Building on top of what you own2012
Recently Michael O.Church loudly said something that many technology startup folks are talking internally among themselves. Working for just another cool startup will not make you rich. In most cases, it will not even lead to senior roles within the company.
With this context in mind, I wanted to share few thoughts about ownership.
First things first, I’m not saying that getting rich should be your purpose. The pursuit of happiness is different for everyone.
Never the less, many techies are hoping to get wealthy while joining the startup teams. There is also a great believe that one can get rich by following VC money or even joining the big technology corporates who pay reasonable developer salaries. Well, is almost impossible to get rich by following all 3 of these paths.
I have studied at the technical university (it was quite a few years ago).
Among other subjects, one was about the ways to communicate with the computers.
At the time, in order to communicate with the computers, one had to write instructions in the language very close to the machine commands computers processor understood. It was not a human readable language.
This was very unproductive.
But as the time went by, programmers started to reuse large libraries of already written instructions and code. They just reused already working components and built on top of them.
These days, most popular computer programming languages have all this functionality (together with the functionality created in the last 25 years) inbuilt by default.
Developers have an access to the thousands of prebuilt chunks of code and libraries to re-use out of the box.
This is what drives the exponential growth of technology. Building on top of the solid foundation and constantly growing it.
If you have 1 hour of spare time, check this talk by one of the smartest people on Earth – Ray Kurzweil. He explains the phenomena of exponential technology growth in more detail.
The same dynamic applies to building your own wealth or business. As Felix Dennis says: “Ownership is everything. Period.“
You start with the foundation – something that you own. Even if it is something small and simple.
By working on it constantly and growing it, you are building on top of the foundation. You reuse everything you have already built. Because it belongs to you.
In time, building on the foundation that you own, allows you to become the capital owner instead of a consumer. And business is all about capital.
I like the story of Envato.
First, it was FreelanceSwitch.com (built by using experience and user base gained from NorthxEast blog project). Then they have started Tutsplus.com network of tutorial blogs. Again by using traffic power (and financial bits gained from the first project) to bootstrap and grow. And things started to grow fast from there.
So build on top of what you own!