What is the difference between a business and a project?


I thought I understood what a business was... 

I saw a problem. I saw an opportunity. I started working to solve the problem. The solution was a fairly large twist on traditional blogging platforms (more info to come). 

I started pitching it to friends and mentors (maybe a dozen) as a business idea. They almost universally told me: "That's shit - there is no way to monetize a blogging platform. Hoping for an acquisition is absurd. No blogging platforms are making money. It is just a project. etc." 

They didn't just tell me or suggest something I've overlooked. They lectured me. Don't get me wrong, I really appreciated the feedback and thoughts. I take negative feedback well. But I was surprised that nobody saw the monetezation routes and viral component that I saw.

I kept going for two reasons: 

  1. I didn't really care - I thought the idea was cool. And I'm in college, so I don't need to support myself. I'd enjoy making and growing something that people use. Even if I loose money. 
  2. As Paul Buchheit says: “If someone says: That's impossible.
    You should understand it as: According to my very limited experience and narrow understanding of reality, that's very unlikely” 

    Or, as my father says: "nobody knows anything."
    -Or, in other words, I still though there was a shot of this thing as a business. 

So I keep working on the project. A budy hears about the idea and loves it. We start building together. Other friends/mentors/etc ask what I'm working on. Having been lectured at about how stupid the idea is (several dozen times now)...  I tell friends/mentors/etc them the same idea, but tell them that its "a project - not for money. Just something fun to learn from." 

They all explain to me how "This isn't just a project! It could be a great business - could actually be profitable. And would have a lot of value to big companies linkedin/google/yahoo/whatever."

They don't just tell me, or suggest something I've overlooked. They lecture me. How could I not have seen that this is a business?! I'm a fool. 

Like I said, I appreciate feedback... but this is just bizarre. 

For the record: 

A project is: "an individual or collaborative enterprise that is carefully planned and designed to achieve a particular aim."

A buisness is a project with the particular aim of making money. 

But what is better to aim for? Money? Solving a problem? Other? 

And... Is what I'm working on a business or a project? Does it matter if I'm not raising money? Why do people love correcting me? Am I overly sensitive? 

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