Four years ago I started my own software company and named it Ambiera
. I had no experience on how to run a business before this but quite a lot of programming experience, so I thought "what could go wrong?". Fortunately, most worked out nicely since then, and I've learned quite a lot stuff. So if you are thinking about starting your own software company, here are a few advises for you:
People will try to rip you off wherever they can. Especially when it comes to money. They will pay you late or not at all. They will lie straight into your face. "The check is in the mail" and similar is just one sentence you will begin to hate. So be prepared and don't believe people. They will always try to rip you off, no matter if you think they are your friends or partners. (addition: But of course, not all are like this. In fact, most business partners for me were usually quite professional and honest
Taxes are high
Remember the middle ages where they had to pay the tithe (german: Zehent)? That was a 10% tax. Today, for example in Austria, the value is currently at 70% (50% income + social security, and 20% vat). And it's getting higher, thanks to the politicians and the economic 'crisis'. Anyway, you will probably have to pay this, and especially for a startup company, those taxes are incredible high which is not that easy in the beginning.
You are responsible
Since you are now on your own, there will be no one to keep you motivated. Nobody will tell you that you need to work X hours per day and focus on the most important things. Personally, for me this never was a problem, but I know that a lot of people tend to get lazy and have problems motivating themselves to work. This is a major show stopper, so if you know you are that type of person, better don't create a startup.
You will not be successful
Despite creating a great product or implementing a unique feature, you will probably not be successful. Take a look at the market: In most cases, the most successful software is not the best software. There are a lot of articles and even books about why that's how it is, and it's not easy to explain this phenomenon in a few sentences. But simply keep this in mind: Probably not even 10% of all software created is commercially successful. That means that there is a 90% chance that your software will fail. (source? [] ) While I worked on Ambiera
the last years, I've seen 9 startups founded by friends and people I know. And 6 of them failed so far.
The competition is not sleeping
Regardless of what you are doing, there will always be companies in your sector which do a similar thing but have more money. And they will use it to crush you, and probably they won't even notice while doing this. They will have bigger advertising budgets, more managers, better contacts. It's difficult.
Summarized, it is not that easy to launch a startup and keep it running, there are a lot of obstacles. But once you managed to overcome them, this is where the fun begins.
If you need some advice, share experiences about your own company, want to do a strategic partnership with my company Ambiera
or similar, don't hesitate to contact me. :)