One of the great things about having a personal finance blog, is that it makes me focus on my future finances.Â While many people are content to work 8-6 everyday, I’ve got different plans.Â I’ve been doing okay by saving my pennies, contributing the max to my tax-advantaged 401k plans, and taking advantage of what I feel are better returns from Prosper.Â However, I’m not sure if it’s going to get me to early retirement – or at least the early, early retirement that I’m looking for.
It’s difficult for me to save more money without a major lifestyle change, which I’m unwilling to do.Â I don’t think I can earn greater returns without huge risk.Â This leaves me starting a new business.Â As a software engineer, almost 85% of my ideas are software-based.Â After all, I have to go with what I know.
I can’t go into my idea too much without giving too much away.Â It’s not going to be something that earns me money right away.Â It might not even earn me a dime.Â I’m not expecting to have a beta ready until the end of 2007.Â The beauty of this project is that the only way I can fail is by dropping it.Â As long as I continue with it, I’ll be learning new technologies that will help me in my professional career.Â Perhaps, the greatest gain will be from a raise when my next employer sees my enhanced resume.
Jeff & Heather says
We also do Prosper and feel that with some changes in their methodology and some added tools it may become an income generator for early retirement. This year we are focusing on debt elimination though and will only part-time lenders there. Once we are free of the bondage of debt, we will go full-time in Prosper since we believe it has, as you stated a better return rate, and more flexibility on where you invest. The fee schedule is pretty brain-dead obvious too, no surprises.
Happy New Year!
-Jeff & Heather
My Financial Journey says
If I had a nickel for every time I thought of a new software based business idea…..I’d probably have a few bucks by now. Best advice I can give you is to go ahead with it whatever it is, unfortunately I never went ahead with any of my ideas and I’m pretty sure at least one of them would have set me off pretty good…..Anyway best of luck to you.
Out of curiosity what type of developer are you?
Lazy Man says
I hear you MFJ. I’ve finished a prototype of essentially MediaChest.com’s idea about 6-7 years ago. I never had the marketing/funding to get it going though. I had an idea of HotOrNot.com (just talking with buddies), a couple of years before that hit the big time. I’ve had the main idea behind Prosper (eliminating the middleman of the bank) for some time as well. There’s still a huge middle man in real estate with MLS and real estate agents that will probably be destroyed by Zillow or something close to it. I’d like to do something about that, but that’s a tough nut to crack.
My idea isn’t a unique business area, but I think an area where I can carve out a nice niche with a couple of ideas I have to improve it. I’ve developed in nearly everything in the past, but I’ve been in Java for a few years now. I’m going to be using this project to learn technologies such as Hibernate and Spring. If anyone out there is familiar with these and would like to help me understand them, e-mail me, because it’s kind of a lot to get your head around at once.
Financial Imbalance says
I think with the rapid increase of internet use over the past few years, there will be allot of new developments and ideas out there that will allow for basement developers to compete on the large scale playing field; which if your idea takes off will definitely set your retirement date much earlier than expected. I too am dabbling with some developments that may or may not take off.
My Financial Journey says
>There’s still a huge middle man in real estate with MLS and real estate agents that will probably be destroyed by Zillow or something close to it. I’d like to do something about that, but that’s a tough nut to crack.
Funny that was one of my ideas was a website for For Sale By Owner house listings about 7-8 years ago, the ones that popped up locally, from my calculations are making hundreds of thousands a year or more. Great thing about these internet business, especially locally focused ones is that the setup cost is so low and really once they are up and running it doesn’t take a whole lot of effort.
As far as Java, Hibernate, and Spring…I’m a .Net coder and I’ve only played around with the .Net ports of those technologies.
Steven L says
Hi – I run a similiar path as a developer by day and developer by evening (on my own projects). It requires a lot of work. I have tried a couple things with limited success. If you want to network further drop me an email
Rev Bilal says
Best of luck with your business (and the plan). On the topic of business plans i would like the following article with you guys. I hope you find it as useful as I did: