Ask HN: Those making $500/month on side projects in 2021 – Show and tell

I love these kind of posts. Here are some interesting ideas for side-gig:

  1. Books. There are quite a few books there, books for babies, books about iOS dev etc.
  2. Mining Cryptocurrency. This comment got a lot of attention.
  3. Apps. Too many but was glad to see Mac apps generating decent income.
  4. Music. Decent income from YouTube content ID payments according to this comment.
  5. DIY biologist. Seems fun.
  6. A lot of SaaS or content sites.
  7. Flipping items from thrift stores on eBay.

Web 3.0, DeFi, NFT, Metaverse

I don’t really have much understanding of these terms in the headline. I mostly associate NFT with scams, metaverse with Second Life in VR. But recently I have been thinking about all the times I lost big opportunities because I didn’t understand innovations.

Back in late 2000s, I had a friend who was talking about Bitcoin and how it will change everything. I think he even send me some. But I didn’t understand it and didn’t really wanted to learn it. Of course, in 2018, I was searching my emails and texts trying to find those bitcoins.

When first smart phones came, my friends started making apps for them for fun, and some of them end up getting nice new jobs. I stuck with the web, which also was not a bad decision but I had never imagined mobile apps would ever be anything serious.

Then I am big believer in passive index funds and I just invest in SPY. I had friends who told me to invest in Google, Facebook, Tesla, but I didn’t think we mere mortals can be smarter than Warren Buffet. Of course, returns from index funds are nowhere near what one could have earned by investing in individual companies. If you think it is hard, check out another successful fund manager, Peter Lynch. He believes regular people can successfully research companies and invest in a few individual companies to beat index funds.

So now I am learning about Web 3.0, DeFi, and Metaverse. My first half of career, I focused on safe and proven technologies. I think it is about time I start exploring emerging technologies. Exploration was what that got me first into programming.

This may not pay off but it is actually exciting.

Ask HN: Software Engineer hitting 40: what’s next?

Recent thread on Hacker News, https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=29360119, was very interesting for me especially since I turned 40 this year.

Programming is something I enjoy and pretty good at it. I’m still not at the top of salary range for programmers but this is a tough question. I can get into FAANG but there is still a ceiling of how much one can earn as a software engineer.

This comment says it best:

What does a welder, carpenter, or plumber do when they’ve hit 35 and mostly mastered their field? Answer: come to terms with the fact that their mastery is not very much in demand, they will never make more (inflation-adjusted) than they do now, and either plan for retirement or find a new job (usually management or small business owner) where their hard-won skills are mostly wasted.

I think same situation applies to programmers. Very few businesses are working on extremely hard problems that only top programmers can solve. Perhaps my next move should be business owner and start consulting firm.