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If Patrick is genuinely having fun, he may be tragic like a fox.

As soon as people are giving you money in exchange for your time and services, you're obliged to do a bunch of things you may not care about. Your time has been bought.

I don't know Patrick, but if you can go from working for the man 70 hours a week to doing your own thing entirely, that strikes me as quite an upgrade. Assuming cost of living is taken care of, that's a huge win. Your time is your own.

I admire Patrick's humble approach and I can't presume to know how his income tradeoffs affect his happiness.

Still, in my hypothetical I'd take paying the bills on my own to living large while in the service of clients that are less than fun. The case for Patrick's talent is well stated, though – I should think his skill would let him be selective with his clients if he chose.

Talking about someone I don't know but whose comments I like is so weird. Especially the income thing. Okay. I'm done now.




> I should think his skill would let him be selective with his clients if he chose.

I would assume he gets multiple job offers every month and he may even honor one or two, so he is already selective, otherwise he'd be employed at a large figure instead of pushing forward on his own agenda.

His major asset at this point in time is his reputation, which he has been very careful to build up, if he wanted to take the 'easy money' route out I'm sure he'd be clever enough to do so.

The fact that he doesn't and that he's a smart fellow to me says that there will be lots more to come, but on Patricks time-table and nobody else's.

Incidentally, I did a poll earlier today about the possible downsides of openness I never saw a post like this one coming, all this is possible because Patrick chose to be frank with the world instead of miserly with the information about his business. No good deed goes unpunished.


His major asset at this point in time is his reputation

Agree completely. Reading the article, I couldn't help but imagine how Patrick would be perceived if he followed the OP's well-intentioned advice.

IMO, his humble persona, generosity/openness and consistent work ethic have made him the popular and approachable figure that he is today. It wouldn't be surprising if much of Patrick's inspiration came from Balsamiq's Peldi.


Hi Joel, thanks so much for the flattering words, but it's the other way around. Patrick has been a huge inspiration for me for a long time now! :)


>No good deed goes unpunished.

It's true, yet this ends up pointing to the old trope about there being no such thing as bad press. Uncomfortable or no, you can't ask for better visibility than a story like this.


If it were me I could have done without it.


Why? I can't think of any ill that can come from this, beyond a bit of discomfort, and I can see plenty of upside.

Being public means public conversation. It's not always fun but it's a cost of doing business.

I'm reminded of a conversation I had the other day with a friend. This guy is very senior and has been around the bay for 25 years. His kids went to school with Steve Jobs' kids.

At a graduation, my friend observed all these people coming up to Steve Jobs, introducing themselves, and otherwise being a nuisance during a family event. Jobs' body language clearly communicated how little he enjoyed this.

This is a cost of doing business.

The other side of it is that Apple gets millions of dollars of free press attention every single year, thanks to this one guy's personality and visibility. Their buzz is tremendous every single time they launch a product. Jobs pays the price of this.

Clearly a more extreme example, but this is what comes of successful visibility. Some of it is great.

Some of it is posts like this.

But it points to one thing: patio11 is doing it right.


I've had a period where my business was very much in the spotlight here in NL, cover of 'Quote', big newspaper articles and so on.

That was all good as long as it was positive. But then I got the other side of the equation, the cranks and the attacks. I could have definitely done without those, as well as all the armchair generals telling you how to run your business for you.

The problem is that this is an extreme version of damning with praise, and it portrays Patrick as a smart guy that should not be near a business decision because 'he obviously can't do it'. It totally misses the point that Patrick has his own timetable, that he spent a metric ton of effort on getting out of situations where others determine his timetable and he's only just begun.

Stupid posts like these can damage your reputation, no doubt about it and if I were Patrick I would completely ignore the whole thing to stay above it.

It's not worthy of a reply by him, that would do it too much justice. I also think that you should not attack someone in such a veiled way to increase your own stature, because by implication the author tells you he knows better and so places himself above Patrick in his business abilities. That may very well be true, but I see no proof of that.

It's not like Steve Jobs wrote that piece.


Hmm, thank you Jacques, I had not considered that angle. I can see how galling that is now.

I'm generally of the position that I don't care that much when people are wrong about me. At the same time, it wouldn't feel good to have someone hijacking my visibility to raise their own agenda, which I see now could be how this is going.


That's more or less how I felt about it as well.

Take a guy who's well respected in the community, dish out praise and criticism, establish yourself as the authority figure and pull traffic based off his good name. He certainly has the self-aggrandizing part down...


I think the big assumption (that is incorrect) is that his Bingo Card software is the only income for Patrick.

There is no reason you can't balance the "fun" work with other work that would brings in capital to continue building your vision. I'm doing that with my company. I'm building something that could be massive but right now I'm doing lots of web design projects to pay for the next business.

I also disagree that his Appointment Reminder software will be a small success. Patrick's bingo software is naturally a smaller venture. The market isn't gigantic. His Appointment Reminder software has a much larger market. If the average client pays $79/month, it would take ~1100 clients for him to be making a million a year. With his market, word of mouth will likely play a big role. I wouldn't be surprised if he had 1000+ clients at the end of 2 years.


Not only that, but he'll have inroads into law, accounting, and other professional markets that pay big. There's almost no limit to how big he can get, and he has the skills to do it, if he chooses.


If you do business (by any means), 99% of the time you need to do stuff you don't like. I don't think he loves spending 1 hour to explain a teacher something step by step. Or write documentation for end users and millions of other small non-techy, non-fun stuff.

If you make money either from you own business or someone else's you have to do not-so-fun stuff all the time. That's the reality. Amount of not-so-fun stuff can change massively though.

You either slave of your boss or of your own customers :)




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