Makers vs Takers: The Developers Dilemma – Conscience over Profit

Earlier this week, VentureBeat featured a guest post by Jason Cavnar, called Why Developers Should Start Choosing Conscience over Profit This is a subject that the team at Singly cares greatly about and that has helped shaped our company culture and values. Ultimately the demand for developers often faces them with choices between extreme profit and the value of the project on which they are working.  No doubt, the future of many innovative companies is at the mercy of developers, but there are many projects that are extremely valuable and important that may not be as lucrative as others.venturebeat

 At the employee level, a growing percentage of Silicon Valley engineers are exploiting a red-hot labor market by jumping startup to startup or cashing in on comfortable jobs in large companies that are overpaying to retain workers. Far too many of them are happy to be peddled by recruiters who exacerbate their god-state with terms like “rock stars”, “unicorns,” and “ninjas.”

Companies and apps that focus on social good, open sourced technology, and crowd funding are delivering great results and the developers who help to create such products are often passionate about their work because they are inspired and happy. These are The Makers.

Makers don’t need to be valued at the highest end of the market. They don’t need the micro-fame of tech blogs. They don’t aspire to be “acqui-hired.” They don’t ask questions about optimizing their paycheck, their communal fame, or their personal brand. And they don’t need good pick up lines (or apps) at the bar.  Makers choose their work based on impact and happiness…  

Click here to see examples of the Makers on the Rise including GitHub, Indiegogo, Kickstarter, and more.

We pride ourselves on being a company of authentic, open, and service oriented individuals. Here are our company values:

Singly Values

The post created a whirlwind of comments on VentureBeat, HackerNews, Twitter, and many other social media channels. Although a few opinions are opposing the theme of this post, they do echo the validity and passion behind the issue. Technology innovation is at the mercy of talented developers who are often faced with dilemmas regarding salaries, project integrity, open source vs. closed work styles, and even immigration issues.

On Tuesday, NPR’s Martin Kaste did a story on “Older Tech Workers Oppose Overhauling H-1B Visas” which touches upon the same issue of the ultimate value of developers and the demand for highly technically skilled workers.  The issue here is the value of visa status rather than profit or salary.

The biggest gating factor on the industry’s ability to keep innovating and keep producing more products is the ability to hire more engineers. It is slowing us down.

We’d love to know your thoughts on the issue and how we can all work together to build a more socially connected society through our work, or technology, and our values. Send them to us on twitter @Singly or email

Where We’ll Be – Upcoming Events

Events_000Events are in full swing this season, and we’re excited to be out and about.  We’re on the go and looking forward to meeting with you wherever our paths next cross.

In January we launched our APIs & IPAs event program, which tours cities with incubator sessions and happy hours, all in the name of APIs (and IPAs).

In the end of January and early February we’ll be speaking at Developer Week and Apps-World. Our AppsWorld booth is #18 and conveniently located by the bar. So come swing by and say hi.

Here’s where we’ll be, and where we hope to run into you. If you’d like to set up a time to meet, please email us at

MacWorld 2013
Friday, 1/31 – Saturday, 2/2
Moscone Center West, San Francisco

Startup Weekend’s Transmedia SF
February 1
San Francisco

Thursday, 2/7 – Friday, 2/8
Moscone Center West, San Francisco (Booth #18)

Hearst Fashion Hackathon 2013
New York
Feb 9-10

DrinksOnTap Boston
February 13

Startup Weekend Bay Area
Feb 22
San Francisco

Feb 20 – Seattle
Feb 21 – Vancouver

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Lyft-ing Around San Francisco

By now, you pretty much have to be living under a rock to not know about Lyft – On Demand Ride Sharing – and the controversial service it offers San Franciscans. Lyft offers an alternative to public transportation, taxis, and carpooling. It’s popularity is easily visible by huge pink mustaches on the hood of all of the cars circulating around town.  Take a look at all the Lyfts right now in my hood.


I personally have used Lyft several times and have had a great experience. The app is very easy to use. Just create a profile, add a credit card, turn on your location services, and you are ready to request a driver. I like that you don’t ever need cash and you don’t “pay” the driver, you elect to donate towards their service. The donation situation, however, is the way Lyft takes advantage of the loop hole in the transportation regulations about paying for a service. NPR featured a good story on this issue back in November. 

The Bold Italic also covered the story and highlighted the signature fist bump of trust – between the driver and the passenger -in the following illustration. 


Either way, the app has a friendly, clean, and colorful user experience. It is definitely a creative solution to an urban transportation problem.  What do you think?

Now, what’s your favorite app today? Email us at or tweet it out to the world via #singly.

Timehop-ing Back is Fun

Timehop is a super fun, easy to use, and simple app that crawls through your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts and sends you a recap of what you did each day exactly a year ago, and it appears every year before that… since the beginning of your social profiles integrated with Timehop.  Timehop stars a cute dinosaur named @abe as their company mascot / symbol.

Check him out.

At first, I wasn’t sure if I would care about the service this app provides, but I am now totally hooked. I love looking back at what I did exactly a year ago. It’s a daily reminder of how much my life has changed and the direction it has taken. It’s also a reminder of how I’m getting OLD.  Originally the reminder came to me as a daily email, but now it’s a daily notification from the app on my phone, which is a much better user experience for me.

I tend to repost the content from my Timehop account and share it out to my friends all over again. This service will likely continue to evolve too.  Below is a pic from three years ago which reminded me to email my girl friends today and tell them I love them!

Now, what’s your favorite app today? Email us at or tweet it out to the world via #singly.

Twist-ing Rather than Waiting

Today’s Tuesday App Discovery is Twist.  I discovered this new app during my daily scan of 7×7 Magazine. After reading the article I instantly downloaded Twist, as it seemed pretty useful and had an nice, clean, playful user experience. I figured I would give it a whirl. Basically, Twist helps you communicate your ETA, schedule, and other time related matters to people in your social sphere…or people you care about.


At its core, Twist lets you see – in real time – where the person you are trying to meet up with is, and provides an estimate of how long it will take before he / she arrives. It seems like the service they provide will inherently prevent couples from fighting if someone is late, or help friends meet up during an action packed SF weekend. Twist has another value add if you take into account the safety element that exists when texting and driving. All in all pretty neat.

Now, what’s your favorite app today? Email us at or tweet it out to the world via #singly.