Josh Haas's Web Log

Control, ego, creativity, and my new business idea

with 6 comments

In my last post about fear and creativity, I alluded to a startup idea I have. I didn’t spell it out directly. I was afraid. What if someone takes it and does it better than me? What if someone gets there first? I have an intense, overwhelming visceral hunger to hold on and shout “mine!” at the universe. Gotta hold on. Gotta control everything, get all the details right, win.

I’ve been told over and over again that being scared of your idea being stolen is a sign of immaturity in startup-land. That good ideas won’t get stolen, rather they need to be forced down people’s throats. That ideas are value-less and only the execution counts. I believe it, I swear. But my gut doesn’t.

That’s okay though. The same urge that makes me want to hide my idea from the world is the same urge that makes me want to do all the design and programming myself, that makes me afraid of hearing other ideas in the same space in case one of them is better. I’m okay with that urge. It’s just me, being a person and having an ego, trying to scrape a little bit of dirt together and call it my own.

But I’m going to let it go. At the end of the day, the important thing is the voice that wants to create, the part of me that wants to see the world change, that’s frustrated that nothing like what I want already exists, that wants to use it myself and live it in a world where the people I care about can use it. That’s the voice that’s willing to step back and let other people design it and build it and bring it to life as long as something gets created, that would almost be happier in a world where there’s multiple competing products, not just mine, because that’s better for all of us. Even if someone reads this blog post, takes my idea, and brings it to life, and destroys my company because of it, that’s still a win for me. Because it happened, it got created, the world changed a step towards the direction I want it to be.

So, here’s my idea. When someone builds a new web-based application, there’s the design of the application — how it functions, what it looks like, what happens when you click the big button — and then the technology that brings that vision to life. My mission is to give anyone capable of articulating the design, the power to build the technology. WordPress lets people who have an idea for a blog, know what they want to write and know what they want the page to look like, execute that vision without knowing anything about databases, php, or web servers. I want to build wordpress for applications. I want to build a tool that lets people communicate the logic of an application without knowing programming, and hook it up to a design, and hosts it and makes it scalable.

I want this because there are a million people out there who are trying to find and hire people with particular knowledge set, software developers, to build them these applications. I want those people to be empowered to make it happen no matter what the market for programmers looks like (and it looks grim — if you want to hire a programmer, be prepared to pay!) There are companies waiting to be born, games waiting to be built, real-world problems waiting to be solved, and the technology isn’t there. Let’s bridge that gap, and give people the power to make it happen.

I’m going to be recruiting co-founders soon. If you’re interested, drop me a line.

Written by jphaas

December 13th, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

  • MichaelDeathless


    i saw you on altucher.

    have you seen this:

    it only does a small part of what you seem to be talking about but you might be interested.

    good luck,

    • Josh Haas

      Thanks for the pointer. I played with Pipes a couple years ago, haven’t looked at it recently. I should check it out again to see if they’ve made any progress with it. Yes, it’s definitely in the same space as what I’m interested in.

    • Josh Haas

      Saw your website and I’m listening to effortless… I really like it! This is your first album?

      • MichaelDeathless

        yeah it is, thanks. i used to do audio engineering in nyc years ago – mostly rap.

        you mention that the rates for programmers are high in nyc. what are consultants getting there? is the market good if you are looking for gigs? i also do web development – sql server,, c#, some php, mysql and other things. thanks. good luck with your project.

        • Josh Haas

          The market is very good if you’re looking for gigs. php, css, javascript especially. Not as confident about .NET / sql server: I’m sure people are hiring fulltime for it, but I’m not as sure about freelance. I don’t have a close sense of rates but $100/hr is definitely realistic if you’re talented. When the question “hey, I know a guy who’s looking for a good php developer” comes up over drinks, people just groan and shake their heads: all the really good guys have more work than they can handle.

          • MichaelDeathless

            Hi Josh,

            I’ve read some of your postings and I gotta say that I like a lot of it. Especially when you are optimistic/psyched/grateful for technology and the times we live in.

            Also the reference to The War of Art is awesome – I’m going to go buy it.

            I have one last question for you regarding  getting a consulting gig in NYC: What are the best places to look? Are there any sites you could recommend? Should I look at headhunters?

            Thanks for the info and the writing!