You are not Steve Jobs

Co-founders looking for co-founders

I’m a member of an awesome site called founders-nation. The idea behind this site is great: it’s a platform to find co-founders for your startup. But I like to describe it as a site where half of the people think they are Steve Jobs and the other half think they are amazing programmers (but not necessarily Steve Wozniak).

Every time I get a message, it goes like this. “Hi, I’m a product/ CEO/awesome dude! I have this amazing idea/product/concept. I already have a business plan/beta/alpha. I’m looking for a technical founder/mobile developer/web developer/CTO. Let me know if you’re interested/Tell me why should I bring you into my company.”

Of course, I need to sign an NDA before I can listen to the “amazing things” the CEO has to say. The thing is, NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR IDEA. There are thousands of ideas available for implementation. I have better things to do than implement half-baked, unprofitable ideas.

If you need a developer, take out a loan and hire a freelancer. There are lots of amazing freelancer sites like odesk (I hate Why share 50% of your “amazing, billion-dollar idea” with some dude you don’t even know, when all you need is a mobile app developer?

My favourite part is this: “I don’t care how to make money out of this. I just want to make amazing products.” In other words, they think the money will just come. Then they explain how Steve Jobs said that you should be passionate about your products and simply “connect the dots.”

stop being a “wantrepreneur”

Well, listen buddy, Steve Jobs wasn’t passionate about the product. At first, he didn’t even understand them. He was a Radio Shack kit boy. If Steve Wozniak hadn’t built his Apple I and Apple II and sold them for more than $300 million, Steve Jobs wouldn’t have had the luxury of being a great visionary. If Apple’s first product hadn’t had a clear and instant business model, they wouldn’t exist and we wouldn’t know their names.

First apple product

First apple product

From now on, I want to be involved only in projects that have a clear and immediate (or up to one year) return on investment. I can try doing projects that might “someday make a return” if my investment is measured in maximum one week of coding.

When I have enough passive income that I can afford to live in financially freedom in somewhere nice like Thailand, I will consider doing a project for passion alone. 🙂

For me, being entrepreneur means being able to make hard choices. One of them is “do money until you can afford yourself to make art.”

On that note, here’s a quote from Pablo Picasso, whom Steve Jobs admired very much: “A painter is a man who paints what he sells. An artist, on the other hand, is a man who sells what he paints.”

Did you ever meet one of those “Steve Jobs” types? Share your experience in comments.



4 thoughts on “You are not Steve Jobs

  1. Jay says:

    This is real talk!

    You just shared a life altering lessons, for those who are wise enough to pay attention and apply what you’ve shared.

    I agree that it’s a very bad idea to share a great idea with someone and possibly diminish long-term earning potential because they failed to just hire a freelancer.

  2. Eli says:

    It all sounds too familiar.
    As a developer I met lots of guys waiting for me to develop their ideas. It was obvious that I’m just going to do most if not all of the work, and there’s a good statistical chance it would fail.

    It’s either you get a great team where everyone is contributing about the same or someone is just piggyback riding on ya 🙂

  3. Furry says:

    Developers are cheap and disposable. Use them up and throw them away.

    Hire geeky unemployed students. They will kiss your furry tail for every penny you pay them. Then, profit.

    Developers in the west haven’t got a chance. Outsource it all to India. Job done.

    People with “ideas” are disposable too.

    There is only one thing that counts in this world. Getting crap done. Actual finished products. On the market.

    If someone points to Apple as a success story, throw them out the door. The Apple 1 was unheard of until some nerdy Mac-using hipster dug it up again. Macintosh was a relative flop compared to the big players. Who then ate Apple for lunch with similar GUIs. By the late 90s, they were dead and buried.

    Then he returned. Bloody Jobs, stinking up the place.

    Right place, right time, right color cheap and tacky plastic.

    Bill Gates and Paul Allen. Now there’s how to run a business and push products out the door. And I’m no Microsoft fan boy.

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