How to get rich fast

thought piece and parody
a movie still from The Wolf of Wall Street from 2013
The Wolf of Wall Street, 2013

A guide for opportunist software engineers with (some) load testing skills. Disclaimer: if this does not bear any results to you, it’s because you haven’t been using it right or giving 110% of yourself to the vision.

Well hello there! I wasn’t expecting to see you here reading this piece! My friend, I have some good news for you. I have found the ultimate secret to get rich incredibly fast, guaranteed.

* Alan Parsons Project - Sirius song starts…

The secret to amazing riches is:

start a Performance Testing “middle-man” company.

There are parts of the industry that have been killing away the idea of investing in craftsman software testers or responsible developers, folks who are not afraid to tackle load testing problems head-on, so a lot of space is left for exploiting investment.

Here are the steps you can follow:

1. Find a gullible budget owner

The most important step you need to grasp fully is that out there, in the corporate world, securing large sums of capital are two types of folks: those that fear stupidity, and those that fear failure.

The ones that fear stupidity are impossible to convince, so much so, that they invest considerable amounts in hiring folks who are very talented and have invested heavily in Roentgen-based bullshit detectors, that only go up to 3.6.

It is the ones that fear failure that we are after. These folks answer to higher authorities who aren’t exactly bright, so there’s a whole chain of fear-mongering and desperation to show results fast. And not just any results! They want to show beautiful results. Sadly for them, and happily for us, the quest for beautiful results, is in itself a path to self-deception. In such environments, there’s nothing that makes someone more gullible than the leg-shaking fear of failure and embarassment in not delivering beautiful results. Any results really, no matter how meaningless, as long as they are beautiful.

Large corporations nowadays are troubled with 3 problems:

The good news about all of this is: it means it’s gullible-people hunting season for those of us that want to get rich fast!

So next steps: go to a search engine, search for major corporations, and try to get a hold of folks in those corporations that are gullible and fear failure, and are behind some thick budgets… and sell them the deal of their corporate lifetime!

2. Advertise an enterprise-solution

The next steps from here on out are incredibly easy. You’ll need to advertise an amazing and beautiful solution that captures the imagination of folks worldwide.

Here’s what you need to get that amazing pitch of a solution:

3. Resell used EC2 instances with your company logo on them (for exorbitant rates)

Now, for the pièce de résistance.

Open up a spreadsheet software, and Amazon’s EC2 price tables and start doing some math. Actually no, hire an intern to open a spreadsheet and the price table for you. Pay them in exposure.

If you do extensive market research, of about 1 hour, you’ll find out that the majority of your competitors are currently charging anywhere between $5000 and $9000 (sometimes more) dollars for about 24h of usage of roughly 100k virtual users. Usually, they might offer discounted monthly packages and target organisations. The most expensive of these can go from $40k to as high as $180k per month (a bit over $ 2 million per year).

Now, your competitors, and (pretty much any engineer or tester who has done a few serious load tests), also know something that is a bit of a trade secret closely guarded by other “middle-man” load testing companies:

(The above are top secret. Don’t share these with anyone.)

Grab that intern of yours and ask them to come up with the price of an EC2 instance to accommodate for about 100k virtual users.

They’ll work they way through the price table and will tell you:

the most expensive instances could do the trick, but we can probably use the cheaper ones… so we’re talking about $2 to $5 dollars an hour, roughly $ 3600 dollars total for a single instance.

They will also tell you something in the lines:

storage and databases are slightly more expensive, but we can probably cut costs if we reuse them a bit across customers

Good intern. Have a cookie.

The misfortune of companies willing to invest these amounts into load testing efforts, BUT, still prefer to use a middle-man, is our good fortune. They will likely not make continued use of their subscription, and even if they did… keep in mind your 4-figure expense with their 6 figure monthly transfer coming in every month.

4. Resell already sold EC2 instances not being used by the original customers

By the time you start making a buck, will start seeing the dollar signs everywhere. You’ll soon realise you can take this a step further.

If I can get a few suckers friendly folks to pay a cheaper monthly fee, something to get them hooked, like maybe way less virtual users, and some support here and there, I can probably pull-off the old “Forgot to cancel video-streaming subscription, the gym subscription, …” trick on some folks.

You rush to the office, and you turn to your interns and tell them: find me any medium-to-big corporation willing to throw away anything between $ 500 to $ 5000 per month, and we’ll sell them these smaller but still overpriced subscription packages.

One of your interns will probably stand up and say: but master sir, what if they all decide to run load tests continuously and make actual use of their subscription?

(Sidestep here: Isn’t your new intern awesome? Consider the brightest of them for a promotion to junior level with minimal wage salary, after the first 18 months of internship, and give them a bonus of exposure, and pay them a train ticket to a conference about Apache Kafka. You heard good things about that technology, that it is agile and a lot of companies are putting that into vacuum cleaners, toasters, …)

For those cases, you can charge them extra, allowing them a license for your solution, and you multiply the license price with an exorbitant per-user based value or some other value you can think about.

Now, after all this, it might be the case that they still are making use of what they are paying. It can happen. It is very rare, but it is not impossible. Which brings us to the next step.

5. Find yourself some talented lawyers, and offer them a stake in the company

Do not skip this step, or it will be your downfall in the path to ultimate riches.

Find a talented and effective set of lawyers. Pay them well to write down your terms and conditions.

Direct your terms and conditions and all your paperwork towards stuff around: fair use, “provided-as-is”, non-liability over user-owned data, but you still own everything, the customer doesn’t mind giving up their rights (basically terms similar to any modern social-media T&C page).

At the end of the day, you are a middle-man between folks and infrastructure. They need to create their load scripts (or pay an external company to do that for them, which will pay another vendor to do the grunt work, which by the way is also an interesting business venture). They need to worry about the load scripts working, and setting up the target environment, and going through the results. By the time they do something minimally productive with the solution you are selling them, you might have already charged them 1 or 2 months of clean money, you didn’t even need to turn on some of those EC2 instances.

Bonus point: setup up headquarters in a place with non-strict laws.

6. Close the source-code

Whatever you do, make sure most of your offer is completely closed source and uses ancient interfaces for your customers to interact with. The less accessible and open your actual load testing solution is, be it a cloud or a fake-on-premises solution, the better.

And don’t worry about those savages who advocate for open-source, free software or plain “being reasonable”. By the time your company is famous enough, you’ll have a fanbase in multiple positions of power within the corporate world that will always keep their doors, hearts, and wallets open to you.

7. Repeat the cycle, trust the process, enjoy the money

Rinse and repeat.

Trust the process.

Motivation. You can overcome any challenges if you put your mind to it.

Passion. Just think about all that money and all the happiness that you will achieve with all the things you can buy.

Ah, by the way, there’s also guerrilla techniques you can apply:

“If you want more advice, buy the book and the online course!”

Thank you for reading. If you haven’t realised yet, yes, this post is a parody. Feel free to reach out to me with comments, ideas, grammar errors, and suggestions via any of my social media. Until next time, take care! If you are up for it, you can also buy me a coffee ☕