Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Employees Suck

Sure-fire ways to move toward self-employment, quit your job and live happily ever after.

Video of most of this presentation:

Employees Suck

  1. Employees Suck
  2. This presentation will start shortly. (I promise it won’t suck)
  3. This presentation can be downloaded from:
  4. This presentation is under a Creative Commons by-sa 3.0 license:
  5. I can be reached at:
  6. This speech is entitled:
  7. Employees Suck
  8. managing is no fun
  9. Coordinating talented & motivated people.
  10. Now that’s fun.
  11. firing is no fun
  12. permanent employees are mostly unneeded
  13. changing circumstances demand new skills
  14. instead of retraining employees, get new contractors for your current projects.
  15. but note: virtual cooperation is very difficult
  16. Hollywood does fine without employees
  17. Bosses suck even more
  18. Nobody can work 8h straight
  19. Talented people are 10x more productive
  20. but paid, at most, 3x as much
  21. and normally they’re paid only 20% more
  22. you’re usually paid less than your boss.
  23. why!!?!?!
  24. employee = mostly dumb-work
  25. employee = very few satisfying tasks
  26. why be clever?
  27. why do your best work?
  28. paid by the hour
  29. rather than paid for your contribution
  30. solution: quit & make intellectual “goods”
  31. solution: and sell them for their true value.
  32. “good enough” is rewarded when you’re an employee
  33. “great work” is rewarded when you’re selling the product itself
  34. Do you enjoy your life?
  35. Do you enjoy your work?
  36. Do you want kids?
  37. Do you like learning?
  38. Do you want to get paid for what your work is actually worth?
  39. Steps to self-employment
  40. Think of lots of ideas. Write them down.
  41. Do nothing.
  42. For a while.
  43. 3 months later, are they still good ideas?
  44. Explain your best idea to a friend in a noisy place, while they’re drinking.
  45. Do they have an instant positive reaction?
  46. Next, think about your product.
  47. Make an elevator pitch
  48. Write the first line of your press release
  49. Write the first paragraph of your home page
  50. Make the home page
  51. Hunt for unique names
  52. Figure out how to do the idea really, really cheaply.
  53. So cheaply that you don’t need anybody else’s money.
  54. Show a mockup, then a demo, to people who might buy it.
  55. Launch before you’re ready.
  56. Pitch bloggers.
  57. If nobody cares, maybe your idea sucked.
  58. Start again.
  59. If your idea was good, all other problems are solvable.
  60. Don’t quit your day job.
  61. If your idea starts to take off, slowly lower your day job commitment
  62. don’t quit until your idea is paying more than your day job.
  63. when you run your own company, you will discover:
  64. Salespeople are a bad idea
  65. Fallacy: “our product is great, it’s just not selling because we don’t have any salespeople”
  66. Good products build word of mouth, and sell themselves.
  67. Fallacy: “our product is great, we just need PR and marketing to get the word out”
  68. If the product were great, your early users would blog that fact, and you’d be on your way already.
  69. The secret to getting massive press:
  70. (1) Be really interesting
  71. (II) Convince two influential bloggers that you’re interesting.
  72. P.R. secret for traditional print media
  73. Focus on the freelancers, not staff writers.
  74. Be a cause a freelance writer would personally like.
  75. Staff writers get assignments from their editors.
  76. Freelancers have to pitch stories to an editor to get paid.
  77. A press blitz example.
  78. Magnatune: Creative Commons & Boing Boing -> The Inquirer -> Fark -> Slashdot -> USA today / NPR -> New York Times -> BBC / Le Monde / Die Zeit / Nikkei Times
  79. Magnatune story angles: Fair use & Creative Commons Label embraces Sharing Biz model in Peer to Peer reality Piracy used as a promotion tool Indie musicians abandoning labels Not suing our customers Musicians actually getting paid The big money is in music licensing Major labels are Evil iTunes has it wrong Successful entrepreneur tries again Linux vs Microsoft == Magnatune vs Major Labels
  80. the “elevator pitch”
  81. they say: “download, sample cut-up, share”
  82. I say: “remixing makes better music”
  83. They say: “On Jamendo artists allow anyone to download and share their music. It's free, legal and unlimited.”
  84. I say: “Download tons of music from artists who don’t want to make money”
  85. Magnatune says: “We are not evil” “We work directly with independent musicians world- wide to give you downloads of MP3s and perfect-quality WAV files. We never work with major labels, and our musicians always get 50%.You can listen to every album in its entirety before buying or becoming a member. “
  86. Magnatune says: “We are not evil” blah, blah, blah... blah, blah, blah... blah, blah, blah... blah, blah, blah... blah, blah, blah... blah, blah, blah... blah, blah, blah... blah, blah, blah... blah, blah, blah... blah, blah, blah... blah, blah, blah... blah, blah, blah...
  87. Whoops.
  88. They say: “Give books away, get books you want”
  89. I say: “Give a book away for free, and you can ask someone to send you a book for free”
  90. A good test:
  91. “Will people pay more for this than it costs to create it?”
  92. Some final tips:
  93. is psycho-cheap hosting. for French people only. Ha! Ha!
  94. Use Open Source
  95. Use PHP initially for everything.
  96. Find €3000 for a good independent graphic designer. Make your home page pretty.
  97. Do everything yourself.
  98. If you’re not technical.
  99. Learn to be technical.
  100. PHP is not difficult.
  101. Read tons of books.
  102. Learn: sales, marketing, programming, tech support.
  103. You can’t lead people if you don’t know how to do their job.
  104. Don’t hire. Until you are getting less than 6 hours’ sleep per night.
  105. Only hire for well understood tasks.
  106. Don’t borrow money.
  107. Without debt, your idea can fail and you can try again next week.
  108. Take small steps.
  109. Give yourself 3 years to figure this out.
  110. It will take at least 7 years to get decent at this and to make any real money.
  111. You can do it.
  112. This presentation can be downloaded from: Contact me at: This presentation licensed under Creative Commons by-sa 3.0