Start-up and school?

As we (myself and some friends) move forward with our plan for a start-up, I’m starting to realize just how much work this is going to involve. And starting to wonder more and more how I’m going to manage to work on school and work on the start-up.

Now, the simple solution is to just drop one or the other (school or start-up). But, while that might be “simple,” it’s obviously a lot more complex of a decision to make. And one I’m not willing to make – at least not now.

I’m really excited about the start-up. I think our idea is very cool. And I’m really looking forward to seeing it implemented and how it turns out. And then, hopefully, seeing it in actual use. I think it could turn out to be something I could actually do after I finish school, which would solve my dilemma of “what’s next.”

I’m also really interested in learning all the different parts of a business. From how to do the front-end development, to the back-end, to the finances, to marketing, to running a business team. Of course, it’s not at all reasonable to actually assume you can do all of these when you’re involved in a team. I’m just a naturally curious person who generally loves learning about everything and anything.

However, I’m also kind of nervous about our actual team dynamic. Our team is growing rapidly (even though we don’t have a finished product, or any revenue, or any capital of any kind). Which makes decisions harder, because the team is bigger. We also have a few couples in our team, which changes how decisions are made. And, of course, everyone sees the potential (which is great) and so wants to be working towards an eventual share of the company (should it turn in to something). But while we’re getting bigger, we haven’t made a point of making sure we’re covering a lot of the areas we don’t already cover (like marketing and finances) with each addition, which means we’re going to have to grow more.

For now, we’re going to proceed with everyone seeing how much work they are actually able to put into the company. And then, based on that, we’ll look into what the partnership should look like. I think this will be good for us, because I think we may be all over estimating how much time we can actually spend on it. And it’ll be good to do a reality check. It’ll also be a better way of gauging how high up the priority list we’re each making it.

Of course, now that I’ve got a side project that is actually moving forward and has set deadlines, my research is coming back into focus as being a big priority. My supervisor is pushing to get experiments done right away (which I agree with) and to submit to a conference that has a deadline soon (which means not only running the experiment, but analyzing it, and writing it up asap). So research obviously can’t move too far down the list. And if I’m ever going to finish, I really can’t afford for it to either.

And, as I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I’ve also started tutoring. This is probably the easiest one to cut. Although I’m really enjoying it, so I don’t want to. And the extra money is really really nice. However, as their midterm is this week, I’m hoping the demand will decrease a bit until we get closer to finals, giving me a bit of a break. It’s going to be a busy end to the year.


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