I remember a period when I was depressed, it was in 2009. I was born in 1982 when Microsoft started its ascent. I lived the period of MSDOS, Microsoft and IBM as a kid, when everybody talked about informatics and money. The world of computer science was so prosperous and full of promises that I started to follow it when I was just a little kid and after that I discovered that it was one of my biggest passion.
My dream of that time was to become famous with my software, to produce something incredible and to sell it. I started to learn computer programming by myself when I was little and when I finished the high school, I wanted to start my own activity. In the meantime, Bill Gates became the richest man in the world. I lived the period of great promises when small teams could really make money starting from scratch, especially making video games (in the good old times of Doom, Quake and Id Software). However, I had to continue with university and I did not have any time or money to follow my dreams. I continued to program in parallel with everyday commitments with the hope of producing something new, but I directed my energies in the wrong direction. I continued to follow the absurd dream of creating competitive software without the resources of doing it, with the hope that something could change or a miracle could happen. Even if I was a good programmer, I did not have strong knowledges on how to complete a product and make it commercial, or how to start an activity.
My career in the past was dotted with experiments rather than complete projects. In that period I created a series of awesome algorithms, improved my skills, but I never had come to the point of releasing a complete software. I created a video game by myself but it didn't sell anything. I tried to get involved with other teams but it didn't work for many reasons. In that period many deluded teams started with the goal of achieving something that goes beyond their own possibilities, and they totally failed. Sometimes they tried to create clones of already existing titles of success, such as Quake 3, Unreal, Mario 64, and so on. Of course, most of them failed and closed. I never failed as a team, because I was lucky and I did other things in the same time, but it was equally depressing. And there we come back to 2009. In that moment, I thought that the world of information technology had deceived me. Bill Gates was already the richest man in the world, and all the billionaire companies in the world already produced most of the famous titles at the point that most of the other applications and videogames were clones. I though that there were no possibility not only to make money, but even to survive in this wild world but I was totally wrong. In the same year, I created a smart software and made money with it for the first time, but just to make a better example, in the same year some unknown guy created Bitcoin. If one Bitcoin was one dollar, now 1 bitcoin is 7000 dollars, so with 100 dollars of that time you could make now 700000 dollars (and there are something like 1281 cryptoconcurrencies in this moment). In that period Facebook became the most widely used and famous social network on the planet, and his creator (Mark Zuckerberg) one of the richest man. After years, I was assumed by a little company (NICE) that 2 years ago has been acquired by Amazon. Ironically, now I work for Jeff Bezos, that is the richest man on the Earth :-) But my point is that during these years of experience, I realized that:
- the world of information technology (and the world in general) is always full of possibilities, if you don't waste your time
The main ingredient for success is never fossilizing on the same ideas, but follow the evolution of computer science. If small teams could make serious money making games on 1990-2000, it doesn't mean that it's the same now, or that you can make the same amount of money with the same old ideas. The important thing is to keep up to date and (in particular if you are alone) try to achieve the best result with the smallest but most effective idea possible, something that nobody invented and something that everybody really wants. It's not simple but it's better than wasting your time on complex and never ending projects with zero possibility of success.