Artisan vs. entrepreneur

Some interesting insight from Geoff Graham, entrepreneur and blogger from one of our Praxis business partners, GuildQuality.

“If you’re a non-technical founder like me, think long and hard before seeking a technical cofounder to help you launch your vision. I’ve found that most people (whether they are developers, designers, salespeople, marketers, carpenters, masons, doctors, soliders, or pugilists) simply aren’t cut out for owning the responsibilities of building a business.
 
While just about everyone harbors some dreamy notion of launching their own venture, when it comes down to it, few have the disposition to embark upon the entrepreneurial journey, and fewer still have the temperament to run a business. Programmers are no different. Great programmers are talented craftspeople. They have precious skills that they’ve invested years in cultivating. But, rare is the craftsperson who can build a business.”

Geoff goes on to describe contracting out for some IT work to a freelancer who was so good, they eventually brought him in-house.  It takes time to find individuals who really get and care about your vision and who have the skill and drive to execute it.  For most businesses, it’s prudent to contract out for non-core stuff at least until one of those contractors becomes so invaluable you’ve got to get them 100%.
If you’re a skilled specialist, you don’t have to pick between working for some massive place you hate and the stress of building your own company.  Building up your portfolio of contract work is a great way to gain independence, and to be a part of some entrepreneurial visions you may end up falling in love with.