Before starting a company…
You’ve identified a problem
Before you start a company, you gripe a lot to your friends (especially co-workers). You broadcast your disbelief. “How could this problem still exist?”, “Don’t we have the technology to solve it?”, “Why don’t any of these companies do anything about it?”. You may even try to solve this problem at work. However, this may be a dangerous thing to do.
Can you stay focused on your current job?
For one, you send the signal that you may not be 100% focused on your current job. Even if solving this problem will make your job better, make things run better for your team and your organization, it’s a tough sell.
Are you willing to challenge the status quo?
Another danger is that you’re challenging the status quo. Anything you want to change will impact others in your organization. Your team will certainly be affected, but so will groups that interact with your team. And their managers. If what you do makes their life harder, however briefly, you will have more people to convince. It’s hard to do this simultaneously on several fronts. Plus, you risk getting branded as “not a team player”.
Do you want to reveal your idea?
A third danger is that you may actually have a novel idea that you could build a company around. If you work in a tech company, you probably signed some employee agreement that assigns all of your inventions and intellectual property to your employer. If your idea is too closely related to what your employer does, and you come up with an valuable invention and describe it to everyone, you may have just lost something important.
Taking the first step
Given all of this, you may choose to pursue your idea under the radar. If you do this, be careful. It’s exciting and fun and helps burn off some of the frustrated energy that you’ve built up, but if you’re serious about your idea you’ll want to see it through. In that moment of decision, you may have just taken your first step to resigning your job and starting your own company.