Confessions of a web entrepreneur…

As a way to ease me back into writing more meaty entries than the frivolous ones I’ve been doing recently, I thought I’d collect my thoughts about entrepreneurship on the web. While the title may apply to me, I can’t help but feel I’m a bit of a fraud entrepreneur, because I don’t drive round in a flashy sports car, have meetings with venture capitalists or work on a Mac from a converted warehouse*. The fact is I work for a large firm, drive a people carrier, and spend my evenings juggling baby bottles and washing up.

* Actually my house is a converted warehouse, so maybe I get some points for that.

In the midst of this average 9-to-5 life I manage to run a secondary existance. Chris the entrepreneur, building his web empire. And what does my empire look like at the moment?

Firstly there’s my web business. I treat that website as a sort of online scrapbook; full of jottings, experiments and random thoughts. And, occasionally, that is enough to attract people to me and ask me to help them get the best out of the web.

Secondly there’s my project management software. It’s free, and while that may not sound like the perfect way to make money I continue to develop it for three reasons. 1) I need a project management system, so I’m scratching my own itch. 2) Other people are starting to use it, and that makes my name known. 3) Eventually I may start charging for doing customised versions.

Thirdly there’s the Wiblog thing, a friendly blogging community. My thanks go to Dave who started the Wibsite and gives me freedom to chop and change all the technical things whenever I want. And thanks to the Wibbloggers, too, who are supportive and encouraging.

Fourthly there St Gaudéric, a website about a tiny village in the south of France where I often go on holiday. While the textual information on the site is, to be frank, non-existant (I’m finding it hard to muster up the brainpower needed to translate French documents to English), the pictures are pretty nice. Eventually this site may be used to provide email addresses, blogs, image galleries and advertising to local people.

Then I have one, two, three, four other projects which I’ll tell you about eventually. It’s not that I want to keep them secret, it’s just I have nothing decent to show you yet.

So I’m trying not to fall into the trap of believing any myths about web businesses, instead just making sites that people want to use. And while all my sites so far go for what could be described as niche markets, I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.