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Start-ups on the side: Entrepreneurs with full-time jobs talk about the pros and cons

Posted by Scott Kirsner  June 12, 2011 01:08 PM

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This week's Boston Globe column looks at people starting companies as "side hustles," while working at full-time jobs. Here's the opening:

Is it possible to be an entrepreneur without sacrificing a steady paycheck?

A small subset of office workers — from State House staffers to Web designers to equity traders — believe they can temper the risk of launching a start-up by holding tight to their 9-to-5 jobs. With businesses that sell second-hand luxury handbags or iPhone apps, some are just looking to earn a little income on the side, while others hope they’ll be able to keep revenues climbing and eventually make the transition to full-time entrepreneur.

I corresponded with two other entrepreneurs who also work full-time gigs, but their perspectives didn't wind up in the finished piece. So I'm posting them as "bonus material":

- Lee Schneider, a VP at an investment management firm, who started a "green products" retailer on the side.

- Ryan Gruss, a digital asset manager at the consultancy Continuum, also runs a site for musicians.

And here are the other "side hustles" mentioned in the piece:

- Shareaholic

- Living To 100

- PaperPhobic

- decktOut

- Offshore Wind Wire

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About Scott Kirsner

Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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