Spare Time and Start Ups

Benjamin W.

February 18, 2010

I think the hope of making a bunch of money skews creative people in the wrong direction. Some more than others. But this definitely happens to me. I want to work on a project that will solve my financial worries for good. And I’m not talking about a cash buy out or anything like that. I just mean something that I can grow over time and turn into a multi-million dollar company (NBD). But trying to guess which project could possibly be this one is not only impossible, it’s pointless. You become too skewed by the money factor.

So I propose a new formula to all creative people who want to run their own business, make their own films, record their own records, etc:

Imagine that you have $2,000,000 in the bank. You’ve bought your shiny new Macbook Pro and 27inch iMac. Or five of each. You have enough money to live of of for a good long while. Now, if you had to keep the $2,000,000 for living expenses and couldn’t spend it to launch some hairbrained idea, what would you want to spend time on. Which project would you want to do when the bills are covered and living is good and it’s just you and a laptop? Would you start a non-profit to teach kids how to cook and keep them out of gangs? Would you design the web application that you’ve been waiting for someone else to design? Would you work on your science fiction novel about a civil war that happens 10,000 years from now?

That is what you should do in your spare time. That is the project you should work on and see if it goes anywhere. Take the money out of it for a sec and see what looks like the most fun. Go do that and tell everyone you can about it once you’re done. That’s may not make you a bundle of money. But it’ll make you happier and remember, you’ve got $2,000,000 in the bank. So, no big deal.

Letter Case

Graphic Design & Web Design

Letter Case was my one-man design shop based in Los Angeles, CA.
I ran it for 2 years until I joined Typekit in January 2011.

In my spare time I've been learning to program by building my first web application.
A simple tool called Talkative to help people publish their talks on the web.

My current project is The Briefcase. A blog and podcast.
It's a place for me to create and publish stuff.

If you have any comments, thoughts or questions,
feel free to contact me at: benthomaswelch [at]

Thanks for checking out my blog. Cheers!

Simplicity is harder than it looks.