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41 Comments

How to Run a Ponzi Scheme for Tech People

  1. 49
    1. Look around you for problems people are willing to pay for.
    2. Create something of value.
    3. Have fun while you do it.

    Exactly! So many people out here are creating products for other Indiehackers. STOP.

    I remember joining a Maker community like a year ago. Couldn't last more than a month. The worst echo-chamber of people "starting 12 startups a month" ever. Most of the people in that group were building products for other 👨‍💻Makers🛠️.

    "Hey 👋 I'm a Maker ⚙ that just built 🏠 a directory 📚 where you can find 🔍 other makers in your area!! Oh btw 👀 I have zero value 🤷‍♂️ to offer but the tool 🔧 is built in no-code🚫 please pay 💸 me and upvote 📈 on PH"

    1. 4

      This. You made my day man :)

    2. 4

      I've seen this happen with so many entrepreneur communities. I don't know why.

      1. 1

        This sounds like sampling bias.

        You are more likely to see problems and inefficiencies experienced in communities you are a part of. There's a lot of makers that are more active in maker communities than they are active in other communities, hence they get more product ideas aimed at makers.

    3. 1

      Haha made me laugh. The emoji dump is spot on. I've seen many of those Pieter Levels copycats. :D

    4. 1

      The funniest thing is people love such announcements and what is worse, they are ready to pay for it :(

  2. 15

    Hahaha I was just reading the article before coming here. It reminded me of so many posters here. Mind you, not ALL of the people of course, but I think it is healthy to call the bullshit to avoid a blind echo-chamber.

  3. 11

    Let's start the #yescode movement already! .o/

    1. 2

      I'm going to start a course on how to create your first yes-code site, all you do is write all the code and the website makes itself! Preorder now for just $999.

  4. 9

    Haha - Well written, and so very true. Also deeply ironic (troubling?) that I saw your post on the IH front page among a sea of "How I made x by doing 'y' and you can do it too by buying/following z"...

    1. 3

      Thank you, and I agree. Even more troubling because I see this as being somewhat recent.

  5. 7

    I'm one of those people. Ask me anything.

    1. 2

      Ahah i hesitated to send you this, because I feel like you were implicitly mentionned there

  6. 5

    Reminds me of 20 year old life coaches with their Youtube series and podcast.
    Live your life, take risks, travel the world, buy my t-shirt.

    I've come to ignore these sensationalist type posts because it's all the same. "Hey i did something awesome, buy my stuff".

    1. 1
      • “Don’t forget to hit like and subscribe”
  7. 4

    this was hilarious

  8. 2

    Priceless, laughed my a** off!!!

  9. 2

    This is pretty awesome. I feel like trying out some of your ideas for real lol.

  10. 2

    Great article and great product (formcrafts.com).

    I personally spent $30 on pre-ordering some info content, but the founder (who I won't call out here) didn't even release the content when he said he would. I still haven't received that content and the money is gone. That's when I realized you have to be careful with some of the "stuff" that is being offered here.

    I also created an IH suggestion: The ability to hide a user's future content.

    1. 1

      Thanks, and yes. I like the suggestion.

  11. 2

    😂 😂 😂 😂 😂

  12. 2

    haha great read

  13. 1

    This was classic and oh so true. Well done.

  14. 1

    That is so true :)

  15. 1

    This is so true. A lot of products I see are essentially devs selling their lifestyle or some dev tool they made to help other devs get big. It's like the old model of "Sell shovels during a gold rush". Don't worry about digging for gold, just make money off those trying!

  16. 1

    OMG this is so on point 😂

  17. 1

    ""This is not a Gumroad-specific problem, but the best way to make money online is to teach people how to make money online. And this is something I’ve thought about a lot because my book does approach the line. On the one hand, it does teach an exact skill, not a meta skill: this is how you sit down and you turn knowing how to code into other people knowing how to code. But a good portion of the book is dedicated to the art of monetizing that afterwards. I felt comfortable publishing something like this because it was about a real skill. That’s not to say there isn’t value to this meta material.

    At the same time, that’s another reason I go for transparency in my metrics and why I make all these blog posts.

    First and foremost I’m a software developer. Then, there’s second level of abstraction: I write articles for clients about how to code. Then there’s a third level of abstraction: I have a book about how to do the second thing, which teaches people how to do the first thing. And then these blog posts are a fourth level of abstraction: it’s about how to do the third thing, that teaches you how to do the second thing, which teaches you how to do the first thing. And it can be really attractive to just keep piling on top of those.

    Someone has to be at the top of all this, but it’s important as I do this stuff, and I think about what my second book is going to be, or what my next projects are, that I don’t just keep building up abstractions. It’s important that I stay focused on what happens in my daily work as a software engineer: what clients and readers are looking for every day when they’re trying to learn new things; what fundamental skills programmers need to know. It’s important to keep that as the focus of my work rather than chasing any kind of meta-content for its own sake. ""

    From https://gumroad.com/gumroad/p/creator-spotlight-philip-kiely-s-success-on-gumroad

    1. 6

      You acknowledge the problem but also dismiss some responsibility by calling it a skill. Yes, it is a skill, but is it a good one?

      Here's the difference. When you write a course teaching someone a technical skill they would most likely use that skill in other industries and bring about efficiency - which in turn creates value.

      When you make money by teaching people how to make money - you create a self-contained bubble where no value is created. New people enter the bubble with their savings hoping to have some fun, but have to pay an admission fees to the original sellers.

      It is a good way to make money, but at what ethical cost?

      but the best way to make money online is to teach people how to make money online

      That is not true.

      1. 4

        I have absolutely no ethical qualms about what I do. Instead, I'm proud of it. Maybe the proudest I have ever been. I show my kids what I'm doing with pride, and I hope they get to feel the same way when they grow up and do their own things.

        The ethics of business is about who holds the risk and how that risk gets transferred. If strangers are voluntarily giving you their hard earned money and never regretting it, you’re helping. Both yourself and others. It’s marvelous!

        1. 1

          Yeah exactly, not sure why ethics comes into this, people are free to spend their money how they wish. Unless it's some addiction like gambling, there wouldn't need to be a worry about ethics of just selling your product.

  18. 1

    too accurate with all the communities for people building communities

    also don't forget straight up venture capital - I created ponzi.vc

  19. 1

    I feel like this is basically how instagram influencers work, it's all fake!

  20. 1

    This is hillarious.

  21. 1

    No-code part couldn't be any more correct. :)

    All no-code concept came out as a supplement to the development process and yet people treat it like a substitute for whatever reason. :)

  22. 1

    I read this and instantly thought of some people I know.

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