Tech businesses can be overnight success for local developers - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Money

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Tech businesses can be overnight success for local developers

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Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2012 6:00 pm

Ahwatukee Foothills resident Chris Matthieu has discovered that for a developer like himself it doesn’t take much to start up a successful business.

In fact, he’s started and sold successful technology businesses twice in the past two years.

His first was a cloud communications start up called Teleku, which he sold to Voxeo. Most recently he created a cloud platform for developers to host Node.js applications, called Nodester which was acquired by AppFog.

Matthieu said with today’s technology it’s easy for any developer to start a business overnight.

“I must have 200 Web domains,” Matthieu said. “Every time I have an idea I go and register the domain. What I do frequently is play with them. I spend a weekend building them and have all these ones kind of incubating. I kind of watch or tweet about them and see what their traction is. Then you’ll notice ideas that are performing well. Maybe those deserve another weekend of your time. You kind of keep at it until you find a business model and an opportunity.”

These business opportunities are very different from business opportunities of the past. They revolve around technology and don’t require a location or even any overhead.

“There is a lag between brick and mortar businesses today and this whole world of virtual big money tech opportunities,” Matthieu said. “When you look at it those businesses are so much more valuable from an evaluation perspective than a Jiffy Lube or a Jamba Juice.”

What’s helping businesses like this grow even more is the feeling of community among developers. Matthieu first released Nodester as an open source project, which allowed for developers around the world to download the coding and make changes and improvements as they came across them. It’s been surprising for Matthieu to discover that even open source projects can be successful.

“You as a project owner get all the rewards of open source and then all the other developers get the same rewards because they too can take it for free and use the application,” Matthieu said. “It’s like an eco-system. Everyone gets a better project from the deal. That brand and word of mouth spreads very fast with open source projects and it really creates a community around it.”

For those who may have ideas, Matthieu says you never know what idea might be worth millions. His advice is to put it out there, let the community contribute, and see what happens.

“You can do this in the evenings, over the weekend, or get involved with other start up projects,” Matthieu said. “If you don’t have the talent for the design or programming, all these communities have these people. I think the message to programmers is to just get involved in the communities in town and just do it.”

Matthieu can be found on Twitter at @chrismatthieu. His website is


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