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, Change.org 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 community@singly.com.

RecBob + Singly

This was originally posted on CQuartier’s blog, where he writes about progress on his mobile app, RecBob. We were inspired and flattered by what he wrote, so we decided to repost here. Enjoy!

RecBob’s Beginnings

Before I can explain why I love Singly, I have to explain the path we took to get there. When we started RecBob our intial plan was to utilize Facebook by making RecBob a Facebook app almost exclusively. Our reasoning was that we did not want to have to recreate a social network just for RecBob, when so many people already used Facebook. There were several reasons why this turned out to be a bad idea:

  1. Facebook’s API documentation is often obtuse, wrong, or both, making the initial development more frustrating than we had imagined. Before the switch to Singly, I was never able to get the authentication flow working reliably on all major browsers (especiallyIE).
  2. Our MVP (minimum viable product) is more of a tool for our users and less of a social network. Including social network connectivity will make our app more fun and engaging, but our initial focus had to be solving the headaches that come with managing and playing on rec teams.
  3. Relying solely on Facebook authentication for our users meant that we were leaving out people that didn’t use/didn’t want to use Facebook. I think we all saw this as a problem we’d eventually solve, but it turned out to be a far more serious problem than we initially thought and it ultimately prompted us to start looking at different solutions (and also regret not looking sooner).

The Turning Point

After deciding that we wanted to focus our efforts on solving the problems that rec-league teams have we soon realized that we couldn’t very well solve those problems if we couldn’t assemble the whole team. If RecBob could not be used for every member of a team, then the captain would still have to rely on the inferior crutches we were trying to remove (e.g. using a mailing list to handle all communications). We were missing 3 parts of the puzzle: 1) users that didn’t have Facebook (and therefore could not log in to RecBob at all), 2) users that had Facebook but did not want to use our app with their Facebook credentials, and 3) users that were on Facebook, allowed the app, but were not connected to anyone else on the team.
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Meet our talented videographers

Just as our company mission is to empower developers, we believe it’s our duty (and know it’s our desire) to empower the people around us – including our trusted, talented vendors – in every way possible.

We work with a wide variety of vendors for lots of different projects. Recently, we worked with five highly talented videographers around the country to put together videos to highlight some of our key customers. Today, we’d like to take the time to highlight these individuals. If you have any needs for a videographer, feel free to reach out to them!

0 (3744×5616)Bill Radtke

Website:          www.motioncanvas.la
Instagram:      @billradtke
Location:         Los Angeles
Singly video:   AdoptTogether
Email:             bill (at) motioncanvas.la

What did you enjoy the most about working on the Singly project?
This most recent project with Singly was intimately connected with my own journey. My wife and I raised 100% of our adoption costs through a non profit called Adopt Together. It was an honor being able to create awareness for Adopt Together. The fact that Singly wants to promote companies like Adopt Together and partner with them makes me think that we are on the same mission to create more good in the world.
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In Case You Missed It Last Week…(APIs)

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A busy, fun week at Singly

Monthly Happy Hour

Every month we open our doors to the public for an evening of drinks, socializing and, inevitably, rampant discussion of APIs and personal data. It’s a great way to strengthen our relationship with the developer community while drawing feedback on our new projects and features – and learning about all the cool things everyone else is building. Join us next month, and, for now, check out a quick time lapse of this week’s happy hour:

Field Trip

Our other exciting event this week was a field trip to Oblong Industries, which is a company that’s building hardware and software to change the way that users interface with computers. Using gesture recognition, video conferencing, shared workspace and more, Oblong is doing some very interesting work.

Here we are interacting with Oblong’s cool technology:

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