Jason J. Gullickson

Jason J. Gullickson

Artisanal Software

Inspired by the story of Pinboard , I'm once again entertaining the idea of making a living off of my own artisanal software (or hardware, or both).

Of course the first project that comes to mind is this very one, but [ another article ](https://blog.dropbox.com/topics/work-culture/passion-economy-kevin- kelly) I read recently has me considering something on the opposite end of the spectrum.

Preposter.us , as a business feels a lot like what I've come to learn about Pinboard. It was built to meet a very personal need and to fill a void left by another product that vaporized for reasons beyond my control. Aside from needing some initial tuning-up, it's very low- maintenance and doesn't require constant attention to keep it running (in other words, it would be easy to run as a side hustle). While it's unclear as to how big the audience for Preposter.us might be, I would have underestimated the audience for Pinboard (based on the numbers published by its developer ). Given that I'm not sure how worthwhile it would be for me to estimate Preposter.us's potential customer base, but with a reasonable subscription price it wouldn't need to be much more than a tiny fraction of the users on Internet to comfortably support myself working on it full-time.

That's as far as I want to dive into "preposter.us as a business" in this post (I'll save that for later if I decide to go any further than this)

At the other end of the spectrum are idea for things that do not exist yet. Some are new forms or combinations of existing ideas, others are things that I've never heard of before. These don't fit so nicely into the one-programmer company model (especially when that one programmer has to hold down a full- time job until the new company takes off). On the other hand, as the article states (and my own experience can attest to), it can be easier (and honestly more fun) to do something new because you get to define what it is and you're really only competing with yourself.

This is far from the first time I've thought about this (there are countless examples of these ruminations on this very blog!), and I can't say definitively why I've never went much further than thinking about it, so I don't expect much more to happen this time either.

That said, something feels different this time. I'm not sure if it has anything to do with the ideas themselves, or if simply the pursuit, the possibility, is feeding a need that has been created by outside or indirect forces.

- Jason