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Weary of Looking for Work, Some Create Their Own

by Robert Kazmi

Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from an article originally published by Matt Richtel and Jenna Wortham of The New York Times.

Ryan Kuder. Credit: Noah Berger for The New York Times

Ryan Kuder, 35, understands the notion of scaled-down start-up fervor — and the worry and exhilaration that goes along with it. He was laid off in February 2008 from Yahoo, where he was a senior marketing manager. He job-hunted for a bit, then decided to start an Internet company that would let people do social networking at the neighborhood level.

Mr. Kuder and his business partner toiled until November, when he realized his big dreams had run headlong into reality. He needed money to pay the mortgage and buy health insurance for his family.

They transformed the company into a new one called Koombea that designs and builds Web sites for businesses. Koombea has grown to nine people, most of them in Colombia, where the cost of living allows them to do Web design relatively inexpensively.

Mr. Kuder and his wife agreed that he would give up working for Koombea at the end of January if he did not hit certain revenue goals. They narrowly missed the target. For a few days, Mr. Kuder sent out résumés. He found no work, so he is back investing himself full time in Koombea — and says he is feeling transformed.

“My sleeves are rolled up, and I’m dirtier than I’ve ever been before,” he said. “It’s incredibly nerve-wracking. I wake up nauseous everyday. But it’s probably easier right now to find a problem, solve it and charge people than it is to find a job.”

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by Robert Kazmi

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