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Author Topic: How does one become a Bitcoin entrepreneur?  (Read 5545 times)
cheapster
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May 22, 2012, 08:00:31 AM
 #1

It's pretty exciting coming across these forums and seeing all the energy and enthusiasm being poured into such an innovative and potentially world-altering technology.  I think most people here have technology backgrounds and so becoming a bitcoin entrepreneur was a natural extension of their passion for technology.  How many bitcoin-businesses are profitable?  Probably not that many relative to the total number of ventures out there.  But every failed venture still contributes something important to the overall economy/community of this experiment in digital money.  My question is: how does one become a bitcoin entrepreneur?  Yes, the question is vague, but I'd really like to hear the conversation (from whatever perspective) if you'll entertain it.
Thanks!
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Vladimir
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May 22, 2012, 08:04:04 AM
 #2

1. Pick up some idea, they are dime a dozen.
2. Implement it.
3. Profit.

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Kris
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May 22, 2012, 08:07:35 AM
 #3

Get a innovative idea, best if it is also unique, make it happen, fail or succeed.

Congratulation you are now a Bitcoin entrepreneur!
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May 22, 2012, 08:14:34 AM
 #4

Vladimir and Kris, thanks!  So what are your personal experiences and what inspired your ideas?  What were your ideas and was it hard to make them profitable?
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May 22, 2012, 08:24:37 AM
 #5

I was selling some coins to a guy in Starbucks and it was awkward because he was late and my laptop battery had died and I accessed an instawallet with too many coins from his laptop so I needed to send them to myself... but I didn't know any of my addresses since they are stupidly long. BAM FIRSTBITS. Now I pay hosting fees and make no money, but girls are writting them on their skin so one day it's all going to work out.

But really, figure out how to solve a problem for people and you'll proabably do well.

The Starbucks story is not made up. Firstbits actually occured to me while the guy was still there and I blurted it out and he wasn't impressed. I can't remember exactly but I don't think my first notion of it was very well formed.

Play Bitcoin Poker at sealswithclubs.eu. We're active and open to everyone.
Kris
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May 22, 2012, 08:37:01 AM
 #6

Vladimir and Kris, thanks!  So what are your personal experiences and what inspired your ideas?  What were your ideas and was it hard to make them profitable?

My personal experience is that I am still trying Smiley

What inspired my ideas is the need to solve problems for people.

Check my signature for my ideas, Even though they are not as profitable as I would want them to be, I still run them and have been doing this for the past year for the benefit of the bitcoin community.
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May 22, 2012, 08:44:56 AM
 #7

the most difficult and rewarding part is to actually take action and make something happen.
Few people actually take action and fold to fear and surely it can't be this easy, if it was someone else would have already done it.
Chances are high that you should do it anyway and will help you build confidence and lead to greater things.

I encourage myself and you and all others to do it. Dream big and act daily Smiley

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May 22, 2012, 09:20:41 AM
 #8

...if it was someone else would have already done it.

I totally think that for everything not bitocin related (likely wrongly). But for bitcoin it's like, ok, there are maybe 50k users and 500 makers who are crazy busy so there must be endless ideas that there just hasn't been time to make happen yet. So much brand new going on here.

Play Bitcoin Poker at sealswithclubs.eu. We're active and open to everyone.
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May 22, 2012, 09:34:04 AM
 #9

I have a metric fuckton of ideas, but lack the PHP and Java skills (let alone TIME) to make them happen.



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May 22, 2012, 09:41:18 AM
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I have a metric fuckton of ideas, but lack the PHP and Java skills (let alone TIME) to make them happen.

I'm always here for you 2weiX Smiley
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May 22, 2012, 09:42:20 AM
 #11

I like that quote that invention is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. I think becoming an entrepreneur is the same. Some personal sacrifice is required in the short term.

At the moment the number of people using bitcoin regularly is probably a "small town"'s worth. A few tens of thousands. This makes selling a niche product or service difficult. Imagine you are selling something that appeals to 1% of the total market. You are only selling to a few hundred people at the moment so it is not going to pay your bills, feed your family and make you a gazillionaire.

If you take the slightly longer term view and think "hmmm, bitcoin could easily be used by millions of people" then you will be eventually selling your service (which by then has a fantastic website, is thoroughly debugged and dispatches/ expedites super efficiently) to a whole metropolis. Think selling to the whole of New York's population.

Other people will then try and copy you, but you have the first mover advantage and your service just works.

Of course, it is not all about the money. Consider also offering a cut down version of your service for free, and grow the whole bitcoin market.


MultiBit HD   Lightweight desktop client.                    Bitcoin Solutions Ltd   Bespoke software. Consultancy.
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May 22, 2012, 12:37:58 PM
 #12

I have a metric fuckton of ideas, but lack the PHP and Java skills (let alone TIME) to make them happen.

This may be one of Bitcoins greatest benefits.  Offer the coding work up for BTC or look in the services section.  There are lots of people making code, doing artwork and other things for Bitcoin and below market rates. 

Find what you can do above average and offer it to the community.  Some people buy and sell, some offer consistency, some do great art, some have access to a good deal that others don't and of course some people make things.

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May 22, 2012, 12:41:45 PM
 #13

I have a metric fuckton of ideas, but lack the PHP and Java skills (let alone TIME) to make them happen.

Same here. I am working on a business plan to make some of them happen.

Any significantly advanced cryptocurrency is indistinguishable from Ponzi Tulips.
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May 22, 2012, 07:21:54 PM
 #14

Also, this board will initially try to rip apart your idea. This is a good thing. However, it can be a little discouraging and sometimes people just want to be jerks and shoot down your idea. I have proposed ideas on this forum I thought were great, and got terrible responses. My most recent concept was ripped. Heh heh

But, if you think you can pull it off, go for it! Just don't pay too much attention to the peanut gallery.

Good Luck!

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May 23, 2012, 12:12:17 AM
 #15

Idea is your first step. You don't have to look far for inspriation. Secondly, implement it, if its a similar idea to an existing one then don't let that stop you. Implement it better which I'm sure wouldn't be hard for many projects.

The more competition we have, the more the bitcoin market will improve. Good luck. The community here is both supportive and brutally honest.

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May 23, 2012, 12:15:07 AM
 #16

I was selling some coins to a guy in Starbucks and it was awkward because he was late and my laptop battery had died and I accessed an instawallet with too many coins from his laptop so I needed to send them to myself... but I didn't know any of my addresses since they are stupidly long. BAM FIRSTBITS. Now I pay hosting fees and make no money, but girls are writting them on their skin so one day it's all going to work out.

But really, figure out how to solve a problem for people and you'll proabably do well.

The Starbucks story is not made up. Firstbits actually occured to me while the guy was still there and I blurted it out and he wasn't impressed. I can't remember exactly but I don't think my first notion of it was very well formed.

Awesome story.   Just shows necessity is the mother of all inventions.
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May 23, 2012, 01:32:40 AM
 #17

True story.

Bitcoin pioneer. An apostle of Satoshi Nakamoto. A crusader for a new, better, tech-driven society. A dreamer.

More about me: http://CharlieShrem.com
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May 23, 2012, 01:49:24 AM
 #18

I have a metric fuckton of ideas, but lack the PHP and Java skills (let alone TIME) to make them happen.

Ditto. I have plenty of ideas that are within my skillset however and I plan on developing as many as possible. Too bad none of my current projects are profitable enough for me to quit my day job without my wife leaving me.

I tend to agree with FreeMoney in that there are really only a relatively small subset of bitcoin enthusiasts actively working on new ideas but only because most people lack the confidence to just jump in and try. Look at me, I have almost no coding skills and I'm directly involved in running seven bitcoin based projects with almost that many on the backburner. And that's not even counting the ones I support with some BTC and some other minimal contributions like lovebitcoins.org and bitcoin100.org.

Still around.
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May 23, 2012, 02:14:04 AM
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Also, this board will initially try to rip apart your idea. This is a good thing. However, it can be a little discouraging and sometimes people just want to be jerks and shoot down your idea. I have proposed ideas on this forum I thought were great, and got terrible responses. My most recent concept was ripped. Heh heh

You're not kidding. Talk about a reality check, they people here can point out some important flaws, and will probably save you a lot of time in the long run, but some of them can be really mean too.
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May 23, 2012, 02:17:56 AM
 #20

Think outside the box! That's my short answer prior to reading a single post on this thread (just its title). I reserve the right to update this post after reading the posts, of which I'm going to do now.

~Bruno~

Edit 1: So far, I like how you posed the question in the OP.

Edit 2:

Quote
I was selling some coins to a guy in Starbucks and it was awkward because he was late and my laptop battery had died and I accessed an instawallet with too many coins from his laptop so I needed to send them to myself... but I didn't know any of my addresses since they are stupidly long. BAM FIRSTBITS. Now I pay hosting fees and make no money, but girls are writting them on their skin so one day it's all going to work out.

Somebody tell me how this business model could even begin to fail.

Edit 3:

Also, this board will initially try to rip apart your idea. This is a good thing. However, it can be a little discouraging and sometimes people just want to be jerks and shoot down your idea. I have proposed ideas on this forum I thought were great, and got terrible responses. My most recent concept was ripped. Heh heh

But, if you think you can pull it off, go for it! Just don't pay too much attention to the peanut gallery.

Good Luck!

And some people will outright steal your idea and call it their own, like what happened with my Twunker idea.

Finally Edit: You folks who commented did a fine job.

~Bruno~

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May 23, 2012, 04:19:27 AM
 #21

Well, I'm hoping to become a bitcoin entrepreneur by selling things I like (strategy board games). Startup post is here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=83111.0, I'd like to hear whether any of you are interested or have any feedback.

-bgc

I'm selling great Minion Games like The Manhattan Project, Kingdom of Solomon and Venture Forth at 4% off retail starting June 2012. PM me or go to my thread in the Marketplace if you're interested.

For Settlers/Dominion/Carcassone etc., I do email gift cards on Amazon for a 5% fee. PM if you're interested.
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May 23, 2012, 09:48:54 AM
 #22

I really like the way this thread is going and it's been fun clicking through the websites in your signatures.  As a 'non-developer,' I've been earning bitcoins through commerce like many others.  As in the real-world, most entrepreneurs capitalize on their existing skills and knowledge.  Accountants get private clients and do their taxes, teachers get private students, mechanics repair their friends' cars, etc.  So i think it's pretty cool when non tech-wizards are able to get in and make a profit.
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May 23, 2012, 12:37:09 PM
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May 23, 2012, 12:45:49 PM
 #24

And some people will outright steal your idea and call it their own, like what happened with my Twunker idea.
At least with Bitcoin, if someone steals your idea and it is successful then the Bitcoin economy grows in value and we all win. I hope to come up with ideas that many people imitate.

Any significantly advanced cryptocurrency is indistinguishable from Ponzi Tulips.
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May 23, 2012, 01:00:39 PM
 #25



Off topic but if you ask Google maps for walking directions (only works for walking) from "The Shire" to "Mordor" you get

Quote
Walking directions are in beta.
Use caution – One does not simply walk into Mordor.

Oh those google engineers.  Always time for fun and games.
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May 23, 2012, 01:20:02 PM
 #26

I have a metric fuckton of ideas, but lack the PHP and Java skills (let alone TIME) to make them happen.

Ditto. I have plenty of ideas that are within my skillset however and I plan on developing as many as possible. Too bad none of my current projects are profitable enough for me to quit my day job without my wife leaving me.

I tend to agree with FreeMoney in that there are really only a relatively small subset of bitcoin enthusiasts actively working on new ideas but only because most people lack the confidence to just jump in and try. Look at me, I have almost no coding skills and I'm directly involved in running seven bitcoin based projects with almost that many on the backburner. And that's not even counting the ones I support with some BTC and some other minimal contributions like lovebitcoins.org and bitcoin100.org.

+1

Coinbase for selling BTCs or Vircurex for trading alt cryptocurrencies like DOGEs
CoinNinja for exploring the blockchain.
PM me with any questions on these sites!  Happy to help!
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May 23, 2012, 01:42:30 PM
 #27

I just thought of something. I've read the rules about not wearing a shirt with ads unless approved, but what about a tattoo, albeit a temporary one on his arm(s) (or legs, if wearing shorts)?

Or wearing these...



But with this...



Do this and you'll be a bitcoin entrepreneur... and I'm guessing a shit ton of people will buy them!

Coinbase for selling BTCs or Vircurex for trading alt cryptocurrencies like DOGEs
CoinNinja for exploring the blockchain.
PM me with any questions on these sites!  Happy to help!
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May 23, 2012, 04:02:16 PM
 #28

Step 1: Collect Bitcoins
Step 2: ?
Step 3: Profit

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May 23, 2012, 05:12:44 PM
 #29

I just thought of something. I've read the rules about not wearing a shirt with ads unless approved, but what about a tattoo, albeit a temporary one on his arm(s) (or legs, if wearing shorts)?

Or wearing these...



But with this...



Do this and you'll be a bitcoin entrepreneur... and I'm guessing a shit ton of people will buy them!

There's a site I once visited that can do just this at a reasonable cost. A little Googling should get you there.



Off topic but if you ask Google maps for walking directions (only works for walking) from "The Shire" to "Mordor" you get

Quote
Walking directions are in beta.
Use caution – One does not simply walk into Mordor.

Oh those google engineers.  Always time for fun and games.

I first learned about their fun and games when I once Googled "anagram" (no quotes needed).

~Bruno~

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May 23, 2012, 05:22:39 PM
 #30

The most important attribute of a good Bitcoin project/business, is that it does something unique to bitcoin. This means, don't try to build a business that could be done with dollars because the person doing it for dollars has a market 100,000x larger than yours and you will fail.

To succeed, you need a project that was not possible before Bitcoin occurred. This takes more creativity, but is crucial.

We can use a couple of my projects as examples here:
FeedZeBirds.com - works because it was impossible to pay thousands of anonymous users with micropayments before Bitcoin
Paysius.com - works because it was impossible to accept payments from any country at low fees without chargebacks before Bitcoin
SatoshiDice.com - works because it was impossible to accept and pay wagering money to and from gamblers without user accounts, and with public roll verification, before Bitcoin.
Coinapult.com - works because it was impossible to send money anonymously via email before Bitcoin

As a counter example, I had also for a while built a web-based VoIP service using Bitcoin. It failed, and was abandoned, because it was totally doable before Bitcoin, and thus had no real competitive advantage. It didn't serve any newly created need.  I've pondered through (and scrapped) various other projects for this same reason.

So, when you do have an idea, ask yourself, "could this service be provided without Bitcoin". If yes, drop the idea. If no, then consider it.

In the future, when Bitcoin usage is far higher, then a wider variety of businesses become possible. Perhaps my VoIP project would work in a year or five, but not today.

Also, if you're going to make a business, please make it professional. If you are not a professional programmer, find one. If you are not a professional designer, find one. If you are not a professional writer, find one. If you can't afford these things, and you can't convince anyone to loan you the money to afford them, then your idea is not good enough to go to market. No matter how good your idea is, you better build it to be beautiful and highly functional, otherwise it will be ignored. The idea itself is not nearly as important as the execution of the idea.

Also realize that almost any idea you can think of is likely to fail. So when you inevitably fail, get up and do it again, better.
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May 23, 2012, 05:27:26 PM
 #31

The most important attribute of a good Bitcoin project/business, is that it does something unique to bitcoin. This means, don't try to build a business that could be done with dollars because the person doing it for dollars has a market 100,000x larger than yours and you will fail.

To succeed, you need a project that was not possible before Bitcoin occurred. This takes more creativity, but is crucial.

We can use a couple of my projects as examples here:
FeedZeBirds.com - works because it was impossible to pay thousands of anonymous users with micropayments before Bitcoin
Paysius.com - works because it was impossible to accept payments from any country at low fees without chargebacks before Bitcoin
SatoshiDice.com - works because it was impossible to accept and pay wagering money to and from gamblers without user accounts, and with public roll verification, before Bitcoin.
Coinapult.com - works because it was impossible to send money anonymously via email before Bitcoin

As a counter example, I had also for a while built a web-based VoIP service using Bitcoin. It failed, and was abandoned, because it was totally doable before Bitcoin, and thus had no real competitive advantage. It didn't serve any newly created need.  I've pondered through (and scrapped) various other projects for this same reason.

So, when you do have an idea, ask yourself, "could this service be provided without Bitcoin". If yes, drop the idea. If no, then consider it.

In the future, when Bitcoin usage is far higher, then a wider variety of businesses become possible. Perhaps my VoIP project would work in a year or five, but not today.

Also, if you're going to make a business, please make it professional. If you are not a professional programmer, find one. If you are not a professional designer, find one. If you are not a professional writer, find one. If you can't afford these things, and you can't convince anyone to loan you the money to afford them, then your idea is not good enough to go to market. No matter how good your idea is, you better build it to be beautiful and highly functional, otherwise it will be ignored. The idea itself is not nearly as important as the execution of the idea.

Also realize that almost any idea you can think of is likely to fail. So when you inevitably fail, get up and do it again, better.

Another reason why evoorhees is my favorite user on this forum. (apologies to Rassah)

~Bruno~

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May 23, 2012, 05:29:36 PM
 #32

I'm not very convinced that people who posess bitcoins are actually keen on spend it on merchandise, lets say. Most of them will try to speculate and profit and that's a very bad thing for the future of bitcoin economy. It's very difficult to invest money in such a business where the bitcoin price is manipulated. Anyway, bitcoin is a good example for people that there are better alternatives anytime, but people fail to use them due to their greed.

Increase your Dropbox account storage
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=68059.0
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May 23, 2012, 05:34:01 PM
 #33

To succeed, you need a project that was not possible before Bitcoin occurred. This takes more creativity, but is crucial.

+1
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May 23, 2012, 05:36:10 PM
 #34

Most of them will try to speculate and profit and that's a very bad thing for the future of bitcoin economy.

Fully disagree. Speculation and profit are good things, and without them Bitcoin dies. My sincere hope is that Bitcoin enables massive profits for all sorts of people. You profit when you don't pay a fee to Visa. You profit when you send money to your friend in Italy. You profit when you can buy products 2% under retail due to the lack of chargeback risk with the merchant (and the merchant profits when you buy from him). You profit when you're able to hide your money from nasty governments, and the victims of what those funds would have been spent on profit by not being victimized. You profit when you can buy whatever you want, from anyone in the world, without 3rd party interference. And you profit when your assets are held in a currency that cannot be debased in perpetuity.

All that profit, and much more, is the promise of Bitcoin and if that's not worthy of speculation then I don't know what is.

Let's hope Bitcoin continually enables greater and greater profits for you, me, and society. If not, then for what purpose do we use it?
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May 23, 2012, 05:36:31 PM
 #35

Actually, this thread has me thinking of an idea...

A website to match up Bitcoin idea-makers, programmers, and venture capitalists.  An idea-maker might post up that they have an idea, but need a programmer and 1000 BTC.  Or, a venture capitalist might post up that they have 20,000 BTC available to invest in good ideas.  Then, people looking for ideas to invest in, or programmers to program, or venture capitalists to badger, can browse through the listings and see what's what.

Only problem is, how would you prevent people from stealing ideas once they know about it?  A programmer could say they want to work on a project, get the details on the idea, and then just go do it himself without giving any credit to the original guy.  You could mitigate some of that with patent protection, but not every idea is patent-able, and not everyone who has an idea has the money to patent it.
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May 23, 2012, 09:17:42 PM
 #36

To succeed, you need a project that was not possible before Bitcoin occurred. This takes more creativity, but is crucial.

+1

Depends on what your definition of success is. 

With Bees Brothers, we just wanted to expand (an already existing) little side business, and excepting bitcoins has increased our sales just enough that we don't want to expand much anymore...for now Wink


Don't tread on bees! http://beesbros.com
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May 23, 2012, 09:26:16 PM
 #37

To succeed, you need a project that was not possible before Bitcoin occurred. This takes more creativity, but is crucial.

+1

Depends on what your definition of success is. 

With Bees Brothers, we just wanted to expand (an already existing) little side business, and excepting bitcoins has increased our sales just enough that we don't want to expand much anymore...for now Wink



Yes, I agree accepting Bitcoin is a great idea and can help the bottom line of any existing business.

But the OP asked about becoming a Bitcoin entrepreneur, which I take to mean the business will primarily accept Bitcoin.

Nice site BTW  Smiley
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May 23, 2012, 09:28:05 PM
 #38

I'm not very convinced that people who posess bitcoins are actually keen on spend it on merchandise, lets say. Most of them will try to speculate and profit and that's a very bad thing for the future of bitcoin economy. It's very difficult to invest money in such a business where the bitcoin price is manipulated. Anyway, bitcoin is a good example for people that there are better alternatives anytime, but people fail to use them due to their greed.

I disagree.  The week to week changes in Bitcoin don't really matter what matters is the holding cost.  What matters is the cash flow volatility resulting from the window between getting paid and exchanging for fiat (or some or all of the coins to pay your non-coin expenses).  The hourly fluctuations are much smaller now and if you can't handle it then for ~2% Bit-pay will absorb all that risk for you.  Sell something for $100, they give customer a price in BTC, you get $98 (after fees).  
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May 25, 2012, 11:57:25 AM
 #39

This is not related to Bitcoin but more the entrepreneur side:

http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2012/05/24/six-figure-businesses-built-for-less-than-100-17-lessons-learned/

thought it might inspire YOU !

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May 28, 2012, 12:46:32 AM
 #40

Actually, this thread has me thinking of an idea...

A website to match up Bitcoin idea-makers, programmers, and venture capitalists.  An idea-maker might post up that they have an idea, but need a programmer and 1000 BTC.  Or, a venture capitalist might post up that they have 20,000 BTC available to invest in good ideas.  Then, people looking for ideas to invest in, or programmers to program, or venture capitalists to badger, can browse through the listings and see what's what.

Only problem is, how would you prevent people from stealing ideas once they know about it?  A programmer could say they want to work on a project, get the details on the idea, and then just go do it himself without giving any credit to the original guy.  You could mitigate some of that with patent protection, but not every idea is patent-able, and not everyone who has an idea has the money to patent it.

Y Combinator does this. I'm not sure how they prevent stealing ideas though. Anyone?

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May 28, 2012, 04:49:17 AM
 #41

A good Bitcoin-entrepreneur, needs to be a leader. Someone who has good moral standing and can make decisions.

When you have a start-up, you are living, eating and breathing your work. It becomes your baby, its like raising a child

Realize that your not just selling your start-up, a Bitcoin entrepreneur is also selling Bitcoin,especially to investors.

Take a look at Paul Graham's essays,

http://paulgraham.com/articles.html

-Charlie

Bitcoin pioneer. An apostle of Satoshi Nakamoto. A crusader for a new, better, tech-driven society. A dreamer.

More about me: http://CharlieShrem.com
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May 28, 2012, 05:00:33 AM
 #42

Actually, this thread has me thinking of an idea...

A website to match up Bitcoin idea-makers, programmers, and venture capitalists.  An idea-maker might post up that they have an idea, but need a programmer and 1000 BTC.  Or, a venture capitalist might post up that they have 20,000 BTC available to invest in good ideas.  Then, people looking for ideas to invest in, or programmers to program, or venture capitalists to badger, can browse through the listings and see what's what.

Only problem is, how would you prevent people from stealing ideas once they know about it?  A programmer could say they want to work on a project, get the details on the idea, and then just go do it himself without giving any credit to the original guy.  You could mitigate some of that with patent protection, but not every idea is patent-able, and not everyone who has an idea has the money to patent it.

Y Combinator does this. I'm not sure how they prevent stealing ideas though. Anyone?
I imagine a combination of realizing ideas aren't all that and NDAs.

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