By now, everyone knows about the wealth that can be generated from building software and creating digital services.

If I said the name “Bill Gates,” you know I mean the richest man in the world, and co-founder of Microsoft.

If I said the name “Mark Zuckerberg,” it’s very likely you know I’m talking about the co-founder of Facebook. He’s worth $50 billion less than Bill Gates, but he’s still worth an estimated $33 billion.

But what is it about software (apps, games, services) that makes it such an incredible wealth generator? Why should I be building software?

One of software’s newest billionaires, Markus Persson (aka Notch), creator of Minecraft, answered this perfectly on Reddit back in 2013.

Software is Something You Can Create Once and Continue Getting Paid for Years

“I can create something once and keep getting paid over and over and over for it. If you build a car, you can only sell it once. If you paint a fence, you only get paid for it once. If you create a piece of software that’s essentially free to reproduce, you can keep getting paid over and over perpetually,” Persson said.

This should strike a cord with every single aspiring entrepreneur out there, especially those studying computer science!

I’m not trying to tell you that software is an easy way to get rich, and the point isn’t that hard work is for suckers. Software is an industry with a large amount of competition, where even great ideas are sometimes not great enough to sell.

The point here is, there’s nothing quite like software. It gives someone the power to create a single spectacular product, and without worrying about huge component, distribution, or labor costs, profit for as long as people are willing to pay for it.

That’s truly incredible. Sure, extremely popular software needs updates, support, marketing, and plenty of other things, but a single developer has the freedom to create, distribute, and profit from their work without worrying thanks to the internet.


Are you building software? What are your goals for the future? Any word of advice for those just getting started? Let us know in comments below!


Photo by VFS Digital Design