A Data Scientist’s Guide to Making Money from Start-Ups

There are several ways to make money via start-ups:

  1. Invest in them (for experts only)
  2. Create a big thing like Facebook : more than 99.9% who try fail, and finding VC money takes lots of time. Although you might enjoy a few years or fun before you fail, assuming you can get off the ground.
  3. Work for one of them, they regularly advertise positions.
  4. Create an agile, lean start-up without funding, working from home, that generate very modest profit (say 2 million per year to the founders) and can work almost on auto-pilot with no payroll, everything but critical operations outsourced

I have chosen #4 after trying #2 and enjoying it for a few years. While revenue is still modest (barely above a million per co-founder per year, but growing nicely), it is still far above anything I could get working for a company (as an employee), much less stressful, with a job far more secure, fun, which I can do from any remote beach or mountain resort, with no commute. More on this in my upcoming Wiley book on Data Science.

Read comments from people who succeeded with #2. It is now harder to get decent finding though.

Here are a few start-up ideas for data scientists:

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Comment by Chintan Donda on November 9, 2015 at 11:31pm

Informative !!

Comment by James Rutt on September 5, 2013 at 4:10am

Great article Vincent. I think we could probably make a killing just suggesting ideas for startups, which are just problems that need solving. 

Comment by Jim Murphy on August 26, 2013 at 5:26am

I am just starting out doing the same (#4). Thanks for the great post!

Comment by Deepak Rai on August 18, 2013 at 8:23pm

Awesome article. Thanks!!!!

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