I saw the title Will Single Founders Please Stand Up and got a bit inspired. Substantive comment continues below the song. With apologies to Eminem, Weird Al, and fans of quality music everywhere:
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Won’t The Solo Founders Please Stand Up?
May I have your attention please? May I have your attention please? Will all you solo founders please stand up. I say again, will all you solo founders please stand up. We're gonna have a problem here. Y'all act like you've never heard a solo founder before Jaws all on the floor, slower than the App Store Can't approve a new idea in a year or four Like it takes a team of a million monkeys To make a web 2.0 app. Oh, sorry -- did I just imply your Twitter client was easy? But Paul Graham said... (spoken) Well, yeah, but he said "Use Lisp", too. So that's two things he's wrong on. Sorry Paul. Back in character. Customers love solos. Ca-ching! Matz, heard of him? His left pec once wrote an interpreter while sleeping. What do you mean you can't market an app In your spare time. Yeah, we've probably got a couple cycles in our threads loose Banging out code in darkened bedrooms Sometimes want to log on WoW and let loose But its the business that brings the phat loots. "You've got to quit your job. You've got to quit your job." And if you're lucky get some funding you SOB. And that's the message we send to part-time slobs. And expect them to keep banging on MS Bob. Of course they're gonna blog six days a week for fun. But that ain't real marketing. Engineers can't market, can they? "We're just code monkeys." Well some of us apes Can write Java and copy. Why you gape? And if we can grok code, AdWords, and email Then there's no reason we can't do software retail. EWW! Oh wait, seventy percent margins ain't fail. So you solos out there, Put your hands in the air! Chorus: I'm a solo founder, yes, I'm a solo founder, All you VCs can go eat clam chowder. So won't the solo founders please stand up, please stand up, please stand up. Repeats. DHH got to cuss in his keynotes to get attention, Well I don't, but I guess it works for him (By the way thanks for Rails.) Half of you Redditors don't buy software, "But if I don't, who does?" About half the population. 300 million in the nation. Try selling to women -- you'll be swimmin' in it. Sometimes a profit beats an exit. Shoot, I help your kid's teacher play bingo If that don't prove there's a niche for everyone I don't know when you gonna believe. "Yeah, that's real cutting edge, hehe." Yeah some of us ain't downloading MP3s. My customers can't even spell PHP. So what? Their money's green as your ping stats Better your wallet than your disk FAT. And there's a million of us just like me Who code like me, who sell stuff just like me, Who write like me, blog, talk, and act like me, It ain't the next best thing, the real deal's me! Chorus. I'm like a lecture to listen to, cause I'm only giving you, Things to joke about on IRC in your chatroom. The only difference is I've got a mailing list. With 2,000 people paying to be on it. It's called "Customers" -- what a concept. I'm not the only one on the forum yakking About making apps, the overflow's stacking, And I'm building stuff but it ain't rocket science, Every single one of y'all could try it. You could be working at Burger King, Laying out the router rings, Or in the cubicle banging, Screaming "That ain't null!" With your collar down and your temper up, So won't you single founders please stand up And put three fingers on your hand up? And be proud to be out of your mind and in control. And one more time, Loud as you can, How does it go? Chorus x2 Haha, Guess there's a single founder in all of us. Let's all stand up.
OK, now that my burning urge to karaoke is out of the way: there are a lot of business models out there, and many of them can work. You can probably even make money with a Twitter client written in Lisp. I wouldn’t want to have to do it but, then again, I don’t have to, just like you don’t have to wake up in the morning and help little old ladies get their bingo cards in large print. And that’s perfectly fine.
If it wasn’t totally obvious, tongue was planted firmly in cheek while writing the above, and when given the choice between saying what I really think and making lame attempts at humor, the humor may have won out. For example, you might on listening be under the impression I have not quit my day job, which is not accurate as of last Monday. (I’m still kind of in shock — and still have work to go to in the morning. See you on a more permanent basis in a few months.)
I don’t claim to be anything particularly special as a businessman and, as you can see, I have few musical skills to speak of. But if you can’t laugh at yourself then who can you laugh at?
The above song and lyrics are copyright Patrick McKenzie 2010 and released under the Creative Commons By Attribution license. Go nuts. It was recorded with assistance from Audacity.