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quickandeasy Moderator says

This is something I have wondered for a while, however I may be being narrow minded as a designer myself: Do designers and developers make the best Entrepreneurs?

I’d like to welcome a debate about it. Here’s my opinion:

Working within the creative-industries, we are constantly required to think about the most creative and attractive, pleasing, simplest and most efficient ways to do things.

As designers, we grow up designing adverts and sales pages. We have an innate ability to visualise the desired final outcome and how we’re going to achieve that. We’re naturally nit-picky people – if something isn’t perfect, whether in design or function, we won’t stop until it is perfected. Being creative people, we love to dream up colourful and exciting ideas, our imaginations help us take something dull and turn it into something exciting. Also, we all know that good design is good business.

As developers, we constantly strive to find the most efficient processes, the quickest, easiest way to get from a to b. Developers think every process through in it’s most logical form, removing any unnecessary step or distraction. Developers love data and have the ability to build systems that can capture pretty much any information they require. Lastly, developers also pride themselves on automation. The more that their scripts and apps can do on their own and the less the developer’s attention is required, the better.

Both designers and developers are constantly judging too. Whether sat in a restaurant looking at the menu or digging through some open-source code – you’re thinking “How could I do this better than them” – or learning how you can improve yourself to match someone of a higher standard.

Does your average cubicle-office admin worker constantly strive to improve like this?

All the above merits are perfect for any business. True, you can’t just have one of them. Being creative or being able to write good scripts doesn’t make you a brilliant Entrepreneur, but the above surely points out how being in this industry can help mould you into a fantastic business person, right?

Not to mention, the majority of us are freelancers – we also have to manage our own money, cashflow, infrastructure (i.e servers), marketing, etc, etc – all necessary talents for being a business person.

What do you think?

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digitalscience says

I think designers or developers working in a 9-5 office job under management aren’t going to be good Entrepreneurs, they will just be worker bee’s. Only once they step out of that environment and take risks, and use their initiative will they be stepping into Entrepreneur territory. I think anyone selling on Envato networks, is already showing some Entrepreneurship abilities, it is indeed a risk to upload that first file, because you don’t know if that initial work will pay off. But being an Entrepreneur is more of a personality trait, not necessarily something that all designers and developers will have.

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CleanScript says

I agree with quickandeasy and want to add that designers and coders that are designers and coders at the same time I think would be even better entrepreneurs as they are even more open to learning new things (needed in this case, things like management techniques, organizing people) and as they know what to do already they can have very valid ideas of how to build products and manage time, expenses, pushing for a better UX and design, changing things, making a difference.

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digitalscience says

Replace the word “Entrepreneur” with “Innovator” and then this thread makes sense. An innovator uses a lot of creativity to come up with a unique idea for a product or service. An entrepreneur is a business-minded person that can take those products and services and maximize sales to the target market of his business. The key thing here is an entrepreneur has business management skills, you could be the best innovative designer, but you are only expanding your creative skill, doesn’t make you an entrepreneur if you don’t know much about selling your creations and becoming financially successful. Entrepreneurship is a personality trait, a way of thinking.

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bitfade says

Developers are, generally, very very bad entrepreneurs. Top of the list being oversized egoes and the ability to spend insane amount of time on things nobody will care about.

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Parallelus says

Developers are, generally, very very bad entrepreneurs. Top of the list being oversized egoes and the ability to spend insane amount of time on things nobody will care about.

:)

It’s a bit of a generalization but certainly fits some developers.

During one of my first jobs I was discussing new product features with our lead developer, my boss at the time. I started going over requests from existing customers to figure out if/what we could integrated into the next release. My boss become frustrated by mere customers telling him how to develop his software. He said to me, “It doesn’t matter what the customer wants. We’re going to tell them what they want.” I was very young at the time, only 3 years out of college, but knew that approach wasn’t going to work. A year later he was gone and I had his job. :)

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bobocel says

I think it’s important to have a designer / visionary in the founder’s team. Especially if he is the one coming up with the idea for the start-up.

In general, I believe when one solves a real life problem (offline) using digital, magic happens: kickstarter, groupon, airbnb, square, etc.

I’ve seen good designers with bad ideas, and developers with even worse ideas. So it’s just a matter of personal experience for every individual. If you nurture your spirit, if you grow learning and enjoy what you do (others call it workahoolic), than you are the type of individual who might succeed. Might because there are many other factors – location, networking, money, talent around you, timing, etc.

I’m a visionary and I’m an entrepreneur, but we are rare birds. Having the right everything come into place is even more sparse. So that makes it difficult to succeed, but we’ll get there eventually. :-)

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bitfade says

It’s a bit of a generalization but certainly fits some developers.
well it fits almost all devs i know and i’m putting myself in that list too
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pezflash says

...He said to me, “It doesn’t matter what the customer wants. We’re going to tell them what they want.” I was very young at the time, only 3 years out of college, but knew that approach wasn’t going to work. A year later he was gone and I had his job. :)

I think i’ve read that exact sentence somewhere, said by Steve Jobs.

:P

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VF says

What do you think?

yeah, any designer/developer on the full time freelance zone with few years of persistence are good Entrepreneurs.

However if the question is about what is the best part, I would say taking correct amount of responsibilities and intelligence enough to keep the boundaries and plans within practically manageable blocks. These qualities obviously require skills, balance, patience, perseverance and most importantly care towards self and client/customer.

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