One of the most common types of advice we give at Y Combinator is to do things that don't scale. A lot of would-be founders believe that startups either take off or don't. You build something, make it available, and if you've made a better mousetrap, people beat a path to your door as promised. Or they don't, in which case the market must not exist. Actually startups take off because the founders make them take off. There may be a handful that just grew by themselves, but usually it takes some sort of push to get them going. A good metaphor would be the cranks that car engines had before they got electric starters. Once the engine was going, it would keep going, but there was a separate and laborious process to get it going.
As I read it, I can’t help but think about how the structure and set up of the IndieWeb community is mirrored in a lot of this advice. The fact that everyone is diligently selfdogfooding the ultimate product that we all love and are designing specifically for people gives me great hope that we’re all onto something that has great potential.
I’m curious how we can take the rest of the playbook and put it into action as well. This is certainly something I’ll have to come back and think about more in the near future.
Big portions of the article also skirt around the idea of tummeling without actually using the term. It such a useful concept, I’m surprised that it’s not more commonly known.