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Decide if it's a business or a hobby

When running a business, decisions made must be in its best interest. When working on a hobby, you can do whatever you feel like on that morning.

Sometimes businesses start as hobbies

Many companies start as side projects or hobbies. As a result of that, long after they become businesses, they keep being run as hobbies.

Hobbies and businesses have different objectives

The objective of a for-profit business is simple: it’s to make a profit.

The objective of a hobby is much more complex and can change frequently.

And they need different things

The way you run a business isn’t the same as the way you work on a hobby.

Not making the distinction early on makes it harder to run the business and increases the chance of failure.

In businesses, you must make the best and most profitable decisions from the business’s perspective.

In hobbies, on the other hand, making decisions can be much more complex. You might have to consider what you feel like working on, on that particular morning.

So you should decide whether you’re running a business or a hobby

Deciding that it is a business makes it easier to think clearly about how to run it.

While this might sound like depressing advice, it’s also liberating. Your motivation and direction become clear.

You should also notice when others in the team might be making this mistake and remind them that it is a business.

Particularly when choosing the stack

Deciding the stack in a hobby can be very complex. How recently it appeared on the front page of Hacker News could be critical, for example.

The sexy new technology is often chosen in a startup because it’s more exciting for the technical team.

But objectively you need something that you can execute well

It is more important to be effective quickly and consistently from the start. Learning on company time isn’t valuable to an early-stage startup (even though it might be to the technical team).

Instead, you should choose the best mature tool. Strongly bias towards something that the technical team or the technical founder can do well, even if it’s less than optimal. Ideally, it also has a sufficiently large hiring pool.

Kengyew Tham

Co-Founder @ Sbunny, Angel Investor, Strategy Consulting

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