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May 02, 2006


Scott Moody

Your article assumes all's well that ends well, but just in case...

* Do all of the document writing/development/email for your startup on a computer you personally own and resist the temptation to use your employer's equipment and your employer's network.

* Register the date and time you first came-up with the idea for your startup on the off-chance that someone working for your employer comes-up with the idea before you've had a chance to pitch it. I use the Writer's Guild of America to register ideas -- I know, odd choice, but for a modest fee, they'll let you upload your document via their website and provide the original document along with the date/time the document was submitted on demand.

* Do not ask anyone in the firm to join you in your venture. Let them ask you -- preferably via email.

And finally: Don't fall behind in your day job tasks!

- Scott


wow- I should write a book on how to set up- run and keep operating a global business with nothing.

Money is energy that represents economic means. Understanding that energy is never created or destroyed it moves from one form into another means you realise you don't have a money issue you have an ideas issue.

Currency of mind, thought, social and future dreams are the biggest exponent that give your action merit. The universe abhors a vacuum so take steps in your personal life first. Its bullshit to think you can have your cake and eat it too. It may work for some it may make your article popular but we gotta confront the brutal truth.

You must arrange your personal life so that you have no debt. No bills and you must get out of your comfort spot. Just good enough isn't going to do it. Partial commit either- its like dating... when you know your ex and you break up but you still kinda see each other- the lack of commitment means you never get anywhere.

Fix bayonets. Charge. Singleness of purpose and the action to that step.

Oh but I have a house and a wife and a kid or two.

So what- you can do it. your fear and your lack of ideas are stopping you.

You learn real damn quick when your hungry.

-Kevin Leversee


If your starting your business from your job then you really have no business starting off your business from your job. Keep your job. Use the money from your job to start your business. Its real easy to get fired from a job for using company equipment for personal gain. Put simply don't kill the goose that lays the golden egg. Do the research, save your money, implement the plan and start your business.


Be _really_ careful about this. In Silicon Valley (and most other places these days), most workers sign something called an Invention Assignment & Confidentiality Agreement. That's fancy language for "if you think of it while you're on our payroll -- whether you do it at home or in the office -- we own all rights to it in perpetuity and you get nada."

Erick Schonfeld

Yes, I should have noted in the post that all the usual caveats apply. I do so in the article. Excerpt:

Of course, starting a company while employed by another one can be tricky -- especially if you've signed agreements promising not to compete with your employer or not to hire away colleagues. Indeed, in many cases anything you invent while collecting a paycheck can be considered the boss's property. James Geshwiler, managing director of CommonAngels, a Boston investment group, warns that from a legal perspective, cubicle entrepreneurs often "tread on very sensitive ground."

(Still, I found examples of entrepreneurs who were able to walk this ground successfully.)

Devin Reams

Isn't this the definition of an 'intrapreneur'?

Rob Mason

Intersting point on the lgal caveats applied by companies. Here in the UK there have been several court cases where pepople hae challenged this view. The defence basically surrounding the fact that the indivdiual has worked in that industry and in most cases exclusively in that industry, therefore any attempt to limit their development could be seen as anti-competitive and breach of human rights...not enough caes have come to court yet for it to become case law, but it's still an intersting and rsiky area.

Gary Hoke

Good article! I have a few additional suggestions.

1. Be careful with your NDAs.

2. Look to fill a niche that your current employers product doesn't.

3. Find a business partner with skills that complement your own.

Gary Hoke
CubeShield, Inc.

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