A Standing Offer

In the 2000 movie High Fidelity, there’s a scene where Barry (Jack Black) receives a response for a poster he’s put up in the store. The poster is a wanted ad looking for “hip young gunslingers”; a guitarist who is “into” four particular bands. Although the scene isn’t foreshadowed, we come to understand that the poster has been up for a very long time, and that this is the first response Barry’s had for it.

It is in that spirit that I write this post; it is my own standing offer looking for the right partner.

After three years of working as a solo web developer, I’ve come to realize that I will never achieve greatness alone. I’m certainly getting by, to be sure, but I now understand that true success can only come with the contribution of a complementary skill set.

I’m a big fan of the podcasts done by Dan Benjamin. His show, The Pipeline, is my favourite, wherein he interviews fascinating, successful people in the web, Mac and general tech sector. As I listened, these people explained their success as a matter of having the right product, or working hard, or meeting the right people. But what they didn’t dwell on was something they all seemed to have in common: a partner who helped them drive the work forward, who did what they could not, who shared their vision to deliver something worthwhile.

To me the equation is pretty simple: solo developers achieve modestly. Partners can take on the world.

Which is why I am looking for the right partner. Someone who will bring the same enthusiasm as I have to the development of something truly great. And by “something”, I’m referring to developing something for the Mac and/or iPhone.

Let’s start making lists. Here’s what I would bring to a partnership:

  • A bunch of (cheap) ideas
  • Junior-to-intermediate coding experience for Mac and iPhone (I have one app in the App Store)
  • A great deal of web programming experience (PHP/MySQL, Ruby on Rails)
  • Design experience, including award-winning logo design
  • User interface design accreditation
  • A persnickety eye for detail
  • Great knowledge of the indie Mac developer community

And what would you bring? I don’t want to be absolutist about this, but here are some things I have in mind:

  • Intermediate-to-advanced coding experience for Mac/iPhone
  • Energy and optimism
  • A love of technology
  • A desire to make something great
  • A nagging notion that a partner would help realize your dreams

Just as Barry’s gunslinger respondent  had to be “into” some particular bands, you should probably admire these companies:

  1. Panic
  2. OmniGroup
  3. Rogue Amoeba

These are guys who stand for terrific, leading products, developed with care and an eye for detail. That’s what I want to do as well.

As I said at the top, this is a standing offer. I don’t expect the right person to jump out right away. I just want to put the word out. If this isn’t you, take a second to think who it might be, and please forward this along. From time to time, I’ll tweet the link to this post again, and see if anyone’s circumstances have changed.

Who knows? One day, out of the blue, this poster will be torn off the wall and placed in front of me. I’m looking forward to that day.

Want to talk? Email me: aaron AT vegh DOT ca.