This evening I was cleaning up my file system and zipping up old projects that failed or were abandoned. I realized that I have worked on many failed projects – each with a passion that is hard to even explain to people. I worked on an auto auction site (before eBay). I worked on a bingo parlor directory (no market). I worked on a wiki web service (no profit) and software package (still making a little profit each yr). I worked on a web payment gateway (too much competition). I worked on several failed eCommerce sites (baby blankets, tinnitus relief products, crying baby products, hair loss products, epididymitis relief products, t-shirts). I worked on several unsold software packages: to manage a dry cleaner, manage your checkbook, support open source code sharing, do human resource management, add SSL support to a programming language.
If I had a dollar for every hour spent working on a failed business, I’d have a bunch of dollars. I’m sure I left a bunch of projects out but the point is this – I like working on these things. I like trying to start businesses. Most of them don’t make it. But… a couple have. And a few were very close. I worked on wiki hosting before Google bought a wiki service provider and before they bought blogger (similar technology). I worried about click fraud before ad providers acknowledged it. I worked on a car auction site before eBay. I’ve been ahead of the curve a few times and behind the curve a lot of times. I’ve made more money than I’ve spent and had fun doing it. Not bad. Not bad at all… I think.