I don't really care about growing something as a startup. I don't need to revolutionize anything. I just want to make someone's day better through software. I want to launch a cool product that people find fun, silly, useful, critical to their process, whatever you want, and NOT be beholden to interests of anyone who isn't involved in the daily operations of whatever product that is.
I just want to build something, and make it better every day. Something that I own, that I can change however I want, whenever I want. I shouldn't have felt like I needed a16z to invest in my company to believe that my product is worth something.
Because while that area north of Silicon Valley is busy
disrupting everything, it still hasn’t caught up with the
basic disruption of geography.
I agree though, remote work only works if your company is full on remote (culture, comms, hr, etc).
You might also check https://weworkremotely.com/ (full disclosure, company I work for runs the site).
But I'm much happier now that I've stopped doing that, and am focusing on just doing a great job at my day job, and relaxing in the evenings with my wife and children. Yes, we still have loads of debt, and we don't all fit in our Pacifica. But there's no rush to solve those, they will come in time. And even once they're solved, there will always be other little problems that need to be solved. There's no end to that until I'm dead.
And frankly, I'm doing a better job at work now than I ever did before, now that I can focus all my mind on it without trying to brainstorm up the next big thing in the background all the time.
In fact, this article isn't even particularly unusual. I feel like we see more articles warning you that startups aren't heaven on Earth than articles explaining that you should try them. I think it's more like HN is a place that considers them a viable option, and that makes it pretty far out in the grand scheme of things because mainstream $X doesn't, for most values of $X.
I think "HN is full of people encouraging you to roll all the dice on startups!" is more about what people think "should" be true than what is actually true.
This isn't exactly an HN love story, but it's working out well for us so far, and we're learning a lot. I can't say I regret it, and at the moment I know that I would regret if I had gone after funding of some sort. Right now it's just me and the customer, working out who needs what. Third legs need not apply.
There are tons of sane businesses being sold on there that you can buy up and grow. At the very least, you'll see what actually makes money.
You don't need to buy something from there -- you can simply use the site to find niches where people actually make money.
Making money online can be done. Example: I started a Minecraft server early on, sold in-game benefits, and now make $5-15K (depending on season) per month. A friend of mine makes way more. Here are the stats he sent me recently: https://i.gyazo.com/81718cef2295bbf4df8a6d9892d140c1.png
One of DHH's bits of advice is to find a niche and focus on profiting enough to support yourself. The internet is the best place to do that.
Plenty of "successful" businesses use other means besides added value to extract rents from customers.
Robert Reich has recently written very eloquently and convincingly about how multi-national corps are using all sorts non-value producing economics to increase bottom lines at our expenses.
For example, Americans pay more for pharmaceuticals than do the citizens of any other developed nation.
That’s partly because it’s perfectly legal in the U.S. (but not in most other nations) for the makers of branded drugs to pay the makers of generic drugs to delay introducing cheaper unbranded equivalents, after patents on the brands have expired.
This costs you and me an estimated $3.5 billion a year – a hidden upward redistribution of our incomes to Pfizer, Merck, and other big proprietary drug companies, their executives, and major shareholders.
The light bulb, steam engine, radio communication, internet kind of value.
There's also idlewords, the people behind multiple podcasts (eg. Startup Success & Startups For the Rest of Us), and various well received one-person "Show HN"s.
There's plenty of idol adoration and boasting, but I've always felt an alternative was in plain sight if you didn't fit with the "VCistan".