Can geeks be entrepreneurs?

**Warning – contains sweeping generalisations!**

I went to an event last night run by Cardiff Geeks. It was, as you’d expect, filled with geeks from Cardiff. It was set up by Ian Wootten who saw a need for a networking event for web-types.

I’m no web-geek (unless you count my usage as geeky) and I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between PHP and HTML if they slapped me in the face. But I thought I might be able to meet a few developers there that could help me with Dizzyjam, my continuously delayed new business. I’ve had a problem over the last couple of years because I’ve not been able to find one who has both the skills to do the job, and the creativity to be part of a growing business. I’m really looking for someone who’s

I got chatting to a few people last night and we agreed that the required skills for entrepreneurs and programmers are generally mutually exclusive. Entrepreneurs tend to have low boredom thresholds and often flit from idea to idea. This doesn’t make them good coders. And on the flip side we have those who are talented developers whose skills are honed towards the fine detail of putting a website or application together.

I don’t necessarily believe that you can’t have both creativity and a detailed mind, but I do think they exist on the same axis and it’s difficult to cover both bases effectively. Certainly those people I know that are excellent coders almost all lack the ability to see the wider picture. And the great creative entrepreneurs I know are completely rubbish at seeing the fine detail that’s necessary in every business (whether it’s for book-keeping, stats, code-writing etc etc). And I definitely fall into the latter category. Ask my former business partner Steve how good I was at getting involved with the accounting!

That’s why strategic alliances are so important. My friend Tom and I spoke several times about a need for a networking event to bring creatives and webheads together, to match together those two unique and vital skillsets. Maybe there’s scope for Cardiff Geeks and my event Pollen to come together in the not-too-distant future.

So, to add a sales pitch into my blog – if you’re a developer and think you’ve got the skills (PHP, MySQL, xhtml/css) as well as the energy and vision to push a great business forward and constantly develop new ideas for it, then get in touch.

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2 thoughts on “Can geeks be entrepreneurs?

  1. Hey Neil, after our chat ive given some of this a little more thought but think that our summation that evening was fairly accurate. Your right, on the hole, its a mixed species that is both technically minded , enjoys sitting down for 10 hours to get one problem solved but still doesnt mind mixing it up with business.

    Speaking personally, i find it okay, im not your typical geek though and speaking from experience ive sat in many a lecture theartre with the breed we’re talking of. Those who would rather blend into the walls, not be noticed or those who lack any real social skills that would be critical to surviving in the business world.

    I think one thing that the business world continually suffers from and this is something the down to earth people see the most. Is this higher than thou attitude, i have to shatter those predjudices on a daily bassis but i see friends suffer to it. Summed up simply, if your talking tech and theyre talking markets then you often reach that stonely cold silence where your rubber necking for the next person to talk to.

    Just to widen you arguement a little, there is a certain amount of truth in this when applied to creatives as well. Similar introverted charateristics that are shared, stemming from social insecurities leading onto feeling like a lamb among the wolves in a networking circle usually causes alot of creative businesses never to take off from the runway….

    Anyway theres my 2 pence ramble… now on with business 🙂

    Kev
    Twisted-Studio

  2. Hey Neil, after our chat ive given some of this a little more thought but think that our summation that evening was fairly accurate. Your right, on the hole, its a mixed species that is both technically minded , enjoys sitting down for 10 hours to get one problem solved but still doesnt mind mixing it up with business.

    Speaking personally, i find it okay, im not your typical geek though and speaking from experience ive sat in many a lecture theartre with the breed we’re talking of. Those who would rather blend into the walls, not be noticed or those who lack any real social skills that would be critical to surviving in the business world.

    I think one thing that the business world continually suffers from and this is something the down to earth people see the most. Is this higher than thou attitude, i have to shatter those predjudices on a daily bassis but i see friends suffer to it. Summed up simply, if your talking tech and theyre talking markets then you often reach that stonely cold silence where your rubber necking for the next person to talk to.

    Just to widen you arguement a little, there is a certain amount of truth in this when applied to creatives as well. Similar introverted charateristics that are shared, stemming from social insecurities leading onto feeling like a lamb among the wolves in a networking circle usually causes alot of creative businesses never to take off from the runway….

    Anyway theres my 2 pence ramble… now on with business 🙂

    Kev
    Twisted-Studio

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