How to get rich fast
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
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:
- They’re having a hard time caring about diversity, it’s a bit of a migraine for them;
- Achieving meaningful sustainability is in the way of surviving shareholder pressure;
- They tend to naturally attract and retain folks who fear failure and repel folks who fear stupidity.
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:
- Hire a talented intern to design you a beautiful static page presenting your amazing solution. Pay them in exposure;
- Advertise that your solution has all the fancy catch-all terms you can think about: agile, continuous, testing, quality assurance, load, performance, stress, delivery, results, …
- Show that your solution integrates with hundreds of other
uselesssolutions commonly used in other domains of your target organisation;
- Simplify: Be very shallow and non-direct about actual load testing topics on your documentation: actual hardware specs, possible virtual users, handling of test data, API interfaces of your services, handling distributed load generation, supporting multiple target interfaces, exporting results, reports, visualization of real-time stats, archive/catalogue systems for test executions, portability, and security, …
- Hide your pricing, or make it hard or folks to get the pricing up-front, direct folks to highly trained technical sales interns, that can close the deal with high-level pre-recorded demonstrations.
- Wave your arms dramatically and specifically underline the success other Fortune 500 companies have using your tool.
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:
- not all companies actually need that many virtual users;
- few companies understand that the concept of virtual users doesn’t translate to their idea of “many humans hitting our website/app at the same time” or the most primitive concept of requests per second (RPS);
- the lion’s slice of performance related issues for most software built, assuming the builder are not delusional about their actual scaling needs, can be found with a single or a couple of “small” dedicated machines (or virtual machines) easily accessible to mature engineering teams, or, well, they can rent directly an EC2 instance on AWS for a few hours every month;
(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
suckersfriendly 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:
- Pay some industry-renowned leaders and influencers a set of vacations in an exotic place, and ask them to advocate for your load test suite next to big corporations;
- Grow a fanbase. Some people don’t even require pay for them to be your fiercest advocates. Just set up a demonstration call with them and make them feel like they are a well respected professional among their peers, and an overall important person for the organisation they serve;
- Create relations with
greedyfolks across the industry, who are dead-set on climbing corporate ladders, and making use of your beautiful solutions as magic tricks to show to performance review committees. Even better, by the time they realise maybe they shouldn’t spend money on your solution, they can yet again advertise to their managers all the measures they’ve undertaken to cut their dependency on your solution, saving their organisation a ton of costs, and they went for the coolest, cheapest and latest solution around the block, you know, made by that load test “middle-man” company your good cousin owns.
“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 ☕