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2015
Everyone loves to talk about the painter who did some work for Facebook and took payment in the form of company stock, which was worth hundreds of millions 7 years later at the company’s IPO. Especially potential clients that are trying to negotiate engineering work in a similar manner. For many new consultants, no offer of equity would ever be enough for one reason: you can’t eat equity. New consultancies can’t be bothered with anything that doesn’t result in hard cash. ...
I design electronics for the money. Yes, I love the work, have gotten quite good at it, and believe it is my God-given purpose on this Earth. But I don't kid myself; if cash from electronics stops flowing I'm going to find another job. Businesses that can't recognize their primary motivator are destined to be a failure (note that it is possible to run a failure of a business for a long, long time). Making sure I get paid is arguably the single most important aspect of the business.   What, ...
Money used to be such a simple thing. A $1 weekly allowance from parents for all of your childhood chores was a pretty easy account to keep track of. Want to know how much you have? Open the piggy bank and count it up. Once the money was inhand it was 100% yours.   As time pressed on, and if you lived in the U.S. you were introduced to the IRS (or similar tax collecting agency elsewhere). These folks want to know everything about your money so they can get their cut. Not only that, they ex ...
Right now everyone who reads this article in the United States owns a business. It may only exist in potential form, but it exists. Say someone walks up to you on the street with a 555 timer and a wad of cash. He pays you to make an astable oscillator on the spot. Congratulations! You, Mr. Business Owner, now have business income. And if you still need convincing, the IRS will happily remind you that you are a business owner by requiring you to pay 15.3 percent in social insurance taxes instead ...
There are a lot of consultants out there who like to think of themselves as great businessmen and women. They focus in on the contract and make sure their contingencies are covered so they will get paid even if lawyers are needed. Sadly, most off those engineers are fooling themselves and are not good at business. I take a different approach: I'm a poor businessman. I don't particularly like working with lawyers, and I would probably prefer to walk away from a client and pick up other business t ...
Tarah Wheeler Van Vlack. (via linkedin.com)   “No one's ever written a book called ‘Women In Tech.’ That's a huge oversight that I'm going to fix.”   Tarah Wheeler Van Vlack writes these words on her new Kickstarter page called “Women In Tech: The Book!” The campaign seeks to raise $12,680 in order to craft and publish a collection of advice and stories from successful women in the tech industry, aimed at other women looking to make it in the field ...
Looking from the view of a packed office, it may seem that having a private consulting business with a private lab would be paradise. Nobody to walk up and bother you when under the gun. Nobody to use the communal toaster oven to heat up stinky leftover fish. Nobody to steal equipment from your bench without so much as a note.   But once out of the office, the negatives which were recently so keenly understood fade as the positives start to be missed. When working solo, there’s nobod ...