In an interview a couple of years ago, Ruby on Rails creator David Heinemeier Hansson mentioned one of my favorite startup quotes of all times. When asked about why people should work on startups he firmly said “if you are not working on your best idea right now, you are doing it wrong”. That quote really embodies one of best advices you can give colleagues, employees or anybody when comes to plan their career path.
These are very exciting days for the software industry. We are experiencing a confluence of technology revolutions never seen before. Mobility, cloud computing, big data, gamification, social computing, etc are some of the greatest technology movements of the last twenty years and they are all flourishing at the same time. I know veterans in the software industry that predict that we are not going to see something like this for the next 15-20 years. These technology revolutions bring together an unparalleled number of opportunities to build software or services solutions that can have an impact in the world and to help you materialize your entrepreneurial dreams. The time is definitely now!
Working on relevant projects is a luxury that only a small percentage of the software industry enjoys. We typically end up sacrificing the satisfaction of working on things that can have an impact in the world in the name of higher salaries, more stable career paths and that permanent feeling that the time is never quite right. I don’t believe every single talented person in the industry has the entrepreneurial DNA to start and run a company. However, I do think this time in the software industry offers a unique opportunity to put your talents to work in exciting projects that brings you the happiness and satisfaction that only relevant challenges can bring.
Whether you are a programmer, a designer or a business development expert; if you are any good at what you do you would always find people that can offer you higher salaries or a more senior positions. However, what you can rarely find are the opportunities that allow you to work on products or services that make you proud every night when you go to bed. What is incredibly hard to find are the companies, ideas, teams that can offer you an opportunity to work on something bigger than yourself that can have an impact in the world.
At the end, remember that high-paid opportunities are almost free out there these days but the opportunities of working on great ideas and building dreams are not.