A couple of weeks ago, I spent a little time to think about personal finance from a very high perspective. What if fictional person, Xander, came to me and said, "I have no clue what this 'money' thing is and how to deal with it." Could I help him?
After nearly 7 years of posts here, I should be able to help them, right? Unfortunately, Lazy Man and Money isn't really a good source for beginners. There's certainly some stuff for beginners, but there's a lot of other stuff like my personal money journey, far too many posts on peer-to-peer lending, why MLM is currently the evil force in galaxy, and some sundry stuff that barely fits in the category of money at all.
I can't give Xander a set of posts on here to read. Instead I could give him a book. There are certainly some good books out there. However, I'd probably end up giving him The Money Code, the Millionaire Fastlane, and other books that are great, but not really a good introduction. Why? I tend not to read books about basic personal finance. It's not to say that I couldn't learn something from them, but 99% of them would be boring review and just not interesting to me.
Somewhere in doing this exercise I started to outlines various areas of personal finance... things like credit, insurance, net worth, income, expenses, investing, budgeting, estate planning. As I did this, I had an idea for a piece of software that might just help Xander with money. It wouldn't necessarily teach the basics as I originally intended, but it would definitely help him be in a better place than he was before he used the application.
As I chased that rabbit down the hole, I realized that there are a whole of Xanders out there that NEED this application. Most of them don't know it. A few of them of them do.
After I had a rough idea of what the software would do, I pitched it to a couple of people I trust. One of the easiest ways to describe it was to compare it to something that already exists. When it comes to personal finance, that starting and ending point is Mint and Personal Capital. While my idea isn't really like that, when I brought up the names, I was reminded by all the companies that went down that road and failed. Yes, the personal finance management graveyard is so full of dead companies like Wesabe, Adaptu, and Money Strands. (Wait Money Strands is still around? Their blog has one update in the last two years.)
When I went into further detail about my software, they started to see how it was different than Mint. As you can tell from the nature of this post, I'm a little guarded about going into full detail, but what I did reveal was enough for them to say something to the effect of, "I'm intrigued. I've got a ton on my plate with some other things, but definitely keep me in the loop on this."
What does this mean for Lazy Man and Money?
I'm still going to be here. However, I'll probably be writing a little less than I typically do - maybe only once or twice a week. (Maybe I'll hire a writer, to give this space a different perspective.) When I do write, it's likely that I'll be writing about the experience of creating a start-up, when you are frugal, and not willing to risk 100K to do it. For most people, it would be impossible. Even for me it might be impossible. However, at least as a software developer (an admittedly really rusty one), there is a chance of success. I admit that the odds are long. That's the nature of most start-ups and this industry isn't any different.
With all that said, it's time to crank up some Paramore... I've got something to brick by boring brick. Are my feet on the ground or is my head in the clouds? This is one castle I can't bury.
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