We recently launched our GridAKL / Tech Café Memberships giving you the opportunity to join our community and get the tools to grow your business all in one. We talked to one of our members Robert Pearce about what he is doing, why offering equity in lieu of pay isn’t cool and what the average day is for a freelance software developer…
Tell us about what you do, and what makes you different!
I work as a freelance software developer, but one thing that might make me different is that I don’t self-identify as a tech person or programmer! Perhaps it is because I was English Literature major or the fact that I have worked as a cabana boy, bartender/waiter/bus boy, tennis instructor, professional musician and many more things before discovering my career in software. Does this make me more approachable/easier to work with? Maybe? But now, after having put in my developer-time in various industries, started businesses, raised angel/venture funds and more, I instead identify as a problem-solver who leverages tools to achieve my clients’ goals.
The average day is ….
There are no average days! I’ve worked remotely from over a dozen countries and ~25 states in the USA for the past 5 years, so I reckon being wherever I need to be lays the basis for what I do that day. For example, if I’m at home, then exercise every hour or so becomes a priority; however, if I’m working out of GridAKL, then meeting great people and exploring Auckland do. The same goes for skiing if I’m on a mountain and beach-fun if I’m near a beach. When I’m balanced I do my best work.
Success to me looks like…
Being able to do work that helps others, makes you feel proud and allows you spend time with the people you care about. Life is short, and since as humans we are all born autonomous beings, we have the right to choose our paths (whatever the consequences). I choose to help others, create things and contribute while simultaneously making sure that when my time comes, I’ll have no regrets. This means lots of hard work, but it also means lots of adventures!
The one thing we would tell another startup/freelancer/contractor to do is …
This is best expressed in a bulleted list (warning! opinions follow):
- everybody: don’t give up! It’s really hard to work for yourself. But remember: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds…” – Emerson
- everybody: automate everything you can, and make sure you treat your clients like gods, for they are supporting you, your family and your lifestyle
- startups: few tech people will take you seriously these days if you offer equity for services. This is latter-day tech-slave-labor and is regularly laughed out of the room
- startups: really ask yourself why you’re looking to raise capital. If you can’t get customers paying for your idea enough to support at least one person working full time, then tread softly and perhaps consider another avenue
The one thing I wish someone had told me before I started out is …
Very few people actually know what they’re doing. Trust those who constructively question; fear those whose belief is absolute.
Have a chat to Robert on Twitter, check out what he thinks is the best thing on the internet or meet him at the GridAKL / Tech Café when you next come down to the GridAKL / John Lysaght Building.