my training for a really boring job and to land a job as a full stack web developer without any formal training. Since half a year I only have to work 4 days a week with really nice coworkers.

This leaves me 3 days in the week to do whatever I want. So far I have used that time mainly to familiarize myself with programming languages, libraries and frameworks new to me but I think I have had enough of that. These things no longer pose a real challenge to me (except for functional programming languages) and thus it would be a waste of time to pursue this further, only when the need should actually arise.

Now I'm wondering how to make the best use of that time. The last two weeks I was on holiday and started working on a web application, which when completed could be competition to a very big company.
But I'm having doubts if spending all my free time on this application would be a good idea. Releasing it myself could be very risky. People could sue me just to get rid of me and I could end up in jail for the rest of my life (for braking a law I overlooked or just for not being able to afford to defend myself in court).

Selling an application to a company before even releasing it, on the other hand wouldn't earn me as much money in comparison to releasing it myself.
I thought it would perhaps be a good option to sell such an application, not for an upfront price, but a guarantee that I get a certain percentage of revenue generated by the application if that is at all practical.

So I'm wondering what is the best way to make money as a programmer? Is my approach a good one? I basically have no experience in business. Any help is greatly appreciated!
 

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OverByte

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May 18, 2014
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Sounds like you're worrying about the wrong things and making excuses not to move forward. Why would you get sued and even if you broke ip that shouldn't land you in jail. Though I don't know what country you're in but if they are that unfriendly to entrepreneurship then my advice is to get out of there.

As others mentioned a far more likely worry is that you can't find any customers. I suggest work on that first.
 

LHXS

Contributor
Jul 31, 2020
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United Kingdom
Compared to you being sued, a much greater chance is that nobody will be using your application. At least 1000 to 1, I would say. If things really take off, you will have enough time to find a lawyer.
100% agree.

Plus I suggest you might want to reverse your process. Test what people want first, then put your time into building it. Take a search for 'Lean Startup'.

I'd share a bit more about your app/site here and you'll get some feedback. I suspect like Fierce Racoon says, you're worrying about the wrong things
 

FlightFight

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Aug 22, 2020
9
4
14
Germany
Sounds like you're worrying about the wrong things and making excuses not to move forward. Why would you get sued and even if you broke ip that shouldn't land you in jail. Though I don't know what country you're in but if they are that unfriendly to entrepreneurship then my advice is to get out of there.

As others mentioned a far more likely worry is that you can't find any customers. I suggest work on that first.

I live in Germany but that doesn't really matter should I release the application to the whole world. I could be sued from anywhere.
Generally if you can't pay up you can land in jail.

I'm not making excuses, I'm working on the application. How am I supposed to find customers if it's too risky to put the application online?
 

MHP368

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Aug 17, 2016
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find a strategy guy, someone who can sell (and preferably has successfully built and sold a business) , find someone who needs a tech founder and be that tech founder.
 

FlightFight

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Aug 22, 2020
9
4
14
Germany
100% agree.

Plus I suggest you might want to reverse your process. Test what people want first, then put your time into building it. Take a search for 'Lean Startup'.

I'd share a bit more about your app/site here and you'll get some feedback. I suspect like Fierce Racoon says, you're worrying about the wrong things
Would you recommend the book Lean Startup by Eric Ries?
 

AlfaStream

New Contributor
Jul 21, 2020
17
17
14
United States
From programmer to programmer. Make your code, but do your market research prior to see where things fit in. I'd book a consultation with a lawyer immediately, and right before release to maximize your yield of time, and limit scope of liability. ALWAYS release it under a business entity to protect yourself from personal liability. worst comes to worst the business files for bankcruptcy dissolves, and you're left to try again.

You got this chief, btw I like how your username references the fight or flight response, thats symbolic.
 

loop101

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Mar 3, 2013
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Hello, my dream is to no longer have to worry about money so I can focus on game development and other things like exercising, socializing etc.

Books like TMF, Unscripted and many more made me face the tangibility of this dream and to learn programming in the first place (in my free time).
It enabled me to quit my training for a really boring job and to land a job as a full stack web developer without any formal training. Since half a year I only have to work 4 days a week with really nice coworkers.

This leaves me 3 days in the week to do whatever I want. So far I have used that time mainly to familiarize myself with programming languages, libraries and frameworks new to me but I think I have had enough of that. These things no longer pose a real challenge to me (except for functional programming languages) and thus it would be a waste of time to pursue this further, only when the need should actually arise.

Now I'm wondering how to make the best use of that time. The last two weeks I was on holiday and started working on a web application, which when completed could be competition to a very big company.
But I'm having doubts if spending all my free time on this application would be a good idea. Releasing it myself could be very risky. People could sue me just to get rid of me and I could end up in jail for the rest of my life (for braking a law I overlooked or just for not being able to afford to defend myself in court).

Selling an application to a company before even releasing it, on the other hand wouldn't earn me as much money in comparison to releasing it myself.
I thought it would perhaps be a good option to sell such an application, not for an upfront price, but a guarantee that I get a certain percentage of revenue generated by the application if that is at all practical.

So I'm wondering what is the best way to make money as a programmer? Is my approach a good one? I basically have no experience in business. Any help is greatly appreciated!

Work on a new idea that doesn't haven't any legal consequences. Scott Adams got rich on his Dilbert cartoons, it was the 37th business he tried. MJ tried a lot of things, too, he writes about them in his book. Don't get married to one idea.
 

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Johnny boy

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May 9, 2017
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If you have such a strong fear response to something that is entirely made up in your head, then you need to rewire your brain before ever starting to become an entrepreneur.

I'm built for this stuff because I give 0 f*cks. I mean, I try to stay out of jail for the most part... but you need to be very, very, very tolerant of the unknown things like risk, failure, etc.

You need to be willing to run happily over the tightrope because all you can see is the prize on the other side, too stupid to look down and imagine falling. Because in the real world of business, the "death" below is just embarrassment, starting over, failing, maybe even getting sued. None of these things are fatal. But everyone still acts like they are.

Everyone I know who does well in business is a "yes man". They're down for anything, rarely play it safe, and see opportunities everywhere. They see all the reasons to DO something, not the reasons to NOT do it. All of the average people I know are the opposite. They see the risks, the negatives, etc. I say the negatives and risks of being a loser who played it safe are far, far worse than taking a chance.

So, just make the damn application. No one will probably hear about it anyways. If you get sued, I say you're doing pretty well. I hope I get sued by a giant company for being a competitive threat to them. What a dream that would be.
 

FlightFight

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Aug 22, 2020
9
4
14
Germany
From programmer to programmer. Make your code, but do your market research prior to see where things fit in. I'd book a consultation with a lawyer immediately, and right before release to maximize your yield of time, and limit scope of liability. ALWAYS release it under a business entity to protect yourself from personal liability. worst comes to worst the business files for bankcruptcy dissolves, and you're left to try again.

You got this chief, btw I like how your username references the fight or flight response, thats symbolic.

Thanks for your advice which sounds very reasonable unlike the 'YOLO' responses here.

I made some market research and I think since what I have in mind will be similar in functionality to Asana but provide a significantly different user experience than anything else I could find out there it has potential.

To assess if the user experience will actually measure up to my vision I'll have to wait until the application will be somewhat representative of the final product.

I have to put some more thought into how to market this product but that is low on my priority list for now.

Why should I book a consultation with a lawyer this early and what should I discuss with him?

I think releasing it under a business entity could be the answer to my worries. It's weird that this option escaped my mind.
Can you give me advice on how I should go about forming a business entity in Germany and what I need to take into account? My father told me that this is a ton of work and that you need to be a bookkeeping expert, legal expert etc. (he never formed a business). How much of that is true?

Thanks for the encouragement I feel motivated! I came up with that username back when I was into flight combat sims but coincidentally it has that second meaning too :)
 
Last edited:

FlightFight

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Aug 22, 2020
9
4
14
Germany
Work on a new idea that doesn't haven't any legal consequences. Scott Adams got rich on his Dilbert cartoons, it was the 37th business he tried. MJ tried a lot of things, too, he writes about them in his book. Don't get married to one idea.

I'm not married to the idea of this application in particular but programming is what I'm good at.
I think web applications have immense potential for creating wealth so that's what I'm going to focus on for now even though there is a lot of legal stuff involved.

Thankfully my boss is well versed in the legal side of web development so should I end up putting the application out into the world myself I could ask (and pay) for his consultation.
 

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