Erynn Brook
@ErynnBrook 1 year, 11 months ago 1895 views

For a while I worked in the maker space at the university library and one my favorite things to do was troll “business bro” students.

They’d come in and look around, and you can always tell it’s them cause they wear blazers all the dam time. I’d watch them look around and finally ask if they needed help.

“Oh maybe, I don’t know if you can help me. I’m looking for... *hushed voice* ... a coder.”
“Oh yeah?” I’d murmur, matching their tone and seriousness. “We do coding tutorials, no worries, everyone starts somewhere, here let me pull up the tutor schedule...”

“Heh, no, no. I’m looking for a serious coder... for a business project.” They’d answer, suddenly puffing up.
“Ahh.” I’d nod solemnly. “Well, what kind of coder? I may have one in the back.”

“A good one.” They’d day, usually pulling up a chair.

“Yes but, what coding language?”

“Oh well I don’t know, that’s up to them.” They’d wave dismissively with one hand.
I’d nod again, pretending to take notes. “A good coder. I see. Well it depends on what you need...”

“It’s an APP!” (It’s always an app)

Sometimes I’d let them launch into their pitch, sometimes I’d cut them off.

Either way I’d say: “I see, and the salary you’re offering?”
This always got blank stares.

“What? No this is like a start-up thing.”

I’d nod, still pretending to take notes. “I see, so you’re offering 50% of the company.”

They’d shake their heads and go “What? No. I mean we’ll see if it makes money, but this is a great idea!”
Me: “So you are providing the idea and you want a coder to build it all, trouble shoot, test, maintain, and you’re doing... what exactly?”

Business Bro: “I’ll be handling the business side of things.”

Me: “That’s great. So, what salary are you offering again?”
Business Bro: “look this is a really exciting idea and I need a great coder to work on it and help bring it to life.”

Me: *scratching stuff out on my fake notes* “Hold on, you said you needed a good coder when you came in. Now you need a great coder?”
Business Bro: “I’ve got an idea for an app and I need someone to build it. It’s gonna be great.”

Me: “That’s awesome, starting salary for a senior app developer is 80k plus benefits.”

BB: “What?”

Me: “I mean, it’s a very in-demand skill set.”
Business Bro: “I don’t have that kind of money, but this idea is a million dollar idea if I can get someone to build it. I just need to put my ideas together with a coding genius to make it happen.”

Me: *putting down fake notes* “coding genius...?”
Me: *staring hard at business bro* So let me get this straight. You have an idea for an app that you’re convinced will be successful but you need someone else to build it. So you’re bringing the idea.

BB: exactly!

Me: what makes you think coders don’t have their own ideas?
Business Bro: *silence*

Me: so I’ve got an opening on Wednesday at 2pm with our JavaScript tutor, I recommend starting there. Unless you’ve never played around with HTML/CSS?

BB:

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What are some things you should *NOT* do as an indie hacker?

I was recently on @ProductHunt Radio (
https://t.co/IuSMrZTaYG) where @Abadesi asked me this question about all sorts of challenges that founders face.

Here are a few of my thoughts…

@Abadesi Don't blindly follow advice without considering the context in which the advice was given (from who, to who, when, for what) and adapting it to fit your personal situation.

E.g. advice that works for a high-growth VC-funded startup might be disastrous to your indie business.

@Abadesi (This applies to any and all advice in life, btw, not just advice for how to start and run a company. It's almost never a good time to turn off your brain and blindly follow what others are saying.)

@Abadesi Don't equate being a founder with being an inventor. It's an analogy that can easily go too far.

You'll end up overvaluing and over-protecting your pet ideas. Or worse, you'll never come up with an idea at all, because you'll assume that it needs to be something completely new.

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