Entrepreneurial IT: Taking the plunge

After years of moonlighting, web designer Darren Wood finally plucked up the courage to start his own firm, The Fold

After years of doing work on the side, outside his daytime job, Auckland-based web designer Darren Wood finally plucked up the courage to start his own business.

“The idea of running my own business had always been on the cards but it did take me quite a long time to get the courage to jump in,” he says.

He got to the point where he was getting more work than he could handle after hours, but he got a rare opportunity to both work for himself and keep his day job.

“I was lucky to be working for a company at the time who allowed me to reduce my hours, so I ended up working three full days [there] and the other two working with my own clients — in reality I was working three days with my own clients as dedicated one day of the weekend too.”

This gave him a chance to build up his client-base without the threat of going hungry. As his business started to pick up, he decided it was time to take the full plunge into self-employment. Last year he partnered up with three other web guys to form web firm The Fold and they moved to an office in the Ironbank building in central Auckland.

“There's nothing more satisfying that being your own boss,” says Wood. “There are obviously a lot of new challenges—accounting and email management being the biggest of those.”

Over the past five years, Wood has been heavily involved the local web community “by talking at several conferences and meetups and talking trash on Twitter”, he says.

“This has helped a lot with getting business. It helps that I have a very good circle of friends in the industry who often send work my way and are very generous with their time and knowledge.”

This article is part of a Computerworld series about IT entrepreneurs. Tomorrow we report on web design company Pitch.

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