Software is omnipresent in today’s environment to the extent that many people and organizations can no longer function without it. Software apps must, of course, be created, disseminated, and maintained. That is precisely what software development companies do. The software development industry is huge and powerful. According to IBISWorld, the software publishing industry generates $238 billion in annual sales and is growing at a rate of 3.9 percent per year. In total, the industry employs almost half a million people.
What is software entrepreneurship?
The process of turning a concept into a working software product or service is known as software entrepreneurship.
The goal of software entrepreneurship is to really use a product or service. However, this isn’t always the case. For a variety of reasons, you may abandon a product or service before it is done (you run out of cash, your competitors look too strong etc.). Alternatively, you may complete the product but find that no one wants to buy or utilize it. I would still call this software entrepreneurship if the original goal was to put your product or service to practical use. Entrepreneurs experience a lot of failure before they succeed. Developing a passion project that is never meant for commercial use, on the other hand, is not software entrepreneurship in my opinion.
It is not necessary for software entrepreneurship to result in a firm. Open source development for software entrepreneurship is another term I would use. Even if you don’t directly deploy the product, by making it available for others to distribute, you’re still ensuring that it gets used.
Entrepreneurship in software does not have to be a full-time job. It is feasible to work as an employee during the day and as an entrepreneur in the evenings and weekends.
Working on your own ideas versus working on someone else’s ideas is a major distinction between being a software entrepreneur and being a software developer. Entrepreneurs usually pursue their own product or service ideas whereas software developers usually pursue their employers’ ideas.
Another significant distinction between a software entrepreneur and a software developer is that the latter is the final problem solver. If no one else can fix the challenges in your project, they will fall back on you. If you have a problem as an employee that you can’t solve, you can usually transmit it up the chain of command and have someone else deal with it.
Why become an entrepreneur?
I wanted to be the CEO when I was younger, therefore I decided to become an entrepreneur. I needed the money as well as the credit. These, on the other hand, are not good reasons to start a business. Working seven days a week for the same wage as a supermarket clerk, or being unable to pay your expenses, isn’t exactly glamorous at first. If you’re only in it for the money and the fame, you’ll probably give up before you reach your goals.
The ideal reason to be an entrepreneur is that you have a vision that you need to actualize, a broader goal that you need to pursue. Why? Because you keep going even if you have setbacks and failures along the road. It doesn’t matter if you make no money or a lot less than you would as a software developer for a huge corporation. It’s all about the concept. The goal is crucial (the money also counts anyway).
Software is an incredible product. You can start with a concept and turn it into a highly valued product just by flipping bits on a hard drive (it’s not that easy). From the comfort of your own home, you can create software. To get started, you don’t need any large factories. It does not necessitate the acquisition of any raw materials. Because software is digital, it can be made available to nearly anyone at a reasonable cost once it has been developed.
The Software Entrepreneurship Process
Software entrepreneurship is an ongoing process, typically going through the following steps:
- Getting an idea for some software product or service
- Developing the software
- Testing the software
- Deploying the software
- Releasing the software
- Testing the idea
- Marketing the product or service
- Monetizing the product or service
While there is usually a general trend from the first to the last stage, you will rarely go through these steps in a straight line. Most of the time, you’ll be switching back and forth between the steps, and you may go through them numerous times.
What to produce as a Software Entrepreneur?
Developers enjoy creating new stuff. However, they frequently fall into the trap of creating products that no one uses.
There’s a big difference between making items you care about and making products you care about exclusively. This distinction can be difficult to spot and comprehend for engineers. Software developers have a business mind-set. They share a love for making things and the skill to do so, just like entrepreneurs. However, that’s where the parallels end. When it comes to building useful software, there are some valuable lessons that developers can learn from entrepreneurs. When it comes to making things, there are basically two schools of thought. Make something for yourself and hope for the best, or make something for others and hope for the best.
The majority of developers will identify with the first option. All of the engineers I know create passion projects to demonstrate their abilities and learn new skills. Their product’s worth is in showcasing their abilities and execution in the hopes of landing a job or personal glory.
This way of thinking has a fundamental flaw: it leads to the creation of something that only has worth to YOU. Developers should build things for themselves as a natural progression. Developers, on the other hand, must break free from this mind-set in order to become better product developers.
Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, will identify with the second school of thought because finding possibilities to fix other people’s problems is an important aspect of an entrepreneur’s work.
Adopting a bigger, more market-oriented mind-set is the first step any developer must make. Begin to consider why and how someone other than yourself may utilize your product.
If you are considering software entrepreneurship, congratulations! You’re on the verge of embarking on an exciting and rewarding journey. It is not, however, for the faint hearted.
In actuality, businesses are more like living creatures with multiple organs that must all work together. There is no one primary organ that is more important than the others, and a failure in one system can bring down the entire system. This principle holds regardless the category of business that is being set up.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Emmanuel Obu Junior is a visionary young Ghanaian and a fast-rising developer. He is the founder and CEO of Clest Development and Co-founder of Hello Prices. He is a Product Designer, Freelance Software Developer, Investor, Studentpreneur, and a proud successful mindset activist.
To connect and know more about Emmanuel, visit his Linked in profile.