Joe Kraus writes about the lowering cost of starting a web business. And Ross Mayfield says it can be even lower, citing 37 Signals’ own low cost app launches.
Now that all the fixed costs are gone, you’re left with the requirements of time and passion. While those resources (or at least one of them) can be bought by setting up shop and saying “we’re doing it”, they can certainly also be had outside the typical startup atmosphere. And I think that story is actually a lot more interesting since its not just lowering the costs of an existing model, it’s throwing it out and opting for a new one entirely.
The problem is finding that time and that passion. Time wise, you have to decide if you want a life outside of your day job and how it conflicts (or not) with the time required to start something on top of that job. Passion wise, you might be passionnate about the idea, doesn’t mean reving up the actual “doing” passion is an easy thing all the time.