Accidental Entrepreneurs – Turning Hobbies into Businesses

I used to read articles like this one on Accidental Tech Entrepreneurs Turn Their Hobbies Into Livelihoods and think it could never happen to me but as time goes on I’m finding more and more people that the article could be about – people making a living (and some a fortune) from using technology to do entrepreneurial things that they truly love.

The article covers the stories of blogger Heather Armstrong from Dooce, Mena and Ben Trott from Six Apart, Joshua Schachter from, Kevin Rose from Digg and Tom Davis from Zoot.

The article attempts to identify some of the common features of the stories as follows:

  • They all have IT backgrounds
  • They all were in the right place at the right time with the right product/service
  • They have supportive people around them (life and business partners)
  • They all faced a moment of truth and had to stake their financial futures on their new venutes
  • They all are a little obsessed

Great article to have in mind as I go to bed tonight.

About Darren Rowse

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  1. Great stuff. It shows how anyone can be successful with enough drive and a good idea.

  2. Leon says:

    Not surprising. Their tech knowledge allows them to connect with geeks, who are a very passionate set. Their “obession”, or rather dedication, drove them to succeed. Proves that hard work still has a place in this world.

  3. Rico says:

    I agree with you Leon. Probably the most important factor is indeed dedication, because it will help you reach your dreams when the going gets tough.

  4. Lisa says:

    Interesting article. It gives me hope for everyone who works hard that they will see the fruits of their labor eventually ;).

  5. Aaron Cook says:

    Great article. Dedication IS essential for success. However, an IT background is NOT. Yeah, not at all.

  6. Thanks for sharing this darren!

  7. Terry Zulit says:

    If not an IT background, I still think a person needs to have a true fascination for computers and the Internet. It would be tough to make a go of it if you only had the ability to surf and check your email.

    Not saying someone with little experience could not succeed, but they would have to become a little “obsessed” to pull through the inevitable learning curve.


  8. noemi says:

    The article is right in all those points.I am an Accidental Tech Entrepreneur who ventured into webhosting in 2002 at the age of 45. Before that, I was a stay at home mom waiting for hubby to bring in the bacon. But financial challeneges forced me to look for additional sources of income. At that time, I was so engrossed with the internet and web design. With the encouragment of my husband, I took a risk and invested in webhosting business . Four years later, I am still around.

  9. Eric says:

    Points 1, 3 and 5 remind me of me. I’ve made many websites, even very popular ones, but always for other companies. Just recently I decided to start creating them for myself. It’s harder to build a large amount of traffic for your site, but once you get there, there’s really no stopping you. And you know what? Building things for yourself is much more fun than building them for somebodey else.

  10. I agree with points 1, 2 and 5. I would say they are points that are essential to the success.

    Points 3 and 4 might be commonly found among these people, but I would argue that they are not critical factors in their success. The reasoning for this is that in having 1 and 5 their entry barrier to the existing market is very low. Point 4 might be a triggering factor for some, but I believe that 1 and 5 could easily acchieve the same for people that never are in situation 4.

  11. richierich1m says:

    I Dont Agree With One POINT
    * they made themselves at the right place and made the time right for their product or service
    That’s the difference You have To make things for your ideas they dont happen


  1. Jason Haley says:

    Interesting Finds: July 1, 2006 AM edition…