Well, so I share my experience for those who came to this post thinking the same thing as I did. An obvious statement is that 1-man startup is not a 1-man's work. I outsourced design and engineering (code to developers, infrastructure to Microsoft Azure). Mostly I am responsible for customer development, product management and growth marketing.
My to-do list is long, dynamic and diversified. It is not that hard to keep changing hats, but it is extreme hard to know when to and to which hat change. What is my priority? I have no idea. Talk to early adopters, fix some spceficic bugs, A/B tests on design, handle twitter account, learn how to code, better develop my vision, the product roadmap, etc.
One thing I learned is that complete development outsourcing is a mistake. It is expensive and hard to manage. I wish I had the freelance-as-a-test-to-co-founder approach much sooner.
Other lesson (opinion) is that the "learn to code" advice is prioritary to "don't be a 1-man team".
I would love to read more advice out there on how to be a better 1-man startup. Don't bother telling me the best option is not to be.
But if they really know how to make one, they would do just that. Last time I checked, making a successful company is way more profitable then investing other people's money in one.
no shortcuts: the servers are built from parts to exact specs for the software (no S3!); a clustered file system (that stores files using filename + user + date/time.. so complete file history); webdav server.. the website is powered by my own engine.
Just launched 3 weeks ago.
It started as hobby when i quit my job couple of years back and wanted to travel the world & blog about it. I set out wanting to become a travel photographer but instead i found myself spending more time on the site, learning on the go and hacking it together bit by bit (this the first & only website i've ever built).
Now it has come to a point where i believe i could turn it into a viable startup. But the transition from a 1-man hobby/startup to a proper business seems to be quite a daunting prospect, especially since i hail from an environment with little or no startup culture.
I would love to get a list of 1-man-startup/companies and their experiences, but chances are that these guys are way too too busy to blog about it.
Not my first startup. I have come to have up to 10 employees and truly being a 1-man-startup I feel more fulfilled.