This is Dr. Xtreme. I quit a job as a research physicist at a government precision measurement lab in May 2012 to pursue a career as an independent inventor. (Sophi’s note: Dr. Xtreme makes a high-tech vibrator). I was at that job since the beginning of 2006, when I finished my Ph.D. in applied physics. It is too early to tell whether this will be financially successful. Right now my burn rate is greater than my income, and I am burning through savings.
What did you do for work in your last full time job?
I was a research physicist in a precision measurement lab, building superconducting electronics to do microwave measurement for quantum information science.
When did you leave your last full time/part time job?
What consumes your life?
Work. Building new technologies and making them ready to sell.
Do you have a trust fund that supports you?
No. Although I am draining my retirement accounts from my previous job. This will run out fast.
How did you get started in your own business? What pushed you to stop working for other people?
I *never* wanted to work for other people. That was always a compromise I tolerated in order to gain the skills I needed to be independent, as well as the capital to try something.
Do others support you emotionally or are they always asking you to get a “real” job?
Yes. I am very supported by people in my life.
How do you support yourself financially?
We’ll see. I’ve lived mostly on savings and have a consulting contract which should come online in the next couple weeks which should be enough to both live on and launch a couple more products going through the end of 2012.
Do you have health insurance and if so, who pays for it?
I do, via my wife, but she’s about to quit her job also and then I won’t. This is America, land of the dumb. If we get a little sick, we’ll just pay out of pocket and if we get really sick we’ll leave the country. With my education and work experience I’m confident that getting a visa to a country with a real health care system(all of them but the US) would be easy.
How much time do you spend looking for business?
Stuff mostly comes to me, and I have a marketing person.
Are you happy you chose this path or do you wish you could go back in time?
Yes. It’s too early to tell where this will lead, but quitting my job was the only way for me. I’d rather fail at this than succeed at what I was doing before.