For the past few years, I have often referred to myself as a “software philanthropist” or a “lifestyle entrepreneur”—albeit, I am not rich dollar-wise and I have to work (often harder), just like everyone else.
I am an enterprising independent software developer who funds herself via contract work (and contests). The first adjective makes me someone who is quite keen on realizing opportunities in the software market, and as a result, I am always on the bleeding edge in certain industries. I have been criticized for being exploitive in rates, but the free time that charging more affords has given me the creative freedom to look beyond everyday capital (and penuriousness) at the problems of life and the world. (Also, since I often do the work of up to a thousand by myself, it’s usually a lot more cost-effective to hire me—and with a master creator, you always wind up with a product that is less scattered than a “big team mess”.)
Continuing the analogy of merit, rather than money, as capital: As a software philanthropist, I look for projects where I (time=money) can best help the causes that I believe in. I particularly enjoy working on demo software that can help people see the need for and potential of new, interesting hardware—particularly ones involving different camera technologies and other sensors. I am also fiercely independent and often perform much better as a solo developer (including, additional other roles). To sum it up, I “invest” with my time on projects that align with my core principles: “wonder, innovation and elegance” — essentially, utilizing my uniqueness, skill and expertise as “capital”.
From that perspective, my “lifestyle entrepreneurship” is about using my free (non-contract) time to work on projects that innovate in “everyday” areas that I find meaningful in my life, but that may not (currently) be seen to be aligned with monetary capital potential. In other words, I build apps for people like me — but, in case I can’t find others like me, then it’s at least something I’d use myself. I’m a foodie, who has a penchant for museums and art galleries (and making art)—and by extension, theatre. I’m passionate about the actual teaching and conveying of knowledge modicum in education. So, I often work on serious though not-primarily-for-profit projects in these areas.
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