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August 28, 2014 8:42 AM   Subscribe

A self-styled 'digital nomad' aims to create 12 startups within 12 months.
posted by mippy (25 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
...why?
posted by NoxAeternum at 8:43 AM on August 28 [2 favorites]


Urgh. 3 of my friends have sold startups in the last year. Not uber-successful things that made the national news or anything, but they all made millions of dollars. Meanwhile I'm doing good, interesting new projects... but for an established company where I have no stake in the profits. It's very frustrating.
posted by miyabo at 8:45 AM on August 28 [1 favorite]


"Minimum Viable Product" sure seems like a clever synonym to half-baked.

Startups are such bullshit.
posted by mcstayinskool at 8:46 AM on August 28 [6 favorites]


Sham creativity for a casino economy.
posted by mondo dentro at 9:00 AM on August 28 [9 favorites]


The point of a minimum viable product is so that you can get people using your product sooner, so they can give you feedback about what they want sooner, and you can incorporate that feedback into something that addresses their needs. Of course, if you prefer, you could waste a ton of time making something complex that doesn't really address people's needs.
posted by Jpfed at 9:06 AM on August 28 [13 favorites]


I don't think I want to play along with confusing "people's needs" with "what people will addictively use so that advertisers will get a stiffy". But otherwise, point taken.
posted by mondo dentro at 9:11 AM on August 28 [2 favorites]


The criticisms expressed in the article would seem more valid if the rest of us living digital sedentist lifestyles back in the more-developed world were not also taking advantage of cheap labor and currency discrepancies at much higher levels of consumption than this guy is.

Startups are bullshit, yeah, but a startup of one self-employed person is a considerably less exploitative way to trade in bullshit than most other startups. Not to mention that most of the rest of the ways of employing oneself involve producing or abetting bullshit.
posted by XMLicious at 9:12 AM on August 28 [3 favorites]


thank god, just as we were about to run out
posted by threeants at 9:20 AM on August 28 [15 favorites]


I am not quite sure what the point of this project is, but it's generating a lot of good user/band names. "Minimum Viable Product" and "sham creativity for a casino economy" for two. "Advertisers will get a stiffy" is probably too long.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:35 AM on August 28


His first startup should be a chair, so he doesn't have to squat in the middle of the parking lot like a lost puppy.
posted by oulipian at 9:36 AM on August 28 [6 favorites]


The criticisms expressed in the article would seem more valid if the rest of us living digital sedentist lifestyles back in the more-developed world were not also taking advantage of cheap labor and currency discrepancies at much higher levels of consumption than this guy is.

The point raised (twice) about him not solving hunger, poverty and global warming also seemed absurd. Everybody raise a hand if they're making a difference on these issues at their job. Even among mefites, I'm going to guess it's less than 1%.
posted by gimli at 9:40 AM on August 28 [6 favorites]


You wouldn't believe the amount of "Services" that are staffed by one or zero people. They're one errant log file from crashing the AWS host they rely on.
posted by odinsdream at 9:43 AM on August 28 [1 favorite]


His first startup should be a chair,

seatr. It will find you a nearby chair. For a fee, since the chair will be occupied by a seatr employee who is micrositting for micropayments in her spare time between microjobs.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:53 AM on August 28 [19 favorites]


"Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance." -- Kurt Vonnegut
posted by DigDoug at 10:26 AM on August 28 [18 favorites]


Digital nomad in a digital hamster wheel
posted by zippy at 10:32 AM on August 28


Of course, if you prefer, you could waste a ton of time making something complex that doesn't really address people's needs.

Or you could just do some user research on the front end.

I'm guessing that doesn't count for much during investor storytime, however.
posted by ryanshepard at 10:44 AM on August 28


That does it. I'm starting a startup that helps startups decide what to startup when they don't know have any idea what to startup even though they want to startup.

First up is Lunchr. It's an augmented reality app that facilitates ordering lunch for individuals or groups with minimum hassle and tells you what you want for lunch based on integrated data mining and embedded monitoring, cross-referenced against what people in the office have had for lunch recently, what their calorie deficit should be and what people can actually eat. If you don't like what it orders you can view your lunch through an AR app on your phone or via Oculus Rift so you can pretend that that bland Subway Sandwich is actually a giant Lunchbox Lab cheeseburger drowning in bacon. Or vice versa. You can also eat bacon wrapped around sticks of butter or blocks of cheese for lunch and it will look like a small, sensible salad.

Next up is Lazr, which schedules a very high quality but bare minimum of lazy, do-nothing time carefully adjusted and calculated to maintain that calorie deficit, which integrates with Lunchr (and, of course, Dinnr and Brkfstr.) It enforces this through a Blutooth enabled shock collar and audio system. If you hold still for too long outside of permitted lazy periods it screams obscenities at you like an overwrought French Foreign Legion drill instructor and administers progressively stronger electric shocks. The permitted periods of downtime are very, very relaxing.

Sexr manages your sex life in a similar way by eliminating it entirely through the use of electrified, vibrating underwear. It's a geo-spatially aware casual dating app that algorithmically matches you to potential sexual partners using biometrics, data-mining from a variety of activity tracking wearables with API integration with existing dating/hookup apps like Grindr, Tinder, FetLife and OkCupid. When a geospatial and psycho-sexual match is found the software efficiently bypasses the awkward act of even introducing the two of you at all, and instead simply instantly stimulates two or more parties to orgasm nearly instantaneously wherever they may be at the time as soon as they are within 100 feet of each other.

Tittr sounds naughty but it's really just a twitter front end that focuses on automatically generating and cataloging salacious gossip about the people you actually meet on the streets. This works best with Google Glass, but an audible app version will also be available.

Tokr is simple and straight-forward. It conveniently reminds you of the last time you got stoned since you forgot even though it was 15 minutes ago, so you don't get too stoned. This gives advertisers stiffies by bombarding you with tailored, targeted fast food ads that integrate with Lunchr and Lazr, creating incredible click-through and purchase rates because the user knows for sure that they can actually eat it.

Stonr works with Tokr by reminding you to smoke more weed at the right times, ensuring that you're actually stoned just enough.

Googler simply googles shit for you even before you knew you wanted to google it. It works by turning on the microphone on all of your devices and recording everything around you, all the time, and feeding it into a sophisticated expert system. By the time you realize you want to google something that someone just said to you that you want to fact check and call them out on, it's pre-loaded in your browser, saving awkward typing while you pretend to be paying attention and manually searching for it.

Thumpr is a micro-flexi-tasking site where you can be paired up with a diverse array of contractors willing to beat the shit out of someone for you for just a few dollars per minute, no questions asked.

Shitr tracks your poop. How much, when, where how often what color it is, what your diet has been and other biometrics. It also has a built in photo mini app that posts pictures of your biggest shits for competitive bragging purposes. This integrates with Wipr, which tracks your ass-wiping completion rates and other metrics. It also integrates well as Lunchr, Dinnr, Lazr for dietary data-mining. It optionally integrates with Sexr by default if that's something you're into, and the optional wearable-trackable can even help you save time and money by forcefully inducing a good shit at optimal moments of downtime, like marketing meetings.

Fuckr simply tells you and people in your contact list to go fuck themselves, based on a proprietary strong AI natural language processing algorithm and wearable/embedded biometric data from third party apps such as blood pressure, heart rate, body core temps and kinematic profiling. Once an event threshold is reached it tells off one or more people who need to be told to go fuck themselves, or go get fucked, or to fuck off as well as other permutations as needed.
posted by loquacious at 10:57 AM on August 28 [29 favorites]


After selling everything and booking a flight to Thailand, "it took him awhile to get any real work done."

File that under Well No Shit, Sherlock. That's all good listicle linkbait, but I also subscribed to his Nomadlist and it helped me decide upon the first city I'll be relocating to in January and you know, focusing on my startup(s).
posted by jsavimbi at 11:07 AM on August 28


One of my friends is bragging about his Founder's Card, which apparently is a special credit card for "entrepreneurs only" which costs $800 a year. I mean, I get that entrepreneurs have to charge a lot of things on their credit card, but doesn't an $800 a year credit card kind of defeat the purpose? And the people I know with one are in no way entrepreneurs -- mostly business people who want to associate with entrepreneurs. Bizarre.
posted by miyabo at 12:33 PM on August 28


Levels sold most of his possessions—everything that couldn’t fit into a single carry-on—and booked a flight to Thailand.

Look, the guy is bad. He's not good or whatever. Bad hairdo. Get some shoes. But he is obviously making an effort to do something with his life, and he is deliberately not doing evil. Even if we just restrict ourselves to the awful terrible Hacker News Y-Combinator Growth Hacker startup death cult world, there are organizations and people who are orders of magnitude more deserving of scorn and ridicule.

I bet he will have fun, at least.
posted by liliillliil at 12:57 PM on August 28 [4 favorites]


One of my friends is bragging about his Founder's Card, which apparently is a special credit card for "entrepreneurs only" which costs $800 a year. I mean, I get that entrepreneurs have to charge a lot of things on their credit card, but doesn't an $800 a year credit card kind of defeat the purpose? And the people I know with one are in no way entrepreneurs -- mostly business people who want to associate with entrepreneurs. Bizarre.

There's the old adage about the real money in any gold rush being made by selling shovels to the clueless masses that keep throwing themselves into the wringer. In the current horrific SV startup culture status and conspicuous consumption are shovels. (NB that one of the "benefits" of having a Founder's Card is "exclusive networking events". And look at their damn web page: a picture of a Maserati, a bar, and a pool, and endorsements from the publications whose bread-and-butter is B-school marks, the WSJ and Esquire).
posted by junco at 1:02 PM on August 28 [1 favorite]


If my experience doing due diligence on early stage start-ups for acquiring parties, his 12 MVPs will result in perhaps .5 actual things that someone might spend more than a trivial amount of money picking up. Even then, it's usually an "aquihire", where they recognize you have talent and can be productive, so they dress up a "hiring bonus" as a "buying your company" and put you to work on whatever they've already decided will make lots of money (not your idea).

You tend not to grasp that reality when you live in the echo chamber of SV start-up culture.
posted by kjs3 at 7:14 PM on August 28 [2 favorites]


Age 10: "Follow your dreams! the sky's the limit!"

Age 20: "Oh, that's the worst haircut I ever saw."
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:33 PM on August 28


Who Is John Galt?
posted by acb at 4:12 AM on August 29


The page loaded. I saw the picture. I thought to myself "He's a Hobbit! ...No. Wait. Definitely Dutch."

Normally those two don't ever intersect, but in this case one of the two turned out to be so immediately correct that I think the other might also be true.
posted by wakannai at 7:03 AM on August 29


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