What Is The Lowest Maintenance Website Imaginable?

This week The Founders talk about maintaining simple websites from the stone age, hiring contractors with Upwork, and Heya being 100% opensource. They also put Netlify on notice; if things don't improve, Badgerfy is becoming a reality!

Show Notes:
Links:

Heya
Ben Curtis’ Mad Money DreamHost Affiliate Link
Write for us

Full Transcript:
Ben:
Thanks to Starr, we are now linked on the Honeybadger site.

Josh:
Nice.

Starr:
Oh, yeah. It only took two years to do that.

Josh:
I saw that on the "about" page.

Ben:
What made me think about it, I'm just, I don't know, surfing the site for something. I'm like, "You know what? We should probably link to the podcast from our site."

Starr:
Yeah, thanks for opening that issue.

Josh:
I thought we had it in the footer or something. Was it not even in the footer?

Ben:
No.

Josh:
Oh, man. We're good at marketing.

Ben:
We are so good at marketing.

Starr:
Totally.

Ben:
That was a good thing, so thank you.

Starr:
No problem. It was good. It's nice to have a tiny, concrete task that I know I can do that doesn't fractally expand into just caverns of uncertainty.

Ben:
For reals.

Ben:
Well, speaking of caverns of uncertainty, I was helping a friend with their website, which is a very old, old website, and I can't even admit while recording what versions of various software it's using, because that's how old it is. But basically it needed to make a move, and I was like, "You know, the last time I touched this, which was two years ago or something, even then everything was crusty and old. There's no way we're going to find a new hosting provider that's supporting all this old stuff anymore." So, what to do? What to do? I was just like, "You know what? Let me just run Wget on the site and just mirror the whole site to static pages, and then dump it up somewhere behind Apache and just leave it at that."

Josh:
Nice.

Ben:
So, I sent that over to her. I'm like, "Here, you should try this. How about this?" So, we'll see. The problem is there's no search now and the contact form and stuff like that won't work. I'm like, "You know what? Just let it go. Just embrace the simplicity."

Starr:
Oh my god, yeah.

Josh:
That's so weird. That is so weird, because yesterday I literally did that with the Heya sales site that was in Rails. I literally saved, I did the "save as webpage" thing, and then edited the CSS paths and just dumped into a GitHub pages branch on the public repository, because we decided not to sell Heya anymore and release it as open source, so we didn't need this fancy Rails app that we were paying to demo it. So, sometimes just "save as webpage" and deploy is the way to go.

Starr:
When you mentioned a search, that reminded me of this client I used to have. It was a freelancing client, it's a Rails app, it's a very, very old original Rails still. I guess technically they're still my client. I never actually dropped them, because they would get in contact with me once every two years and have me do two hours of work, so I was just like, "Okay, whatever." It's mostly because I like them and I know that they're not going to find somebody who's going to do this for them, so I didn't want to leave them high and dry. But I built an export as PDF feature a long time ago for them, and it used, what was that headless browser? Was it Phantom?

Josh:
Yeah, Phantom.

Starr:
I used the headless browser to save as a PDF, or print as a PDF or whatever, and it was all in Heroku. Last year they got in touch with me and was like, "Hey, this PDF thing stopped working," and I'm just like, "Oh my god. Oh my god." Because I haven't touched this in I think it's been almost 10 years, this part of the app. I was just like, "You know, all browsers support print to PDF now. All operating systems, you just press "print" and then you do the PDF. You select "PDF" and it works." I remember trying to get them just to do that-

Josh:
That's a good fix.

Starr:
... the first time I built it, but Windows didn't have that feature. You had to have-

Ben:
Had to get a driver for that.

Starr:
Yeah, you had to have a special software. But this time I guess Windows added print to PDF, so it was okay.

Ben:
Nice.

Josh:
That's amazing. Did it use WK HTML to PDF? Or was it something else? I think I used that graphic-

Starr:
No, it was a headless browser that would output-

Josh:
You were doing it, okay.

Starr:
... to PDF. It was running on Heroku somehow. I don't know how I got it to run on Heroku.

Josh:
Ben remembers what I'm talking about.

Ben:
Yeah. Oh, man, that was painful.

Josh:
On Heroku even, I think. I remember specifically an issue with that where I think we were deploying it to Heroku and it had some PDF function like this, but we weren't paying for multiple dynos or something. The app was having these random failures where it would just not respond to requests, and it turns out that the reason was that it was being blocked by this PDF process in the background, and then it would just block the threads for connections to Unicorn or whatever server it was using, probably WebKit or something, or WEBrick. The solution to that problem was just to pay for hosting.

Starr:
So, you're saying this wasn't a high-availability, high-scalability setup?

Josh:
No. But I think it was for our client. They were extremely cheap. I was like, "You just need to put some money into this."

Starr:
That's a catch-22 with freelancing, because you can be working on a thing and just be like, "This is terrible. I would be embarrassed to show anybody this." But nobody's going to pay you to make it any better, so you're just not, because you've got to make a living.

Josh:
That's the phase of freelancing where you just need to eat.

Ben:
Yeah, that's a terrible phase. Much better when you can get to the point where you can be selective in your clients and pick ones that'll actually both pay you and pay for the things that you recommend they do.

Josh:
One of my last old, old, old clients recently switched their website, like you were talking about, Ben, and I do remember the software versions they were running until within the last couple years I think, they were running a Joomla! 1.0 site, which I think the last release of that was 2008 or something.

Ben:
This was also a Joomla! site.

Josh:
Yeah, it's got to be a Joomla! site if it was from the late aughts or whatever.

Ben:
Right.

Josh:
Good times. I don't know. It must have been hacked 75 different ways. Or I don't know how it wasn't, to be honest. But I advised them to move to Squarespace, which I was looking at for a personal project recently, because I was looking like, "Do I want to build a custom little HTML site or whatever?" I realized for SquareSpace it's $140 a year for just to deploy a basic website. For most small business, like clients that I started out with in the early 2000s or whatever, that job just shouldn't exist anymore. It's just Squarespace or the services like them. You get a decent website that is maintained, and it's an hour of a modern developer's time per year. It just doesn't make sense to roll it myself.

Starr:
It's a little bit sad because one of my favorite aspects of web development was always just getting some mock-up from a designer or getting a screen from a designer, and then you have to make it somehow work using 2009-era CSS. It sounds very masochistic, but once you get into it, it's just a very Zen-type thing, because it just is what it is. You're just moving pixels from one picture to another, one window to another on the computer. It's just, I don't know.

Josh:
That was kind of fun, yeah.

Ben:
I never got into that. That was always for me very frustrating, so I just farmed that out to chop shops would would-

Josh:
I remember that. Yeah, you did.

Ben:
That was so awesome. I was so glad to find those services.

Josh:
Yeah, you give them whatever, a PSD, and they give you-

Ben:
Give them a PSD and they give you back the CSS and the HTML.

Starr:
Yeah, but they took no pride in their work Ben.

Josh:
That's the thing that always got me. I'd always get so mad, like, "This HTML is just garbage."

Ben:
I just held my nose and ran with it.

Starr:
I was thinking-

Josh:
It's all the same to the browser.

Starr:
I was thinking yesterday about doing just a website for personal stuff that's not related to work, and I was just like, "What would be the easiest for me to do but the least maintenance?" And I was just like, "Maybe I just do an AsciiDoc document, one AsciiDoc document, and publish it on Netlify." You'd have to set up the build to build the AsciiDoc, but that seems like it wouldn't require any maintenance.

Ben:
I would probably go with GitHub Pages for that instead of Netlify, actually because I'm a little peeved at Netlify today, because yesterday when I was working on this project for my friend, I was like, "Oh, I'll just do it on Netlify." No, no. Because for one, I've got buckets of HTML files that I'm just trying to send over to Netlify, so I just drag and drop like they say you can do. It's fine. Then it's deploying and deploying and deploying. 20 minutes later it's still deploying, and I'm like, "Are you kidding me? It's a few hundred HTML files. Give me a break." So I go into the deploy logs to see what it's doing. It's analyzing each HTML file and spitting out errors about all the references to non-secure assets. I'm like, "I don't care. It's a webpage. Just serve the webpage."

Ben:
Then I was like, "Well, let me put this on a separate team, because I don't want it on my stuff." Then Netlify is like, "Oh, no. You're already part of a pay team. You can't start a new free thing. Sorry, you're just out of luck." And I'm like, "Fine. I'll just go to DreamHost. I've been with DreamHost for 20 years, they know how to host websites." I just did it SFTP, I whipped out Transmit. I did a copy real quick, and boom, it just works. I'm like, "There you go. That's all I needed. I just needed you to render some stinking webpages." And DreamHost-

Josh:
It goes very well with Savefromweb

Ben:
Exactly. Exactly.

Josh:
Or whatever, "save as website."

Starr:
Could we name this, you've got the LAMP Stack, you've got... What are the other stacks?

Josh:
I don't know.

Ben:
Well, there's the JAM Stack.

Starr:
There's JAM Stack.

Ben:
There's MEAN Stack, if you're into Mongo, Express, Angular and... I can't remember what the N was now.

Starr:
So, it's going to be Savefromweb, it's going to be DreamHost, and, I don't know.

Ben:
We're going to have to put a referral link for DreamHost in the show notes so I can get some mad money credits on this.

Josh:
Yeah, include your referral code.

Starr:
It's going to be HTML... Wait, no. DreamHost is going to be running Apache probably, so it's going to be SDA Stack.

Josh:
SDA?

Starr:
SDA.

Ben:
SDA. You can run LAMP stuff on DreamHost. They do PHP, and they have a one-click Wordpress install, so it's so easy. It's four bucks a month.

Josh:
Can I just say one thing? Control panel.

Ben:
Control panel, there you go.

Josh:
Right? What else do you need?

Ben:
Here's the one problem with DreamHost though, the one thing that really just gets my goat. If they would do this one thing then I would be so happy with them, but because it's a shared hosting model and it's really cheap, of course they oversell it and stuff. Your IP address can change at any time because there are rotating Apache things and all that kind of stuff, so you have to have your DNS hosted with them because they're going to be changing your web server periodically. You can't have your DNS elsewhere. That's just a bummer. But as long as you're okay with having your DNS hosted by DreamHost, it's great. It's four bucks a month, you just throw some webpages up there and it works. I love it.

Josh:
What about dynamic DNS or something like that? Remember that from back in the day.

Ben:
Yeah.

Josh:
All the wacky things? Do you think there are young people that listen to this podcast that have no idea what we've been talking about for the past 10 minutes, like control panel?

Ben:
Probably.

Starr:
I just think it's really funny that somebody is waxing poetic about cPanel. This is just such a weird cyclical moment. I feel like we've completed a circle. You start out 10 years ago or 15 years ago being like, "Oh, this sucks. I need terminal access," and you do everything with the terminal. Then you eventually move on and it's like, "Well, I guess I'm using Ansible now. Everything's shifted." Then finally it's just like, "You know what has scripting and things? cPanel. I'm just going to press that button and not worry about it."

Ben:
You know, "serverless" is just CGI-bin.

Starr:
Of course.

Josh:
Yeah.

Starr:
Oh my gosh.

Ben:
Now to go back to that pearl, though. CGI-bin was horrible.

Starr:
You're making me reconsider Netlify, then. So, maybe we'll just go straight to S3. We'll just fill that locally, just I'll-

Ben:
Totally.

Starr:
... put it into S3 and be done. I've been really surprised at a couple Netlify things. You would think there would be really just features that they would have, but they don't, I guess. One is you can't just tell it to rebuild my site every day.

Josh:
Oh, yeah?

Starr:
Yeah. First of all, maybe that seems like a very specific, weird request, but if you're using Netlify, chances are you're using a static site generator, and if you ever, ever want to schedule posts to be published in the future with a static site generator, you have to rebuild the site. So, rebuilding it once a day just makes sense. I had to do that in setting up a separate trigger for that, which just seemed weird. Then also I was looking into this because my little personal site I was thinking about, which don't worry, it's not a separate business project, I'm not trying to cut you guys out of the huge revenue streams.

Josh:
With an AsciiDoc?

Starr:
Yeah, with my AsciiDoc, my huge AsciiDoc revenue. It's just all about Honeybadger sucks. I hate working here. because I'm a whistleblower.

Ben:
I'm going to short that Honeybadger stock.

Josh:
Your diary, the Honeybadger diary. It's like you're just publishing the last 10 years of your innermost thoughts about how much you hate Honeybadger.

Starr:
No, it's not that-

Josh:
Starr comes clean.

Starr:
I'm sorry.

Ben:
That's all right.

Starr:
Oh, yeah. The other thing, I was like, "This would be an AsciiDoc, but maybe I could make it a little bit fancy by just adding some JavaScript to it and make it appear to be a website." You have a single AsciiDoc that has multiple sections, so maybe each section appears to be a webpage. Really you're just showing and hiding them when you click on links. So, I was like, you still want people to be able to link directly to the page they're on. I'm sure Netlify has some setting that lets it pass through... It basically lets it serve the same HTML page for a variety of paths, and let that page's JavaScript decide what to do based on that path. And it really doesn't. It lets you redirect everything to index, and, I don't know, maybe you could figure out from the refer what page they're on. But that seems pretty janky for something as fundamental as routing for that.

Josh:
I think what you need is AsciiDoc plus React.

Ben:
You want a rewrite rule.

Starr:
You want to rewrite... Do they have that?

Josh:
And a rewrite rule.

Ben:
They might. Apache does. DreamHost has got Apache, just DreamHost.

Josh:
I don't know if they have rewrites. I know they have their redirects file, and they might have-

Ben:
They do have rewrite.

Josh:
... some kind of rewrites. I don't know.

Starr:
The things I was seeing online were people saying, "Well, you should make a redirects file that includes every page on your site," and then somehow redirect... I don't know. It all seemed very just like it was made out of duct tape and twigs.

Ben:
Yeah, I was thinking about that yesterday when I was working on the site. I was thinking about your GitHub Actions thing that does the scheduled calls to Netlify to build our site so you can have those scheduled posts, and I was thinking, "If you're already going down that path of using GitHub Actions to automate something for your site, just build it there, and then SFTP it over to DreamHost, and you're done, and you can pay four bucks a month instead of 80 bucks a month to Netlify."

Starr:
Yeah, that's-

Ben:
We do the same thing for Hook Relay. The main site has documentation built on our OpenSwagger API annotation stuff that's in our app, so we have this YAML file that specifies all our API endpoints, and then we have some Java things that renders that YAML into actual HTML pages, the OpenSwagger renderer or something like that. Well, Netlify doesn't have Java installed, so Kevin found this GitHub Action that just does that. So, now instead of just having Netlify deploy our site like we used to, now we have GitHub Actions build the site and then sync it over to Netlify. It's like, "Well, now we're paying 80 bucks a month or whatever just for static HTML pages. That's kind of silly."

Josh:
Yeah, you can just deploy to S3.

Starr:
Yeah. I do like the fact that you can preview branches.

Ben:
That's nice. That is nice.

Starr:
And you can probably do that with GitHub too, right? But you'd have to figure it out, right?

Ben:
Right.

Starr:
You'd have to deploy it to different S3 buckets or whatever based on the branch name. Then you'd have to remember what that scheme was every time you wanted to build it.

Josh:
Yeah. If you do everything mostly Netlify's way, it all just works and it's pretty nice from my experience. But if you try to get too-

Ben:
Get too fancy?

Josh:
... but then... Yeah, get too fancy.

Ben:
Then there's friction.

Starr:
All right. So, you're all ready to launch "Badglify?"

Josh:
"Badgerfy."

Starr:
We'll just take-

Ben:
No.

Starr:
... them down.

Ben:
No, I'd rather not.

Starr:
What?

Ben:
Because I was working on Hook Relay this week, and I got it submitted to Heroku to be promoted to a beta add-on so that it would actually show up in their marketplace listings, because we've done the alpha thing, we've got our documentation in place, we've got our pricing done. We've got our paying customer that came on site, which, yay, thank you very much. Anyway, I was working on that this week to get it finished off with Heroku, and now I'm basically just waiting for Heroku to do whatever they do to approve the app to go out to be public. That's all great.

Ben:
But I was thinking, "This is a hassle." Just building the app is one thing, but then you've got to do all these just administrative stuff just to get it out there. Then of course you can't forget about the whole marketing side, and maybe you want to do some sales even. So I'm like, "Man, having another product, it's a lot of work." Josh, you can correct me on this, but I think that's why we just decided to give up on the idea of selling Heya, because it's just too much work to-

Josh:
It is a lot of work. The payoff has to be worth the effort, or the effort has to be worth the payoff. In the case of Heya, I don't know, I think we tried it. It was an experiment, and we tried it, and we realized that it's probably going to take too much work to actually market it and turn it into something that really makes a difference on the bottom line given our other business. I think it's still, a lot of people like it, they seem to like it, and I think it has a lot of potential to grow as an open source product, because obviously that opens up who can use it. There are definitely benefits of just releasing it for free. And it's a fairly simple, relatively simple project. So, I'm excited to... We haven't even announced that it's... This was yesterday. We changed the license and released it.

Starr:
Well, we're announcing it now. It's an exclusive.

Josh:
I guess, yeah, we're announcing that Heya is now free and open source.

Starr:
We'll link to it in the show notes. Everybody could use Heya. A $59.95 value.

Ben:
I'm looking forward to growing that. We talked recently about adding some more features for it for doing broadcast emails, and-

Josh:
I still really want to work on it.

Ben:
Me too. One of these Saturdays I'm definitely going to, when I'm bored I'm going to crank out the-

Josh:
Now that it's a true open source project, you're going to contribute some weekend time to it?

Ben:
Exactly, yeah. Now I'm not any more philosophically opposed to contributing to it.

Josh:
Nice.

Ben:
So, I can let my open source purity unleashed on Heya.

Josh:
Awesome. I think there's a potential there.

Ben:
I really just want to add a UI to doing the broadcast. We have it now where basically you can hop into the Rails console and you can send a broadcast email to customers, and I've done that, and that's fine. Dump some markdown in there, pick your recipients and you're off to the races. But it would be nice to have just a simple maybe... You know what I was thinking? Is have a web interface like Sidekiq does.

Josh:
Yeah.

Ben:
So it's just a Sinatra app embedded in the gem, and you can mount it. Then we could easily mount that on our admin app, and then just have basically a text box with some markdown and have some way to query which users you want it, and hit the "submit" button and off you go.

Josh:
That's what I want, so you should totally do that UI. This release actually also includes a major scheduler change to the way the scheduler decides what to send next to each user. But that change will actually enable us to I think do a simple stats dashboard on how many emails are being sent and who they're being sent to and some basic reporting; a basic reporting dashboard, basically.

Ben:
Cool.

Josh:
So, I'd like to... Eventually I envision having a little reporting dashboard, and then maybe a broadcast email section where we can schedule emails to go out.

Ben:
Maybe we should hire someone on Upwork to do this for us.

Josh:
We could, for sure.

Ben:
I had a really pleasant experience with Upwork this week in hiring some Python contractors, although-

Josh:
Yeah our first bug fix released.

Ben:
Already, yes. In one week. We posted the ad, got someone, got a thing published-

Josh:
Actually, it was within 24 hours I think maybe-

Ben:
Yeah, super-quick.

Josh:
... that he, yeah.

Starr:
What do you all do? Because every time I've hired people from... First of all, a little confession. When I just very first started freelancing, I was a contractor in Upwork for way too little money. But I didn't know what I was doing, so it balanced out. But every time I've tried to hire somebody on Upwork it's always been disappointing. It's always been just people didn't really produce good results. So, what did y'all do? What was I doing wrong?

Ben:
Well, I created the job ad, and there's this of course helpful little wizard that walks you through setting it up. Josh had written a great description about exactly what we needed, and I just took that markdown and I dumped it into their little text box there. But two of the things I think that were key were one, it asks you a variety of questions, but two of the questions in particular were, "What level experience do you want?" You get to choose between beginner, intermediate and expert, and I chose expert.

Ben:
It also asks you, "What pay range?" When it asks you what the pay range is, it gives you a suggestion based on other jobs happening on the site right now. For this particular job I had put in I wanted Python, that was the key word, and I wanted someone with back end development, that was another one of the tags, and I want to say it recommended a range of $30 to $50 an hour. I can't remember for sure. But it's like, "Here's what the typical job looks like," and you just choose that as a, "Yeah, just go ahead and do that." So, I chose that. I think those two things just made it, expert level and then choosing a range that's basically the same range as everybody else that's doing.

Starr:
I'm curious, when you choose an expert level, are people assigned a ranking, or is it self-identification, or self-selection into the rankings?

Ben:
I don't know.

Josh:
I'm not sure. We got a lot of responses, and I read through most of them. I will say they were definitely not all equal, so there were definitely some people in there that I wasn't going to hire. But the first couple people, because it recommends who the best match... It has some sort of algorithm that says this is the best match for you, or these people are. There was probably two or three ones at the very top who had already completed a lot of work through Upwork. It shows the dollar amount that they've earned through Upwork too, which helps you see what their success rate is with projects. I picked one that had I think $10,000 or $20,000 already through Upwork. I just picked one of the candidates that it recommended too, which, I don't know, maybe that makes a difference. They have some way of knowing.

Ben:
There was one little snag, and that was I did select... You can choose do you want to hire one person or multiple people, and if you choose multiple you can say how many you want to hire. I knew that Josh wanted to have some flexibility with picking people to work on a variety of tasks, since we have plenty of things to do, so I chose multiple and I chose two. I was like, "Well, we can't really manage more than two people right now, so let me just choose two."

Ben:
Josh went ahead and picked one. You mark them as hired in there, but we left the job open because we might need a second person, but we just haven't picked a second person yet. Well, they have this feature in Upwork where you can send out invitations to contractors. You post your ad and that's one thing, so somebody's going to find it and they might apply to it, but you can also proactively reach out to particular contractors who might not just see your ad. I think Upwork charges for this. You get so many invitations, and then you have to start paying. I don't know, I've never used it.

Starr:
It's just like a dating site.

Ben:
But they have what they call... Well, I don't know what they call it. It's some sort of assistant, or some sort of specialist or something that helps you with your job ad and helps you find the right candidates. It's like, "I'd never use that. I can pick people. It's not hard." But in our case, what this person did was started inviting candidates, and Josh had already hired a person. The job was still open, but we'd already picked the person and started working with that person, and then we started getting these messages from people like, "Thank you for inviting me to check out your job." I'm like, "I didn't do that," you know?

Josh:
Yeah.

Ben:
But I realized that this assistant person was. So, that's not great, because we're not actively at the moment looking for another person. We've got it covered, thank you, so we're not going to be inviting people. So, I contacted the Upwork guy and I'm like, "Hey, look, could you stop doing that? Because we are set. And by the way, could you set a flag on our account that we don't want this automatic invitation thing ever again?"

Josh:
Nice.

Ben:
I just guessed that they had that setting, and they do, actually. He wrote back and he's like, "So sorry. Yeah, I'll turn that off for you so you won't have that anymore."

Josh:
Cool.

Ben:
That was a win.

Josh:
All right, cool. I'm excited about the potential for this type of work though, which is basically just open source work. We have all these open source projects to maintain, and we want to pay people to work on them. That might be another... This is just the first success and it's still ongoing, so this whole thing could fall through still, but if this works out, one reason could be that I think this is different from the typical project that I think of Upwork, is you have a self-contained project that you've specced out that you want to hand to someone and have them deliver, like an app or something, or some sort of complete deliverable.

Josh:
Our job ad is basically like, "You know what open source work looks like. You've probably already contributed to an open source project if you're going to be a good fit for this job, and here's our list of issues that you can go check out before you even apply to this job, and you can see what work is available. And when we hire you, we're just going to literally send you to this list of issues and say, 'Do that one.'" So, it feels a little bit different than like, "I need a web app from scratch," and we have to go through the whole planning process, and I probably have some sort of spec document, and it's all planned out. All the typical failures of software development apply to that scenario, versus this scenario it's like, "Well, if you don't work out we're going to know on the first issue probably, if you don't deliver." And it's no big deal if you don't, because neither of us have really invested much at that point, so we can try someone else, or if you don't like it we'll move on.

Starr:
I think that's very important that it's no big deal if it doesn't work out, because I feel like a lot of times with our contractors in the past we invest a lot of energy into them, and then eventually they're contractors, so they get a job or flake out or whatever. On our end we call it flaking out, but really they have no obligation to us to-

Josh:
Yeah, it makes sense.

Starr:
... do stuff for us. So, why would they just stay with us forever? And with a blog, I've benefited from a very similar attitude. I've got plenty of people writing blog posts, and if this particular one doesn't work out I don't really care. I don't want to spend a lot of time on something that doesn't work out, but if you contact me and you want to write a blog post and then I never hear from you again, that's fine. I wish you luck. It's whatever.

Ben:
It's like casual dating versus getting engaged.

Ben:
It's like, "Oh, if we don't like each other that's okay. We can go date somebody else."

Starr:
I don't know. It's a lot less pressure, and I like it. I really hope the Upwork thing works out, because we talked in our conclave about coming up with an in-house system for managing lots of contractors for jobs like this, and if Upwork can do it, that'll save us a lot of work.

Josh:
Well, I'm excited about figuring that out now. I think eventually this system, I think we can probably have a system that allows us to work with people through Upwork and allows us to work with people outside of Upwork. We already have a lot of the management pieces in place. We can send people contractor agreements in I think a few minutes at this point, and, you know-

Starr:
Yeah.

Josh:
... get that all signed.

Starr:
I've got a request for our listeners. If you know of a, it's like Upwork, but it's your own personal account and there's no army of freelancers bidding on your stuff, it's just like all the back-end stuff at Upwork that you can just use on your own and put all your contractors in there, and you have personal experience with this tool, could you tweet me at Starr, S-T-A-R-R H-O-R-N-E?

Josh:
That'd be cool.

Ben:
Because if you don't, we might have to build that product.

Josh:
Or I might just build-

Starr:
Maybe.

Josh:
... a notion page.

Starr:
I know that it exists. I know that one of these exists out there. I just don't know how expensive they are.

Ben:
You just need the universe to bring it to you.

Starr:
Exactly. This is the next evolution. It's not lazy webbing, it's lazy podcasting.

Josh:
There you go.

Starr:
It's just I say I want something.

Ben:
Well, while we're wishing, I want to hire an excellent VP of sales to come in and sell the heck out of Honeybadger for us. Totally flexible schedule, can spend maybe five hours, maybe 50 hours a week, I don't care, as long as they're selling, bringing in those hot leads. That's what I want. So, all of our audience out there, if you have a fantastic VP of sales that wants to work for us, then-

Starr:
Just one sitting around on the shelf.

Ben:
Yeah, just send them our way. And if you have two, even better. Send them both.

Starr:
There you go.

Josh:
Keep the job open.

Starr:
You can put it on Upwork.

Ben:
Go on Upwork. I'm going to go right now, I'm going to see if Upwork has a sales category. Because I have no idea about how to do sales. I don't mind learning, but I think it'd probably be more effective if we probably had someone who actually knew what they were doing, doing that, and I definitely want to do some outbound sales for Honeybadger. I want us to be like Boiler Room calling everyone on the planet like, "You should buy Honeybadger because we're awesome.


Starr:
"Coffee is for closers!" I imagine we might also be interested in if there are people out there who just know about this and just want to talk to us, and possibly earn a consulting fee, we might be interested in that too.

Josh:
For sure. So you're saying this is the year that we figure out sales?

Ben:
This is the year we figure out sales, yes.

Josh:
We're ready. We're ready for it.

Ben:
We're ready.

Josh:
I'm ready for the next level. I know you are.

Ben:
I'm not going to say "or die trying," because we're not going to die.

Josh:
We're not going to die trying, yeah. We're going to do this very conservatively, and if it doesn't work out, that's okay.

Ben:
Because we still have plenty of revenue.

Starr:
I've got one idea for y'all for the next level. One word: options.

Josh:
Were you going to option our future? Is that what you're saying?

Starr:
No, I got-

Ben:
Did you see that GME went down to $50 yesterday?

Josh:
Ooh.

Starr:
It did, yeah. I have no desire to buy GME. I've been following it a little bit, and some people are predicting that there's going to be this lull, and then it's going to go back up. That's probably bullshit. That's probably completely wrong. But part of me is just like, "I wonder if I spent a hundred dollars on call options," you could probably buy call options for a thousand shares of GME for $100 for six months from now. Just to have a little money in the game.

Ben:
If you really want to get into gambling on the stock market, call options are the way to go, as opposed to just buying a stock and hoping it goes up, because you can get much more leverage from the call options than you can just from buying and holding.

Josh:
There was an article in the Wall Street Journal today that was like, "Teenagers are betting all of their savings on GME, and parents are worried."

Ben:
I like to look for the silver lining. In this case, I think perhaps just maybe a lot of teens and Millennials will get introduced to the stock market through this and maybe stick around and become savvy investors, and, you know?

Josh:
Yeah, you're actually right. Because I think to really experience the stock market, you have to lose money at some point. You're going to make some mistakes, and it's probably better to make some dumb mistakes in your teens versus when you're older and have more money saved, to lose and all that. I guess there are some investors who just, their entire investing career is just perfect, a perfect record. They've never, ever made a bad trade.

Starr:
You know what they say about monkeys and typewriters.

Ben:
Indeed.

Starr:
All of this has made me realize that I need to... I don't know. My whole approach to investing has always just been dump everything into a Vanguard index fund, and I think that's still correct for most my investing, whereas maybe I need to have a portfolio where 80% is in the mutual funds, 20% or 15% is medium-risk stocks, and then 5% is more high-risk type things. Because I realize that I have no desire to spend all my money on risky investments, but well, if I have almost no risky investments, maybe I'm losing out on upside. I don't know.

Ben:
My strategy has been somewhere in the high 90s percent of my investing is just index fund or 401(k), which is split with some bonds and things like that, just boring, just put the money in and forget about it kind of thing. But then I always like to keep aside a little bucket of basically I consider it play money, but it's to make those individual bets, like when I bought Apple stock in 2000, and that turned out to be a very good thing after 20 years. So, I like doing that. Well, the way I look at it is, this money, if it all goes to zero I won't miss it, but it could turn into something, and I'm going to make a bet on a particular stock. A while back I bought Shopify, and that worked out really well. I bought some Amazon, and that's worked out really well. So, things that I know and I'm like, "Yeah, I think that's a good company," then I will buy a little bit of it, right?

Josh:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Ben:
And then just sit on it for a while. And it's been fine. It's been fun, and then I can play like I know what I'm doing, but not risk all my savings.

Josh:
I've been watching a lot of people do the fractional trading thing on Twitter, and they're investing tiny amounts of money, but into a portfolio that would be... Basically it seems like practice. It's a way to practice making trades and investing without having to spend hundreds of dollars on a share or whatever.

Starr:
One thing all of this has taught me, this whole GME thing, and I'm not involved, but I just have been following along at home, is that pretty much everyone who talks about stocks on the internet just has no idea what they're talking about, and yet speaks with the most absolute certainty that they know everything about what they're talking about. So, I'm just left with a profound distrust of everyone.

Josh:
Well, welcome to the club. Welcome to the 21st century.

Ben:
Since we just happen to be three people on the internet that know nothing about stocks and we're talking about it.

Josh:
Yeah, with a podcast.

Starr:
But everything I say is riddled through with a profound uncertainty, so I don't know what I'm talking about.

Ben:
This is not financial advice. Please consult a lawyer.

Starr:
I thought the stock market was going to tank when-

Ben:
For real.

Starr:
... the economy collapsed. I thought that the economy collapsing would cause the stock market to go down, but it didn't.

Ben:
Shocker.

Starr:
It didn't. So I'm like, "Okay, Benjamin Graham. Okay, Mr. Value Investing. Where were you? Where were you in March, Benjamin Graham? This is not how it's supposed to work."

Josh:
Well, it's detached. It's detached from the economy.

Ben:
By the way, Upwork does have categories for sales. Don't know how well that work out, but there you go.

Starr:
Yeah, that could be truly horrifying.

Ben:
I think the one snag that we have, we couldn't just hire someone off the street because developers don't like to be marketed to in the typical ways. They do not want to answer their phones to people saying, "Hey, you should buy this thing." They don't want to get spam in their inbox and things like that. So, I think you'd have to find someone that's willing to put in a little extra beyond just the dialing for dollars.

Starr:
I wonder how much technical knowledge the person will need, because it's a pretty technical product.

Ben:
I would say probably not a lot, because for example, on any in-depth sales call I would be on the call as the technical salesperson, so I would be their support.

Josh:
And I imagine they're not initially... Are they reaching out to engineering lead, or are they reaching out to more the executive level or project management-type anyway?

Ben:
Yeah.

Josh:
How technical is the lead, the first, until they bring in their technical people to evaluate via, "Hey, would this be useful to us?"

Ben:
Right. I'd imagine the first outreach is just like, "Hey, you should probably be monitoring your apps," you know, and-

Josh:
Yeah.

Ben:
... "Let's talk about that."

Josh:
I have no experience with this, and this is what I want to learn more about. But you always want to leave open the possibility that you have no idea how this actually works, and this is why we need someone to come and tell us for money.

Starr:
But honor system. You can't just scam us.

Ben:
Because we have Honeybadgers.

Josh:
Just come and tell us what we want to hear. Cash is on the table.

Ben:
So, this is going to be a good year.


Starr:
Well, you have been listening to FounderQuest. Review us on Apple Podcasts. We're always looking for writers and for blog. Honeybadger.io/blog, go look for the Write for Us page. I actually have a little bit of a backlog right now, so it may take a little time before I can talk with you, but I won't forget you because I love each and every one of you. So, I will let you all go.

Ben:
Have a good one.

Josh:
Also, don't forget to buy GME so that Starr's options-

Starr:
Oh, yeah.

Ben:
Diamond hands.




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