Covenant Foundry: Faithful Entrepreneurship

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This blog was pretty quiet last year. Outside of work, I had a mostly non-technical focus: studying biblical counseling and buying a small farm in May (it’s a lifestyle, not a career). I did keep refining my Screeps codebase, but without any groundbreaking achievements worth writing about.

As the year wrapped up, I started thinking about what would come next, both for 2024 and for the next phase of my career. Though I enjoyed studying counseling and plan to integrate it into my service as a deacon in my local church, I have no desire to switch to full-time ministry. And farming, of course, would not pay (at least not without a parallel income stream from becoming a homestead influencer with a YouTube channel).

I could lean into my individual contributor role as a developer, but it would be very difficult to scale my income significantly without switching companies and sacrificing the things I value about working at JBS - flexibility, remote work, a developer-centric culture.

The option with the highest growth ceiling, I decided, would be launching a startup.

There’s a lot that goes into a successful startup, and most of it isn’t dev skills. Leadership, marketing, sales, business organization, market research and validation… as with any small business, when you first start out, you are wearing all the hats. So in 2024, I’m attacking that learning curve.

I have a growing shelf of books, including:

But books are no substitute for experience (as these books will tell you). So, I am also experimenting with launching startups.

First, I’m partnering with a friend as technical co-founder of his startup Jobfolio, a simple and easy-to-use job management platform for the trades. We’re splitting responsibilities, so he is handling the marketing & business side while I build out the technical side. This is nights-and-weekends work for both of us as we try to bootstrap Jobfolio with minimal costs.

Once Jobfolio is profitable and stable, I plan to branch out and continue building and bootstrapping startups following a venture studio model. To make this work effectively, we’ll need to make the “idea -> validation -> go/no go” cycle as short and cheap as possible. Most ideas won’t pan out, so we want to test and burn through them as quickly as possible to find the gems. So, I’m going to practice cheap and fast validation techniques - sharpening those skills, even though I’m not yet ready to start something new.

Finally, I’m building a network of Christian friends who are also interested in running their own businesses. My personal focus is tech, but some are working to get out of tech and pursue a different dream. We’re building alongside each other at Covenant Foundry, sharing ideas, resources, and enthusiasm. If you’re a Christian entrepreneur (or wantrepreneur), you’re welcome to join us!