4 Reasons Why You Should Never Try Offline Business After Running Online Business of Software

Dmitri Popov

Recently I found myself in a huge debt because of a failed offline business. I decided to do something offline after 10+ years in business of software developing and selling Helpinator, and it was a huge mistake. Some people are just not made for it and I am one of them. I write this to let my anger out (I am angry at myself, of course, there’s no one to blame) and may be to warn someone who is like me and on a verge of making a mistake.

So, here are 4 main reasons of my failure, as I think so far:

1. In business of software you deal with adequate people 99% of the time. Yes, at times you get frustrated over someone’s incompetence, but nevermind it’s emotional burden, these cases are no more than 10% of the people you meet. You share common cultural , educational and intellectual level with the rest and it makes you feel that all people in the world are like them. They are not.

2. In internet business you can be an introvert and it will work just fine, because you don’t have to interact with people in person. In real life people you meet are trained to deceive and you as an introvert have zero chances to figure it out. You need strong communication skills and training, mostly by pain and loss.

3. One might say that coding and engineering are the same thing, and in theory it is true. You can rewrite broken code and most likely you get alive out of the situation unless your PM or shareholders accidentally spill extremely hot coffee on you in a fit of anger. But you can’t rewrite broken fuel line, you have to fix it or the whole thing will go up in flames. Believe me it will.

4. Real life business is expensive. You can’t be an indie hacker with 100USD investments in a, say, forest industry. You bet large and you lose large. Most people can’t bear the weight of the loss, as my brother-in-law Alex who died from kidney cancer shortly after the events depicted in the comics below.

As a form of therapy I decided to not just tell a story of my failure, but to draw it. Somehow I feel better about it, may be because it is drawn so bad.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade