Something that didn’t make the cut in a big article I’m writing (Gamasutra feature hopefully):
"You need another source of funding. For us it’s the contracting work the guys at the research and development studio do. For you it might be your “other” day job or a rich uncle. Have enough cash to cover at least a year of giving it your best before you dive into it full time (and not like my lazy 4 hours of sweating per day, be prepared to work all day, every day).
When I wrote my business plan for Retronator back in 2008 I correctly assumed it would take me 3 months to create a game I could sell for $1 dollar. I correctly assumed that I couldn’t cover even my basic living expenses if the game sells under 10.000 units. At the time I was aiming at Xbox Live Indie Games, which didn’t even launch yet so I looked at sales figures for Xbox Live Arcade instead. I figured they won’t do nearly as good and took the lowest possible brackets as my estimates: 30k optimistic, 20k realistic and 10k pessimistic. Boy, would I have been wrong if I went down that path.
Instead we pursued the iOS market with Dawn of Play, not to say any less blindly. The market is better, but with the numbers we now know the most iOS independent developer make it’s just as hard to sustain yourself in the start."
Extra: you can now see that business plan (alas, in Slovenian) here.