A Question About Starting A Business And Working At Google

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#1 EnvXOwner  Icon User is offline

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A Question About Starting A Business And Working At Google

Posted 04 August 2011 - 06:53 PM

Hey guys. I'm 14, but I'm pretty sure what I want to do when I get older. I want to be a web developer and software developer, particularly working on my own projects like I'm doing now. I'm just wondering if it's an unrealistic idea for wanting to work for Google when I'm 18 or 20ish. By the time I turn 18, I'll have 6 years of programming experience. Where do you guys work? Is it a small development company, or a big one like Google, Microsoft, Apple and others. Or do you work on your own. Have you started your own development company? Dang't, now I'm probably also going to turn this into a two-in-one thread with my last question. If you started your own development company, what did you go through to do it? What were some of the struggles? What do you think will happen in the long run for your business.

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#2 RandomlyKnighted  Icon User is offline

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Re: A Question About Starting A Business And Working At Google

Posted 04 August 2011 - 08:22 PM

I'm currently in the process of creating my own software development company and I'm going through the process of making it a LLC.
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#3 EnvXOwner  Icon User is offline

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Re: A Question About Starting A Business And Working At Google

Posted 04 August 2011 - 08:31 PM

I'm thinking of making it an LLC so that if I get sued, people can't come after my personal assets, but I really don't have much. lol The scariest part to me is writing a business plan. I really don't know where to turn to. No2Pencil told me that SCORE is good. I thought about starting a software development company a year ago. It was a hard idea to grasp as I didn't know where it will be tomorrow. Now though, with the project I'm working on, I'm capable of describing where I will be in the future and what may happen.
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#4 RandomlyKnighted  Icon User is offline

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Re: A Question About Starting A Business And Working At Google

Posted 05 August 2011 - 12:20 AM

Staples sells some software for I think $50 USD that contains all the necessary forms and checklist for starting a business specifically a LLC. Here's the link to the PDF that tells about the software. Also here is a link to the page where you can find out about the product. You can choose to get the kit or to get the CD. Personally I'd rather have the CD because the kit is designed for a one time user where as if you print off the CD and you mess up on it then you can just print out another one.

Hope that helps!
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#5 RudiVisser  Icon User is offline

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Re: A Question About Starting A Business And Working At Google

Posted 05 August 2011 - 12:55 AM

I had my own business from the age of 16 and I can tell you that it's the most rewarding experience that you can have, if you make it work. But don't think it's a walk in the park, it's definitely not a process such as one guy coming to you, saying 'Hey, do this work for me I'll give you $50', you saying yes, doing it and taking the $50. Not at all.

Especially if you're going for an LLC (I'm assuming that your process for limited companies is the same as ours). You need records of everything for tax purposes, remember, as a business you don't get a tax allowance whereas you would personally. The only real benefit here is that it limits your liability (as per the name).

My business was a limited company and to be honest I wish I'd just gone sole trader/self-employed. Yes, there's always that small chance that you may piss somebody off to sue you, but provided you have a professional attitude about everything, most clients will be contempt, pay up on time and honour everything you request. I don't know what it's like in the US, but here (UK) you would be an employee of your company, which essentially means that any money that comes in is first taxed from the company, and then taxed when you pay yourself. Of course, there are ways around it such as dividends or the like, but they're still taxed, you can basically say goodbye to 40% of any money that comes in.

--------------------

Also another point I'd like to make is that by time you're 18 yes you may have 6 years of programming experience, but that will mean nothing if you can't back it up. I can safely say that any experience you have at school (ie. below 16/17 here in UK, 18 in US?) will not count as experience companies are looking for.

See, they're not looking just for development experience, they're looking for commercial experience. Your best bet would be to as soon as possible get a job, either part time or otherwise, to start getting your commercial experience numbers up.

On my CV I have the following under 'experience':

Quote

7 Years Total Development
5 Years Commercial Development


Never once has anyone mentioned anything other than commercial development. They will also want full examples of what you've worked on, especially if you're applying for a "high profile" business.

Aside from this, of course, they will also want to know that you have programming competency. Not, for example, in PHP, or any other language for that matter, but just a general understanding of how stuff works.

Think of it like problem solving. I had an interview not so long ago where I was given code examples on a piece of paper and asked to explain exactly what they're doing, what PHP/JS does internally, and what the expected result would be (including warnings). The most basic one that I can remember is the following:
$array[name];
$array['name'];


It seems fairly simple, but you would first have to explain that absolutely nothing would happen, both pieces of code would work the same, however the first would emit a notice, and explain why the notice would be thrown (ie. PHP will check for a constant named 'name' which doesn't exist at which point it will use the string value of the constant name as the value thus producing the same output). Of course, it's basic, but you just need to know/understand everything about languages.

-------------------

Final thing I promise... You seem very much like myself - So a very good luck to you, if you're actually sticking by what you say and your aspirations to work for companies like this, or start your own, you will do well, I can assure you of that.

This post has been edited by RudiVisser: 05 August 2011 - 01:09 AM

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#6 Programmist  Icon User is offline

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Re: A Question About Starting A Business And Working At Google

Posted 05 August 2011 - 04:59 AM

An LLC only limits your liability if you treat it as a totally separate entity (like any corporation). If you don't keep the proper records, file the right reports, or maintain strict financial separation you could find yourself in hot water. Google "piercing the veil" for more info.

This post has been edited by Programmist: 05 August 2011 - 05:04 AM

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#7 EnvXOwner  Icon User is offline

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Re: A Question About Starting A Business And Working At Google

Posted 05 August 2011 - 05:49 AM

View PostRandomlyKnighted, on 05 August 2011 - 03:20 AM, said:

Staples sells some software for I think $50 USD that contains all the necessary forms and checklist for starting a business specifically a LLC. Here's the link to the PDF that tells about the software. Also here is a link to the page where you can find out about the product. You can choose to get the kit or to get the CD. Personally I'd rather have the CD because the kit is designed for a one time user where as if you print off the CD and you mess up on it then you can just print out another one.

Hope that helps!


Thanks man. I will be checking those out :)


View PostRudiVisser, on 05 August 2011 - 03:55 AM, said:

I had my own business from the age of 16 and I can tell you that it's the most rewarding experience that you can have, if you make it work. But don't think it's a walk in the park, it's definitely not a process such as one guy coming to you, saying 'Hey, do this work for me I'll give you $50', you saying yes, doing it and taking the $50. Not at all.

Especially if you're going for an LLC (I'm assuming that your process for limited companies is the same as ours). You need records of everything for tax purposes, remember, as a business you don't get a tax allowance whereas you would personally. The only real benefit here is that it limits your liability (as per the name).

My business was a limited company and to be honest I wish I'd just gone sole trader/self-employed. Yes, there's always that small chance that you may piss somebody off to sue you, but provided you have a professional attitude about everything, most clients will be contempt, pay up on time and honour everything you request. I don't know what it's like in the US, but here (UK) you would be an employee of your company, which essentially means that any money that comes in is first taxed from the company, and then taxed when you pay yourself. Of course, there are ways around it such as dividends or the like, but they're still taxed, you can basically say goodbye to 40% of any money that comes in.

--------------------

Also another point I'd like to make is that by time you're 18 yes you may have 6 years of programming experience, but that will mean nothing if you can't back it up. I can safely say that any experience you have at school (ie. below 16/17 here in UK, 18 in US?) will not count as experience companies are looking for.

See, they're not looking just for development experience, they're looking for commercial experience. Your best bet would be to as soon as possible get a job, either part time or otherwise, to start getting your commercial experience numbers up.

On my CV I have the following under 'experience':

Quote

7 Years Total Development
5 Years Commercial Development


Never once has anyone mentioned anything other than commercial development. They will also want full examples of what you've worked on, especially if you're applying for a "high profile" business.

Aside from this, of course, they will also want to know that you have programming competency. Not, for example, in PHP, or any other language for that matter, but just a general understanding of how stuff works.

Think of it like problem solving. I had an interview not so long ago where I was given code examples on a piece of paper and asked to explain exactly what they're doing, what PHP/JS does internally, and what the expected result would be (including warnings). The most basic one that I can remember is the following:
$array[name];
$array['name'];


It seems fairly simple, but you would first have to explain that absolutely nothing would happen, both pieces of code would work the same, however the first would emit a notice, and explain why the notice would be thrown (ie. PHP will check for a constant named 'name' which doesn't exist at which point it will use the string value of the constant name as the value thus producing the same output). Of course, it's basic, but you just need to know/understand everything about languages.

-------------------

Final thing I promise... You seem very much like myself - So a very good luck to you, if you're actually sticking by what you say and your aspirations to work for companies like this, or start your own, you will do well, I can assure you of that.


Thanks. That was an enjoyable read. I've been doing research for about a year, and I know it's not a walk in the park for sure. I don't really understand taxes, I wish they teach you about taxes in middle school (Which would be like year 7th through year 9th in the UK). I will probably have to get my mum or soon to be step dad to teach me. Unless they teach students about taxes in 9th. I'll probably have to take a special class which isn't available to Freshmen. The kind of company that I want to start isn't one where I'll be doing work for other companies, like freelancing. I'm going to do something like what WordPress or Facebook did, where they turned their product into a company.

EDIT :: lol I probably could have figured out that example you gave. I used to get undefined constant notices a lot XP

View PostProgrammist, on 05 August 2011 - 07:59 AM, said:

An LLC only limits your liability if you treat it as a totally separate entity (like any corporation). If you don't keep the proper records, file the right reports, or maintain strict financial separation you could find yourself in hot water. Google "piercing the veil" for more info.

Thanks, but I'm sorry. I'm a total noob when it comes to finances, but what do you mean by financial separation? Separate entity?


Thanks for all the input guys. It's helping me to make my decision on how I should go about doing this. When the project is finished you'll more than likely see it in the "Share you Projects" forum :).

This post has been edited by EnvXOwner: 05 August 2011 - 05:53 AM

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#8 creativecoding  Icon User is offline

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Re: A Question About Starting A Business And Working At Google

Posted 05 August 2011 - 06:01 AM

*noob question*

Can someone explain to me what LLC is? I know it means limited liability company but what does that mean?
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#9 RandomlyKnighted  Icon User is offline

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Re: A Question About Starting A Business And Working At Google

Posted 05 August 2011 - 09:49 AM

See if this link helps explain what an LLC is.
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#10 hookiethe1  Icon User is offline

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Re: A Question About Starting A Business And Working At Google

Posted 05 August 2011 - 09:49 AM

It means that a customer can sue your company, but not you personally, so you could lose your company but not your own personal shit.
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#11 EnvXOwner  Icon User is offline

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Re: A Question About Starting A Business And Working At Google

Posted 05 August 2011 - 09:58 AM

hookiethe1 basically wrapped it up in simple terms.
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#12 RandomlyKnighted  Icon User is offline

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Re: A Question About Starting A Business And Working At Google

Posted 05 August 2011 - 10:19 AM

Yeah, the pretty much wrapped it up. :D My link is good if you want a full definition of what you can do with it.
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Re: A Question About Starting A Business And Working At Google

Posted 05 August 2011 - 10:39 AM

Yes, RandomlyKnighted's link provides a lot of useful information on Limited Liability Company.
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#14 no2pencil  Icon User is online

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Re: A Question About Starting A Business And Working At Google

Posted 05 August 2011 - 10:46 AM

View PostRandomlyKnighted, on 05 August 2011 - 03:20 AM, said:

Staples sells some software for I think $50 USD that contains all the necessary forms and checklist for starting a business specifically a LLC. Here's the link to the PDF that tells about the software.

You should not spend on a dime on LLC documentation. You can get all of the forms (like 3 or 4 pages at most) from your state government website for free. The cost should be between $100 & $150 depending on the state.

The forms consist of (sarcastically) difficult questions such as name, social security number, address of business, & so on & so on.

View Postcreativecoding, on 05 August 2011 - 09:01 AM, said:

*noob question*

Can someone explain to me what LLC is? I know it means limited liability company but what does that mean?

The easiest definition is it gives you a federal ID that is taxable. This allows you to have the business as its' own identity, separate from yourself.
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#15 RudiVisser  Icon User is offline

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Re: A Question About Starting A Business And Working At Google

Posted 05 August 2011 - 10:48 AM

View PostEnvXOwner, on 05 August 2011 - 01:49 PM, said:

Thanks. That was an enjoyable read. I've been doing research for about a year, and I know it's not a walk in the park for sure. I don't really understand taxes, I wish they teach you about taxes in middle school (Which would be like year 7th through year 9th in the UK). I will probably have to get my mum or soon to be step dad to teach me. Unless they teach students about taxes in 9th. I'll probably have to take a special class which isn't available to Freshmen.

I don't think anybody truly understands taxes, apart from the fact they take our monies away :D

I had an accountant who would sort literally everything out for me and I'd suggest that you do the same. They know some awesome tricks such as depreciation on computers you just bought via the company getting tax breaks, essentials to running the business and return income not being taxes, random stuff like that. It's awesome, possibly expensive, but awesome, and will save you more money in the long run.

View PostEnvXOwner, on 05 August 2011 - 01:49 PM, said:

The kind of company that I want to start isn't one where I'll be doing work for other companies, like freelancing. I'm going to do something like what WordPress or Facebook did, where they turned their product into a company.

That's great, so do you already know what you're doing?

If so putting a business plan together shouldn't be too hard. What is it that you're looking to achieve from your business btw? Is the aim of it to make a million bucks or is it to actually provide a long-standing service to customers of your product, build relationships and eventually make more products?

It's stuff like this that needs to go into your business plan.

Although both of these points are always required in a business plan, you can obviously shift emphasis from one to the other:
If you're in it to make money - Ensure that the finances section of your business plan is 100% worked out. Expected turnover, expenses, profits, etc. This should include your costs to start up (ie. Legalities such as setting up the business) and development time costs of your product (unless you already have it).
If you're in it to build a relationship - Explain how! It's great having a line in your business plan that states:

Quote

The aim of X Corporation is to sell Product Y to businesses in healthcare. We plan to build a solid relationship with our clients so that they may invest in our future offerings.

.. but that means absolutely nothing to anybody, how are you going to get your product sold, have you done research onto what people want, have you found any initial customers? Also how are you going to build this relationship, do you offer initial support with your product for free, do you offer free installation so that you're on-site with the client and get to know them from a management perspective?

Even though business plans are pretty simple to write they need to be in depth and not say what you want to do or are going to do, but how you're going to do it. This is what business people will care about to make the decision as to whether it is a viable business or not.

Don't worry, my first business plan was god-awful and a potential investor actually laughed in my face. This prompted me to think a hell of a lot more and get everything in order.

View PostEnvXOwner, on 05 August 2011 - 01:49 PM, said:

EDIT :: lol I probably could have figured out that example you gave. I used to get undefined constant notices a lot XP

Yep, like I say, it's fairly simple stuff but it's not about a specific language. It's having the understanding to know what it's doing, without knowing, if you know what I mean?

EDIT: Why the hell do all of my "quick replies" turn out so damn long?! Sorry!

This post has been edited by RudiVisser: 05 August 2011 - 10:49 AM

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