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Search - "easy sell"
Hi everyone, long time no see.
Today I want to tell you a story about Linux, and its acceptance on the desktop.
Long ago I found myself a girlfriend, a wonderful woman who is an engineer too but who couldn't be further from CS. For those in the know, she absolutely despises architects. She doesn't know the size units of computers, i.e. the multiples of the byte. Breaks cables on the regular, and so on. For all intents and purposes, she's a user. She has written some code for a college project before, but she is by no means a developer.
She has seen me using Linux quite passionately for the last year or so, and a few weeks ago she got so fed up with how Windows refused to work on both her computers (on one of them literally failing to run exe's, go figure), that she allowed me to reinstall both systems, with one of them being dualbooted Windows 10 + Linux.
The computer that runs Linux is not one she uses very often, but for gaming (The Sims) it's her platform to go. On it I installed Debian KDE, for the following reasons:
- It had to be stable as I didn't want another box to maintain.
- It had to be pretty OOTB, as first impressions are crucial.
- It had to be easy to use, given her skill level.
- It had to have a GUI abstraction to apt, the KDE team built Discover which looks gorgeous.
She had the following things to say about Linux, when she went to download The Sims from a torrent (I installed qBittorrent for her iirc).
"Linux is better, there's no need to download anything"
"Still figuring things out, but I'm liking it"
"I'm scared of using Windows again, it's so laggy"
"Linux works fine, I'm becoming a Linux user"
Which you can imagine, it filled me with pride. We've done it boys. We've built a superior system that even regular users can use, if the system is set up to be user-friendly.
There are a few gripes I still have, and pitfalls I want to address. There's still too many options, users can drown in the sheer amount of distro's to choose from. For us that's extremely important but they need to have a guide there. However, don't do remote administration for them! That's even worse than Microsoft's tracking! Whenever you install Linux on someone else's computer, don't be all about efficiency, they are coming from Windows and just want it to be easy to use. I use Mate myself, but it is not the thing I would recommend to others. In other words, put your own preferences aside in favor of objective usability. You're trying to sell people on a product, not to impose your own point of view. Dualboot with Windows is fine, gaming still sucks on Linux for the most part. Lots of people don't have their games on Steam. CAD software and such is still nonexistent (OpenSCAD is very interesting but don't tell me it's user-friendly). People are familiar with Windows. If you were to be swimming for the first time in the deep water, would you go without aids? I don't think so.
So, Linux can be shown and be actually usable by regular people. Just pitch it in the right way.11
I don't care about market cap. Stick your hype-driven business practices up your ass. Infinite growth doesn't exist. I won't read your fucking books and attend your fucking bootcamps and MBAs. You don't have a business model. Selling data is not a business model. Fuck your quick-flip venture capital schemes, and especially fuck your “ethics”.
I will be the first alt-tech CEO. I only care about revenue. The real money, not capitalization bubble vaporware. You don't need a huge fleet of engineers if you're smart about your technology, know how to do architecture, and you're not a feature creep. You don't need venture capital if you don't need a huge fleet of engineers. You don't need to sell data if you don't need venture capital. See? See the pattern here?
My experience allows me to build products on entirely my own. I am fully aware of the limitations of being alone, and they only inspire lean thinking and great architectural decisions. If you know throwing capacity at a problem is not an option, you start thinking differently. And if you don't need to hire anyone, it is very easy to turn a profit and make it sustainable.
If you don't follow the path of tech vaporware, you won't have the problems of tech vaporware, namely distrust of your user base, shitty updates that break everything, and of course “oops, they raised capital, time to leave before things go south”.
A friend of mine went the path I'm talking about, developed a product over the course of four years all alone, reached $10k MRR and sold for $0.8M. But I won't sell. I only care about revenue. If I get to $10k MRR, I will most likely stop doing new features and focus on fixing all the bugs there are and improving performance. This and security patches. Maybe an occasional facelift. That's it. Some products are valued because they don't change, like Sublime Text. The utility tool you can rely on. This is my scheme, this is what I want to do in life. A best-kept secret.
Imagine 100 million users that hate my product but use it because there are no alternatives, 100 people in data enrichment department alone, a billion dollars of evaluation (without being profitable), 10 million twitter followers, and ten VC firms telling me what to do and what data to sell.
Fuck that. I'd rather have one thousand loyal customers and $10k MRR. I'm different, some call it a mental illness, but the bottom line is, my goals are beyond their understanding. They call me crazy. I won't say it was never about the money, of course it was, but inflating your evaluation is not “money”. But the only thing they have is their terrible hustle culture lives and some VC street wisdom, meanwhile I HAVE products, it is on record on my PH. I have POTDs, I have a fucking Golden Kitty nomination on health and fitness for a product I made in one day. Fuck you.6