Skip to content
Swizec Teller - a geek with a hatswizec.com

I am not an entrepreneur, I am an indie web developer

After writing a post about the experience of founding a startup teaching me the value of staying in school, I've come to realize that maybe if I was really a startup founder at heart the lesson would have been different and I would have thrown school in the bin, gotten rich and famous and never looked back.

Yeah, right, especially the rich and famous part, that would surely happen right? Every startup is a smashing success, especially the ones founded by 22 year olds with their heads up their arses.

But even though I might be too green to be a proper founder, I still seem to be somewhat entrepreneurial. I can't remember a time in my life when I wasn't trying to _create _something. Following the rules, focusing on a single thing somebody tells you to do ... yeah that's never quite worked for me.

Whether it was learning cursive in first grade when teachers were telling me that I should first learn to print, or trying to design a killer spider robot that was twenty meters tall and shot lasers out of its fangs when I should have been learning the basic principles of ... you know ... reality (this was fourth grade I think).

Or even later, when I was trying to get my own opensource web development framework off the ground instead of studying the basics of polynomials and in college when I was ... well there was a bunch of things, ranging from bringing urbandictionary to the Slovene language, to founding a startup and later creating HipsterVision.

Fact of the matter is, there has simply never been a point in my life that I didn't have a side project or two, three, four.

Where was I going with this ... oh, right, what I'm trying to say is that I don't like to call myself an entrepreneur even though I might have some of the spirit and the big dreams. There are a bunch of connotations that come with being one of Those, a whole bunch of expectations, limitations and ... well it just sucks.Sure, it's a nice french buzzword, but it's useless and boring.

Not to mention hard to spell.

Rather than being an entrepreneur, I'm an indie web developer.

I don't need to tie myself down to a single project for the next five years of my life. Nope, I do projects because they're fun. Because they let me learn shit. And most of people, because I want people to use them.

Sure, it's fun that most of my projects turn out to be indirectly profitable, it wouldn't be too bad if some of them became directly profitable either, but first and foremost, I do them because they're fun and because they make me an awesomer person.

Did you enjoy this article?

Published on June 17th, 2011 in Uncategorized

Learned something new?
Want to become a high value JavaScript expert?

Here's how it works 👇

Leave your email and I'll send you an Interactive Modern JavaScript Cheatsheet 📖right away. After that you'll get thoughtfully written emails every week about React, JavaScript, and your career. Lessons learned over my 20 years in the industry working with companies ranging from tiny startups to Fortune5 behemoths.

Start with an interactive cheatsheet 📖

Then get thoughtful letters 💌 on mindsets, tactics, and technical skills for your career.

"Man, love your simple writing! Yours is the only email I open from marketers and only blog that I give a fuck to read & scroll till the end. And wow always take away lessons with me. Inspiring! And very relatable. 👌"

~ Ashish Kumar

Join over 10,000 engineers just like you already improving their careers with my letters, workshops, courses, and talks. ✌️

Have a burning question that you think I can answer? I don't have all of the answers, but I have some! Hit me up on twitter or book a 30min ama for in-depth help.

Ready to Stop copy pasting D3 examples and create data visualizations of your own?  Learn how to build scalable dataviz components your whole team can understand with React for Data Visualization

Curious about Serverless and the modern backend? Check out Serverless Handbook, modern backend for the frontend engineer.

Ready to learn how it all fits together and build a modern webapp from scratch? Learn how to launch a webapp and make your first 💰 on the side with ServerlessReact.Dev

Want to brush up on your modern JavaScript syntax? Check out my interactive cheatsheet: es6cheatsheet.com

By the way, just in case no one has told you it yet today: I love and appreciate you for who you are ❤️