Startups and Open Source

Startup, seed money

This is my third startup. Or maybe my fourth, I’m not sure but it gets hazy after a while. What I do know is that if I ever do another startup, I’ll use open source to make it happen.

Let me explain with a bit of back history.

My most recent startup was a consulting business that I started in mid 2017. I had just resigned from another startup in the machine learning space and with their software I did Data Science and Engineering consulting for a handful of clients. As luck would have it an opportunity at H2O.ai came a long and I closed down my consultancy to come on board there.

There was another, rather short lived startup during that time centered around autonomous drones that never quite got off the ground. Pun intended.

So, what do I mean by doing a startup with open source?

Doing a startup with open source

Right now the ability to begin a startup is the easiest it’s ever been. The ability for one person or a group of people to show up and change the way we live has never been greater. All this because of open source software.

There are so many open source startups out there the it boggles the mind. Do you like Python? Well Python is open source. You can build anything you want with that.

How about web development? NodeJS is open source and you can create any front end you want.

What about trading? R is open source and you can analyze your rate of returns using the quantmod package.

Got an idea for a new machine learning startup? Check out open source H2O or Scikit-learn.

Do you have an idea for a new content related website? Download WordPress and start writing.

Of course you’ll need a place to host all the digital assets you run. That will require some $ on your part especially to buy hosting or spin up an EC2 instance on AWS, but it’s really small when you think about it.

The rest of it is YOUR time.

Invest your time

It’s said that time = money, and that’s true. If you spend your time working on code, a front end or content, it’s like writing a check to someone for their services, except that someone is you.

Sometimes that check will bounce and sometimes it will pay more than what it was written for. Not all your endeavors you spend time on will come to fruition. Some will crash and burn. They will fail. That’s ebb and flow of creating something.

The trick is to keep going. Cut your losses quickly and move on to the next idea. Roll up your sleeves again and get to work. Be a Thomas Edison or Marie Curie!

After all, what would you rather be doing? Goofing off or creating?

ABC – Always Be Creating


Also published on Medium.