From Developer to Entrepreneur

Key Difference Between Developer & Entrepreneur

Any change made here.

As a developer and programmer, I like to create things. I like to change things and I like to customize things. These things could be any software program, or any electronic machine, or any video game, or even some movie I am watching. But, when it comes to startup, it changes almost in reverse. As a startup founder, I don’t think to create things, rather I would like to delegate it and try to get the work done from my team. That’s a difficult task for a developer to rely on someone else ability specially when he/she can do it on its own and can also do it in the better and optimized way.

The key difference between developer and entrepreneur in my opinion is that developer thinks from the perspective of what he/she likes, and an entrepreneur thinks from the perspective of what his customers/users think.

How To Go From Developer to Entrepreneur?

I am going to share my thoughts on this big question based on what I have learned in this whole year transitioning my habits from developer to entrepreneur. There are two things which can help developers become good entrepreneurs.

Get Out of The Building and Your Comfort Zone

Yes, as developer you spend whole day and night behind the screen of laptop or computer. But, when it comes to entrepreneurship, you have to get out of your comfort zone and leave that screen behind. Meet new people, attend startup events, coding events, even go to parties and concerts. Do as much meeting with people as possible, and talk to them through your ideas. Listen to them. Talk to your potential customers. And if they point you to any flaw in your idea, or any bug, or any feature they don’t understand etc. Don’t get emotional and don’t defend your ideas. (Yes, I used to do that a lot.). As a developer, you create your products and you nurture these products like your babies for weeks, months, or years. So, when someone says any wrong thing to your product, you automatically get defensive because of the love to your creation. Its hard to stop but seriously stop defending the faults and flaws in your products.

Nobody knows better about your products than your customers, so listen to them very carefully and try to understand their perspective.

Learn to Delegate Your Work & Trust Others

Imagine, you are the best warrior of the century. You got a very best moves with your sword and no one had defeat you yet. Now, you are in a middle of battle going on, and you have a sword, and with a single move of your sword, you can stop the battle and win it. But, rather applying that move, you give your sword to fellow warrior and tell him to do that move.

Now, its a little difficult to decide the fate of the battle. Can he win the battle? Can he move the sword in the way I taught him? Can he be really good as me in swords? Can be the best warrior of the century? These all questions will haunt you in that tiny little moment, and you will be forced to move that sword yourself and end the battle. This is right at this time, but in long-run its very dangerous and risky for an entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, you have to learn how to delegate your work to your team? how to get it done right? How to get it done on time? And most importantly, how to motivate your team to achieve the same goals and moving on your vision.

For developers, this can be too tough to do it. But, try to delegating small tasks to others initially and putting the habit of delegation and getting things done on time from your team.

Yes, you will miss deadlines at first. You will be behind your goals. Your product will be more buggy than you ever thought. You will a major failure being discussed in tweets. But, there is one thing, which will be the biggest strength at that moment; YOUR TEAM. Your team will have believe in you, because you believed in them. And in long-run for your startup, it is the most powerful thing you will ever have.

Wajahat Karim is Pakistan’s first Google Developer Expert in Android. As an experience Android developer, he deeply cares about it and keeps writing and speaking about it. He has written two worldwide 300+ pages books on Android development with more than 100 articles around the internet either on his website or his Medium publications. He is also a passionate contributor in open source and has created many Android libraries used by thousands of developers in their apps worldwide. As active public speaker, he spends lots of time giving talks in conferences and motivating people on Android development. You can find Wajahat most active on Twitter @WajahatKarim where he regularly shares all the good stuff about Android and community building.

Author's picture

Wajahat Karim

🔥 Google Dev Expert (GDE) in Android .
📱 Android Dev. 💻 Open Source Contributor . 📝 Technical Writer . 🎤 Public Speaker

Senior Android Developer

Karachi, Pakistan