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Where do we go from here, but nowhere?

I really like working with others, but it is really hard. I don't mind working really hard, and I don't mind doing new things, and learning new things. In fact - this is the main reason I'm still a one-man development shop. Working with others on the other hand, is hard in a different way - hard as in "impossible".

Collaborations, that I have come a cross this far, has always been of the type: "Do all the work, take all the risk - and let's split the profits!". This is of-course not an option, why would anybody accept that? Why don't these people understand how insulting a suggestion like that is?

The alternative is that they pay me for working, the regular consulting setup. This is fair and also usually a lot of fun (I did this a lot in the past). Only upsides - you get paid even if the product fails, you still choose what to work on (if you have the guts to say no to money), and everybody is happy. The only problem is that this is fairly close to having a regular job. If you still can't create something beautiful for yourself (and need to fight with taxes and everything that comes along with having a company), why not just have a regular job that you can come home from? The stress of being indie is tremendous and only freedom can make up for it.

Another option is that I pay you to work for me, like a regular employee. Then you need to bring something to the table that not only pays your salary, but also makes it more fun than being alone. Think about the stress of being responsible for another person, what if you need to fire your only employee? Perhaps you are better than me and can teach me something, and/or you are that type of person that I need to keep up with instead of the other way around. If you are a person like that, then you already have your own company and doing your own thing, and don't need or want to be my employee. There are of-course a lot of great people that would be awesome to have as employees - that can't run a whole business by their own. Perhaps they are very specialized, like graphic designers, but unless you can employ several at the same time, it just won't be a good fit. And in the end it comes down to what you really want to be doing, creating or telling adults what to do?

The equation seems unsolvable. Perhaps it is already solved - by working alone but playing with others.


Hello! How nice of you stopping by! ❤️

My name is Olof Thorén, I am an indie developer from Stockholm, Sweden.

I really enjoy creating stuff, and that is the reason why I am doing this. I started working full-time on building apps in 2009.

At the moment my main focus is Feeds, a glorified news and RSS-reader that keeps track of the web for you. I also build Qiozk Solo, white-label magazine apps for (mainly Swedish) publishers. I have published ~75 Solo-apps though most of them are not active today. Aggressive Development has published 15 apps under its own name and many more for other companies.

Please feel free to say hello on twitter @olof_t or email olof@aggressive.se. Don't hesitate to send me comments or feedback on anything I write.