Building A Web Business After Hours
Mar 18 2009
SXSW Interactive 2009 is now over and what a grand event it was! It was a nice break from my day to day routine. I had a few late nights but not later than just after midnight one night and most other nights I was home by 10:30 pm and one night I was even home by 7:30 pm. I met up with so many cool people…people I already knew in person and people I had met online. As many of you know I work at the Austin Technology Incubator by day and work on Babble Soft whenever I can (i.e., After Hours). ATI helped coordinate and sponsor a nightly party called the Entrepreneur Lounge at Fogo de Chao (a Brazilian restaurant) which was a great success.
The panel was extremely well attended and I’d say about 85% of the people in the room were working on a business after hours and 10% were thinking about it. It was a perfect and very engaged audience!
I had been hearing that the panels at SXSW overall had not been going well. I experienced a few myself, but I and others kept hearing they weren’t organized, inexperienced people were either running them or on the panels, and people weren’t getting much out of them. Based on that grapevine talk, I decided to adapt and get a little more formal than we had planned to be. We originally were not planning on having a PowerPoint presentation but literally hours before the panel, I asked Jeremy Bencken to meet me and we pulled together on his cute and really small laptop a brief presentation as simple as putting our names, jobs, information and key takeaways on separate slides. As simple as they were, it helped us frame the discussion. We also decided on some opening questions and remarks as a team while we waited in the “Green Room” before the panel started.
I was a bit anxious beforehand because it’s been quite some time since I’ve spoken to a room of 150+ so I was out of practice but after a few minutes it came back to me. It’s an amazing and surreal experience to have so many people looking at you to impart knowledge and share your stories with them. The panelists did an awesome job of describing the ups and downs of doing a business after hours.
Here is a copy of the content on our basic slides:
Aruni Gunasegaram – moderator
Day Job: Operations Director, Austin Technology Incubator
After Hours: Pres/Founder, Babble Soft, LLC
Company Blog: Babble Soft Blog
- Protect your IP from your day job
- 8pm to midnight is a beautiful thing
- Don’t beat yourself up
- Set expectations with your family/friends
- It works for some but not all niches
- Partners rock; get one
- Use care in raising external funding