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Book Review: "The Million-Dollar One-Person Business", by Elaine Pofeldt

This book is a great introduction to the world of small, lifestyle-focused companies. As a software engineer, I like doing things that scale. On the other hand, entrepreneurs need to appreciate doing things that don’t scale. In addition, sometimes when things don’t scale, life is better. If you decide not to supercharge your growth with VC funding, you have more control of your lifestyle, your product roadmap, your treatment of your employees, and many other different factors that you wouldn’t otherwise enjoy. The largest difference? A focus on profitability and sustainability, ensuring you aren’t just another blip in some VC’s portfolio.

Elaine gives a great introduction to this world, focusing on case studies around real life one-person entrepreneurs she interviews. She also lists a good number of resources and points in order to follow when starting off, as well as different options during the lifetime of your fledgling company to take depending on where you see it going.

If you really do wish to start a company, I would take this as a tasting menu of sorts (and perhaps a list of contacts to hit up on LinkedIn), and complement it with more resources for the particular niche you wish to reach and the resources you need to fill in your particular knowledge gaps. A lot of the content in this book, for software engineers at least, can be found on Indie Hackers or Starter Stories nowadays.