Good Enough, A Serious Business

Hello reader, my name is Shawn, and I'm one of the co-founders of Good Enough. I'd like to tell you a bit about how Good Enough came to be and what we plan on doing here.

Barry and I started working together again in early 2022. By “work,” I mean that I’d show up on Slack for a couple of hours each day, make some wise cracks, try to design in Photoshop and give up, and once in a while wrote some poor HTML and CSS. (Barry probably worked a lot more––somebody had to do the heavy lifting!)

Our first public project was DoEvery.Day, and then we didn’t do much for the rest of the year until we met up again in the fall to work on Album Whale.

For me, this half-ass effort wasn’t cutting it. I wasn’t proud of my work, and I felt like I was often not there for Barry. I felt like I had to make a choice: either leave Good Enough and go back to making Neophyte all day, or take it more seriously.

I chose the latter (duh, that’s why I’m still here!), for two main reasons:

  1. Selfishly, I want to realize a few ideas we have. Kind of like Album Whale––it’s not a big deal and it won’t make any money, but I want it to exist! We have a few more ideas like that. Some will be free, some might make a bit of income. I want to work on all of them.
  2. There’s just so much crap in this world (terrible websites, shitty products, etc). But amid all the shit, we find good things. Take for example: I derive so much joy out of a small, well put together zine because I can feel the good intention and care behind it. And that’s my humble ambition for Good Enough: make a few nice things and make our world a tiny bit better.

The 5-year Good Enough Plan

We’d like to see if Good Enough can become a self-sustainable business in five years. That means, we hope that by year 2027, Good Enough will be making enough money to cover its expenses (salaries, insanely expensive health insurance, servers, equipment, etc). That doesn't sound ambitious but it feels far away from where we are today (we're currently making $0 and paying salary).

So how do we reach that goal? We have a simple plan:

  1. Assemble a small product team. (We’re looking for a programmer.)
  2. Work on a couple of product ideas that we believe people will pay for.
  3. Put those products out there, spread the word, and hope that people respond.
  4. If those products don’t pan out: come up with more ideas, repeat 2 & 3 until we get it right.

Barry and I are kind of simple-minded here, and we believe that with a small team of smart people and enough time, this plan can work. 🙂

But wait, there’s more. Barry and I are in our mid-forties and we’re not the easiest people to be around. For us to commit to Good Enough full time, we needed to put down some parameters (that are probably Bad for Business, but oh well):

  1. We won’t have more than 10 people at Good Enough. If we end up lucky and have a product that has too many customers, then we either have say bye to that product or spin it out as its own company.
  2. We will only work on projects that we (meaning everyone at Good Enough) enjoy using.
  3. We will only work with people who can self-manage, because there won’t be any managers here. That means no 1-on-1s. Basically we just want to work on fun things, and we’ll do our very best to minimize bureaucracy even at the expense of the business.
  4. We will not “do good.” Our contribution to the world is by making good things for the world. If we ever make a profit, that profit will be split among the team, and each person can do whatever they want with that money.
  5. We see work as just work––it’s not a cult, and it’s not a family. We just want to do some good work each day and go home, and frankly there are too many hot button issues that can get people all hot and riled up. We prefer not to get all hot and riled up.

So that concludes our Good Enough Plan.

Stay tuned to find out:

  1. Will Good Enough work out or will we self-implode by 2024?
  2. What kind of silly, embarrassing mistakes will we make along the way?
  3. What will be our first money-seeking product? (And what’s the next free product!?)
  4. Is it possible to maintain a small software business that’s not interested in growing beyond a certain size?
  5. How often will we change our minds and eat our words and do something wildly different from what we “promised” here?