Why Start a Company

I recently graduated from Stanford with a degree in Computer Science, and I’m currently starting a company called CodeHS.

There are plenty of opportunities for me to work for awesome companies (Emails with job offers actually annoy me now), but I chose to start a company for a few main reasons, which I’ll outline here.

If you’re thinking of starting a company, you should think about your reasons as well because it really affects how you go about running your company.

1. Work On My Own Schedule

This is big for me. I’m not a 9 to 5 (or 9 to 9) type. Sometimes, I want to work until 3am or wake up at noon, and I can do that. As long as I’m being productive, I can work whenever I want.

I’ll especially enjoy this once Winter rolls around because I don’t need to keep to a Monday-Friday schedule either.

I’m a huge skier, and I spent the last four years skiing on weekends every winter with the Stanford Ski Team.

Now, I don’t just have to wait for the weekend. If it’s snowing on a Tuesday, I’ll go skiing on Tuesday. I can avoid the lift lines that build up on weekends and enjoy the mountain to myself during the week.

2. Sense of Ownership

Because I’m starting a company, not only do I actually own part of it in terms of stock shares, I actually feel like it belongs to me.

When people have good things to say about CodeHS, it’s really meaningful because I was heavily involved in making it.

I’m proud of what we’ve made much more than had I been working on just a small cog of a much larger software project.

Especially since I’m responsible for both high level and specific things, it’s easy to show people what I’ve done and talk about it. There’s something that I’ve done that any of my friends and family can understand and appreciate at some level.

I also get to talk about what I’m working on. I’m gonna pick on my friend who works at Facebook for a second (if you’re reading this, yeah, you. sorry haha!).

She loves her job, but I went to have lunch with her one day this summer, and she couldn’t tell me what she was working on. I feel like I put a lot of effort into what I’m working on, and it’s fun to talk about with my friends and family, and I get to do that.

3. Variety

I do really enjoy sitting down and programming for an entire day, but I don’t want to do that every day. Because I’m starting my own company, I get to work on so many other aspects of the company and really spend time doing a lot of different things.

Some days I code, but some days I’m teaching. I get to talk to a lot of people. I’m doing sales, pitching our idea to people, strategizing our distribution model, and so much more.

This helps me stay out of a routine that could bore me or get old. There are always new things that come up, and I get to change what I focus on all the time.

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