The Anti-startup

A little less than a year ago, I called up a new friend, a fellow software developer, and told him I needed to get lunch and discuss an idea with him. He obliged and we met for turkey sandwiches at Herb n’ Twine in our hometown of Cleveland, OH, and I told him I wanted to start a business.

I had no idea what we were going to do, how we would make money, and had zero experience running a company. I have no formal education in business (or any other subject, for that matter). Not one member of my family is an entrepreneur. Until founding decent, I had never been exposed to concepts such as accounting, corporate taxes, contract negotiations, payment terms, business law, employee benefits, payroll, management practices, organizational structure, or conflict resolution. I am a computer programmer. I spend my days (and nights) producing software and scouring the internet for knowledge, in pursuit of mastery of my craft.

One year later, we are a profitable, happy, member-owned, and completely bootstrapped software company. We found a niche designing and implementing blockchain products for customers all over the United States. We fight to keep things as simple as possible, scale through efficiency, and remember to be human beings. Our primary motivation in our work is to help as many people be as successful as possible, using our expertise in software development and decentralized systems. Oh — and we manage to do all of this without set office hours, internal meetings, Agile, Kanban, Gantt charts, project managers, TDD, XDD, any other Religious Best Practice that is the Answer to All Of Our Problems, or investors. We experiment, fail, iterate, succeed, talk openly as human beings, hire people who are excellent and what they do, and give them everything in our power to be successful.

The next few blog posts I write are going to describe the painful, hilarious, and sometimes unbelievable journey that led my partner and I from knowing absolutely nothing about running a business to knowing just enough to get by.

Stay tuned to hear about the first four month’s of decent’s existence, when my business partner has his second baby, we both lost our jobs due to a surprise bankruptcy, and conveniently, we hadn’t figured out how to produce decent’s first dollar.