PJ BrunetTech Entrepreneur
Bio

PJ started building online services in 5th grade. As a freshman at University of Florida, he had already coded a web reporting system for IBM in Boca Raton. After graduating from the College of Fine Arts, he coded user-engagement algorithms, analytics dashboards, web crawlers and other tools using Java, Perl and PHP. He started blogging with WordPress in 2004 and was soon ranked #1 in Google for "Myspace Tracking" and "Facebook Tracking". While studying Magazine Article Writing in San Antonio, he wrote a WordPress plugin to uncover social media trends, launching his blog to 12 million pageviews. PJ is passionate about publishing and is a Google Adsense Publisher and YouTube Partner.



Recent Answers


It's not something you want to achieve unless your goal is to be the technical cofounder of a startup. If you're the technical cofounder, *you* get to make whatever stack you want! You're the CTO. It's entirely up to you. Woohoo! Now you're the king of the mountain, but how are you going to make money? Technology is a means to an end. Nobody cares how the widget works. We only care about results. If you're caught up in the "programming for the sake of programming" mindset, get a PhD in Computer Science.

If you don't have a strong opinion about what stack to use, I think you're getting ahead of yourself. Maybe talk to your future cofounder about the market adoption of various technology. If you don't have a cofounder yet, maybe poke around Angel List and LinkedIn.

How hard will it be to hire people that know XYZ stack? Choosing unpopular technology will make it harder to scale the business. Assuming you're actually able to create something from scratch that works at all. I hear most computer science graduates can't create anything from scratch. Computer science programs crank out the employees that will work at your startup--after you cash out.

Ultimately, you need to be able to create something from nothing with your chosen language and do everything yourself--and have it all work flawlessly without weird bugs in the code causing intermittent problems. If you can't do that, you're probably barking up the wrong tree. You're only a full-stack developer out of necessity, because you can't afford to hire yet and you don't want to split more equity with a third person.

(As long as we're on the subject, I think an ideal cofounder for a full-stack dev would be someone that knows business law and marketing.)

After your imaginary startup starts growing, you'll want to hand the software over to a software architect, a dev-ops genius, a project manager, people to take it to the next level. Once it's time to hire, the business needs a completely different skillset that the full-stack technical cofounder doesn't have.

Working for any large company, they should have you doing specialized work. There can be only one CTO and it's probably not you. If it's a small company that can't afford to hire a sysadmin and a designer and a developer and a DBA, do you *really* want to do the job of four people?

"Full-stack" is more like a battle scar you get to talk about. Maybe it looks cool, but in retrospect it wasn't something you wanted.


I explain how to do it here http://linkedexpertsalliance.com/topic/how-to-find-fresh-new-clients-on-linkedin/

If you want to code it yourself, find a big list of domain names. Create a script (I use PHP-CLI) to download the homepage of all of them and look for some kind of meta tag that only WooCommerce has. Load that script on a Linode with tmux and let that run for a few hours in the background. Now you have a nice list of domain names with WooCommerce. If you want to save time, let me do it for you. If I like your service, maybe I'll sell it for you for a commission.


I recommend you look up David Risley.

My personal blog has over 12 million pageviews but I had to start over (deleted everything) because I was ranking in Google for keywords that made no sense to my core business. For example, I was ranked #1 for "symbols" and "peace symbols" and "heart symbols". I had Fossil and Vans advertising on my blog. (That all started when I wrote a blog post about ASCII art. I was an ANSI/ASCII artist back in the early 90s.) So with SEO, there's a weird luck component.

The lesson is, don't talk about anything you could accidentally become famous for. On the other hand, you might decide to change careers and milk an off-the-wall niche. (Become a professional ASCII artist? It's possible!) In that sense, SEO can lead you unexpected places. Conversely, if you can stay fanatically focused on one topic, that really helps for SEO.

Starting from scratch, I recommend you forget about SEO and focus on social media. Photos help get clicks to your blog via Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Use hashtags! Go cross-platform. For example, make a blog post into a podcast, make the podcast into a YouTube video, pin the video into Pinterest. If you're syndicated everywhere, you're not so dependent on Google. Google can trainwreck your life, don't get seduced by easy traffic.

But back to David Risley, he says (summarizing) "Your blog is not the business. Your blog is a channel to promote your business."


When you hire an Adwords expert, what you're really paying for is

1. Ad text that grabs clicks. The highest CTR ads rise to the top and actually cost you less cash becasue Google is all about making their users happy. Low CTR = less revenue and higher cost. Lower CPC algos don't kick in right away. So I recommend a long-term strategy.

2. This expert also needs to understand your business. Because clicks that don't convert are useless. So you should have some recommendations from this expert on how to improve your landing pages. Creativity factors in here, and the expert needs an affinity with your market.

Basically this takes experience and experimentation. So if you have a good product and strong market demand, find and hire an expert.


First, consider that your idea might have already been executed and you just haven't heard of it. I've been to startup events where almost half of the ideas presented were already executed years ago--the founders are always shocked and their faces fall in disappointment. This is so common because very few people have a photographic memory bank of all the obscure startups that ever existed! This is probably not the answer you wanted ;-)

Even if the idea hasn't been executed yet, don't kid yourself--there's 100s of other developers out there w/ your same idea somewhere in their todo list. Lots of us were building social networks at the same time as Mark Zuckerberg. Ideas are a dime a dozen. Hopefully you realize most developers have pet projects of their own that they would rather work on. Developers throw great software ideas in the trash all the time because they work with software every day. Developers are short on time and money, not ideas.

In short, I think you're overestimating the appeal of your idea. Maybe a good business idea would be to ask developers to unload their stash of "pretty good" ideas they don't have time for, then charge a monthly subscription and pay developers a percentage of the revenue based on how well their ideas are rated/ranked. I used to offer a "free idea of the day" on my blog but nobody seemed to care--go figure! One of my free ideas (years before it was announced) became the Kindle and Amazon still hasn't added all the features I came up with in 2004.


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