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One-person business: Growth is not the only business path


When I worked for an Internet company before, one thing that confused and pained me was that “growth” was the company’s top priority. Even if it was beneficial to users at the beginning, after growing to a certain stage, it would almost certainly become Growth for the sake of growth, getting further and further away from the original intention, is exhausting both physically and mentally.

In order to continue to grow, the cost of corporate investment will rise sharply. In order to achieve growth goals, the managers in the company have to get rid of their human nature and become resource seekers and allocators. As a result, front-line employees have changed from human beings to being exploited. of human resources.

I used to think that this was an inevitable dilemma and cost of business, until I recently read “One-Man Business”.

Literally speaking, a “one-person company” refers to a company with only one person. This staff size directly limits the impact of growth on the company.

When growth is no longer a top priority, companies can focus more on providing better services to existing customers and flexibly evolve as their needs change.

Instead of trying to acquire new customers, reduce the maintenance costs of existing customers to improve efficiency.

And from a life perspective, a one-person business is actually a lifestyle with life as its core.

You can decide how to provide services according to your own pace and style of life, without being squeezed out by the growth of the enterprise or even losing your own life.

In addition, one-person companies also have higher flexibility, especially during economic downturns, and can better proactively control costs instead of passively being laid off or having their salaries reduced.

As a former Ruby programmer, I was heavily influenced by Basecamp, which created the Ruby on Rails framework and whose books include Getting Real, Remote, Rework, and more.

Although Basecamp is not a “one-person company”, many of its ideas are actually very close. If we take humanism and capitalism as the two ends and draw a line, Basecamp and the one-person company are obviously close to the humanistic end.

I am currently exploring my own path, which must be closer to humanism.

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