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Think Small

My focus has shifted. permalink

I am more interested in building a small business built around products with recurring revenue than building the next big thing. Instead of thinking big I now prefer to think small. permalink

I realized that I kind of loathe the hot air required to build a startup. A narrative has to be built and sold around why you and your idea are so damn great. The need to maintain that level of pretense is overwhelming. All of these things are also completely necessary in order to raise money again, again and again. permalink

My need to create overrides all others. For me that means building new ideas and getting them out there. Committing to and focusing on a startup idea with the weight of expectations will occupy 2 to 3 years of your life. Technology changes at a much faster pace than that. I change at a much faster pace than that. permalink

I've been working on this FANS.FM idea for a long time now. Up until 2 months ago I thought this was an idea worth building the pretense around. Maybe this thing would be worth a swing to the fences. permalink

The more I thought about the actual reality of attempting another startup in that way the more depressed I got. There is so much shit to do that I really can't stand. The model would have to be free and ad supported. The idea would inevitably be morphed into something out of my control. Would it be worth it just to get the idea out there in some form? permalink

At that point it hit me: the notion of this idea as a "startup" was holding this idea back. What if I dropped all of the pretense and just built the best thing I could think of? What would the idea look like? permalink

Then I took it a step further: what if I open sourced the codebase? What if I brought users into the development process? permalink

This is not really that radical for me. RadRails (the first Ruby on Rails IDE) is still my biggest credit. It was an open source project that thrived because of our transparent development and personality. RadRails opened up so many doors for me and I learned so much from doing it. Why shouldn't I just embrace that kind of approach now? permalink

My goal now is to build high quality open source services that people actually use.  permalink

DonateYourAccount.com was the first chapter. FANS.FM will be the next. Beyond that I plan on building and releasing the VHS to S3 software so everyone can enjoy their home movies from the cloud on the cheap like mine does. permalink

How will this make me money? It won't for awhile. My first goal getting these ideas to be sustainable software (software that breaks even). My plan for revenue is premium offerings for each of these ideas that give you additional features and service above the free version. permalink

Some people have looked at me sideways when I describe this approach. If they knew how the software world worked and how I worked they too would realize that this really is the way for me. permalink