by Dan Schawbel
Who said that developers can’t be entrepreneurs? Well in a web 2.0, they are given the chance and opportunity to be that CEO. In a web 1.0 world, developers were slaves to corporations enlisting their services to sell products to customers, become profitable and then update those same products for the next revision. In the new age, everyone is one the same planes, hierarchies will soon vanish and guess what, you are a CEO. As the CEO of a brand called you, you are empowered to make a difference, start your own company, on any topic, blog, and perhaps, change the world!
Personal branding is a term defined as “the process by which we differentiate ourselves by identifying and articulating our unique value proposition to achieve a specific goal.” Our brand is what others think of us when they hear our names, its how we are perceived and what makes us stand out from everyone else. Those who sit back and don’t use the personal branding practice will turn into commodities. As a developer, it’s your chance to craft new technologies that can be implemented online and by doing so you become more visible, credible and famous.
Through blogging and social networking, developers have the resources readily available to them to start building a business. If you don’t have the business skills or the capital to start you business or fund your software projects, then you can pick and choose from your communities to fill positions. How do you know who is qualified? You know from the comments, the content and their biography, if they have the necessary skills to help you on your project.
Developers have the technical know-how to create the most impressive programs available and if that knowledge is paired with a businessman, then there is potential for an all-star team. I’ve seen this happen a lot on the web and sometimes the developer is also the businessman, such as Michael Arrington of TechCrunch. Whether it be a brand new social network (there are far too many as is) or a new application for business use, developers have more choices than ever and can freely connect with individuals online. To be an entrepreneur it now requires less money, but more people and great ideas.
Dan is the lead personal branding expert for generation-y. He commands the world famous Personal Branding Blog, publishes Personal Branding Magazine, directs Personal Branding TV, and is the head judge for the 2008 Personal Brand Awards