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.
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.
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?
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?
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?
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.
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.