You made yourself a plan.
You want to make a living in Data Science.
Well, why are you applying for a data science job then? There are tons of them right now, as we all know data science is hot right now.
You tell me that you want to create a valuable, repeatable and scalable business model and you don’t want to trade time for money.
I tell you that you could search for startups that are looking for a data science co-founder. Again, there are many opportunities right now.
You tell me that you don’t want that. You want instead build up a small bootstrapped business with NO co-founders and NO investors.
I think you are a dreamer and your idea is a bit crazy. However, the more I think about it, the more I like the idea.
Let’s brainstorm some data science product ideas you could do as a single person entrepreneur.
What a complicated word. We call it Solopreneur. This term sticks more.
Let’s start with the most obvious idea. You can offer Data Science courses on platforms like Udemy or your website. That’s what many people are already doing right now.
Matt Dancho is an excellent example of somebody who does exactly this. I am connected with him, and I love the posts about his courses on LinkedIn.
There are many courses out there; however, there are always opportunities for sub-niches.
You can train a fancy neural network on labelled images for a specific domain. You publish an API and let pay customers for using the API. It seems more complicated than it is. There are many free data sets out there you can use to train models. You can combine data from different data sets. You even don’t need much data, if you use transfer learning techniques.
There are many opportunities with this. AirDna offers market analysis reports for Airbnb hosts and people, who want to invest in Airbnb property. They also provide a pricing engine.
Why not start something like this? People are more and more data-driven, and there are many platforms out there.
What’s about market analysis for Uber?
There is massive demand for data sets. You can collect data and label this data with Amazon Mechanical Turks (AMT). However, it’s more complicated than it sounds and needs the investment of time or/and money. You can also run into legal issues with collecting e.g. images that are the intellectual property of somebody else.
You could do the labelling automatically with machine learning techniques. Be creative!
You can write data story articles and sell those. You could hunt for trending stuff, collect data, write an article with visualisations and sell these articles.
It does not scale well, but once you made yourself a name you can make much money.
There are opportunities for data science products for solopreneurs.
You need other skills besides data science like marketing or sales to be realistic.
However, if you have mastered data science, you will master these skills as well.
I wrote this story to myself to brainstorm ideas and train my writing muscle.
Another idea that came up while writing this story was to create a new publication on Medium “The Data Science Solopreneur”.
Do you have more ideas?
What are your thoughts?Written on April 14th, 2019 by Jens Laufer