Comment On Rolling in the Money

Kevin Saff is not what many would consider “the ideal candidate.” He started his career as a C++ coder for a major manufacturer, but then quit to pursue a mathematics degree in Canada. That didn’t quite do it for him either, as he then dropped out to pursue something far more interesting: canoe from Calgary to New Orleans. But after 1,200+ miles of rowing, his journey ended in Minneapolis with a cracked boat and a frozen river. Temporarily, of course, as he plans to pick up and continue south someday soon. [expand full text]
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Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 11:11 • by Ozz (unregistered)
I'll leave a comment... after the game is released...

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 11:12 • by Anonymous (unregistered)
POW!

Just like that, and this comment is already worth BILLIONS!
That's what you get when you advertise in the right places!

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 11:14 • by Roy T. (unregistered)
The funny thing is, someone asked me todo the exact same thing for him. Why do people keep expecting that programmers can make you millionairs! We are just tools! (like any employee is to a business)

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 11:15 • by axus
This is truly a WTF. It does make me want to try "venturethevoid.com" though ;p

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 11:20 • by Rob (unregistered)
I had exactly the same experience with some loony who wanted to start a hedge-fund based on his ideas for algorithmic trading and my programming. I did some proof of concept and not a single one of his ideas could be shown to turn a profit, yet he was convinced that once he had a programmer on the team he would magically start earning millions.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 11:22 • by Craig Greenhouse (unregistered)
First!
Game Over :-)

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 11:25 • by dkf
247443 in reply to 247440
Rob:
he was convinced that once he had a programmer on the team he would magically start earning millions.
Japanese millions? Zimbabwean millions? This sort of thing matters.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 11:29 • by Forte (unregistered)
you don't row a canoe. you paddle it.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 11:41 • by greg (unregistered)
Wow. I had a job interview just like that before. "Idea Guys". These guys, however, were in the 'legitimate' 900 number 'service' industry. The disgusting thing is they are the ones who get venture capital.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 11:44 • by Ren
First I build this thing that sends a well-formatted query to IP resolved from address 'thedailywtf.com', then this another thing takes the text that I got from the first thing and builds a visual map for a third thing to display on my computer screen.

Then I write a comment in the third thing through a fourth thing that does all the IO handling that looks like a text box (the thing, not the thing) and click on the thing in the thing that looks like a button and POW, instant comment.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 11:47 • by Drew (unregistered)
Venture of the Void sounds like an interesting game. I'll have to go check it out. :)

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 11:49 • by ping floyd (unregistered)
247455 in reply to 247435
Roy T.:
We are just tools!

Hey, you said it, not me... :-)

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 11:50 • by Eric (unregistered)
247457 in reply to 247440
Rob:
I had exactly the same experience with some loony who wanted to start a hedge-fund based on his ideas for algorithmic trading and my programming. I did some proof of concept and not a single one of his ideas could be shown to turn a profit, yet he was convinced that once he had a programmer on the team he would magically start earning millions.

Step 1: Code algorithms.
Step 2: ???
Step 3: PROFIT!

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 11:53 • by EatenByAGrue (unregistered)
247458 in reply to 247451
greg:
Wow. I had a job interview just like that before. "Idea Guys". These guys, however, were in the 'legitimate' 900 number 'service' industry. The disgusting thing is they are the ones who get venture capital.


Better than being in a really dirty business like banking.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 12:02 • by idfk (unregistered)
Popular MMOs don't advertise in-game.
Google advertising themselves?? That would be like an Apple computer coming with a free "Switch to Mac" ad inside.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 12:05 • by St Mary's Hospital for the Broken Ideas (unregistered)
And Venture the Void ONLY has 25 players?

Holy mother of God.



I thought hundreds of pubescent would fall for that game. Especially before getting to know WoW.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 12:05 • by Yup (unregistered)
247462 in reply to 247445
Maybe that's why he never made it to his final destination.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 12:07 • by St Mary's Hospital for the Broken Ideas (unregistered)
247463 in reply to 247461
St Mary's Hospital for the Broken Ideas:
And Venture the Void ONLY has 25 players?


Err:

In total there are
3159 space cadets
playing in
110 games.

But the server is down :-D

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 12:13 • by strictnein
If you look at craiglist there are always "idea" guys looking for programmers. And no, I'm not talking about the casual encounters section.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 12:13 • by danixdefcon5
247465 in reply to 247461
St Mary's Hospital for the Broken Ideas:
And Venture the Void ONLY has 25 players?

Holy mother of God.

I thought hundreds of pubescent would fall for that game. Especially before getting to know WoW.
That would be 25 paying players. Pubescents have lots of time to play games, but no money or credit cards. This is the same reason I decided not to start a Ragnarok MMO server, as the only assurance I was given about income was through "donations".

My sister and I have played on other Ragnarok servers. None of the players I've known have donated, including ourselves. I doubt donations would keep something like that up.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 12:17 • by mamelouk (unregistered)
247469 in reply to 247457
I couldn't summarize it better

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 12:17 • by cod3_complete
WTF...just WTF...is this real? Somebody tell me this isn't real...

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 12:19 • by mamelouk (unregistered)
247472 in reply to 247457
Eric:

Step 1: Code algorithms.
Step 2: ???
Step 3: PROFIT!


I couldn't summarize it better

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 12:20 • by Steerpike (unregistered)
No one else got uncomfortable reading a story that was making fun of someone that seemed pretty clearly mentally ill?

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 12:20 • by ContraCorners
247474 in reply to 247433
Anonymous:
POW!

Just like that, and this comment is already worth BILLIONS!
That's what you get when you advertise in the right places!


POW!

Just like that, my 401(k) is alreay worth NOTHING! Oh, wait, that's not because of *this* game.

Never mind.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 12:33 • by JamesQMurphy
Jeff seems like the kind of character I'd expect to see on an episode of "Law and Order: SVU".

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 12:33 • by Dave A (unregistered)
So thats how WOW started off? I bet Keith's kicking himself now...

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 12:39 • by Jay (unregistered)
247483 in reply to 247458
EatenByAGrue:
greg:
Wow. I had a job interview just like that before. "Idea Guys". These guys, however, were in the 'legitimate' 900 number 'service' industry. The disgusting thing is they are the ones who get venture capital.


Better than being in a really dirty business like banking.


Or government.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 12:50 • by brillant (unregistered)
247485 in reply to 247436
axus:
This is truly a WTF. It does make me want to try "venturethevoid.com" though ;p


So advertising HERE will make them BILLONS! BRILLANT!

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 12:59 • by Pim
247486 in reply to 247472
mamelouk:
Eric:

Step 1: Code algorithms.
Step 2: ???
Step 3: PROFIT!
I couldn't summarize it better
:: slaps forehead ::

Now I know what I'm doing wrong! I have been following the wrong scheme all this time, never getting to the "Profit" phase!

Step 1: Code algorithms
Step 2: Test
Step 3: Go back to step 1.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 13:02 • by edgeCase (unregistered)
Hmm, maybe Kevin should have asked for 2% of the proceeds Venture the Void is getting from thedailywtf.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 13:02 • by CaRL (unregistered)
My cousin's friend wanted me to make him a quick web site "just like ebay, only for used cars". His expectation was that we would slap it together in a few evenings by email -- him providing the design ("make it just like ebay") and me turning that into code by clicking the secret "create website" button or whatever it is we developers do.

We would make millions. Well actually, he would, being his idea you know.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 13:11 • by Mike (unregistered)
OMG.. I think I might have worked for this guy. Though I got a (pithy) salary. Sounds like the same hare-brained thinking, though.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 13:13 • by Zapp Brannigan (unregistered)
247494 in reply to 247473
Steerpike:
No one else got uncomfortable reading a story that was making fun of someone that seemed pretty clearly mentally ill?
Let me see with a show of hands... Nope, just you.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 13:16 • by ContraCorners
247496 in reply to 247494
Zapp Brannigan:
Steerpike:
No one else got uncomfortable reading a story that was making fun of someone that seemed pretty clearly mentally ill?
Let me see with a show of hands... Nope, just you.


Holds hand up. Not just you.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 13:37 • by RobFreundlich
247504 in reply to 247457
Eric:

Step 1: Code algorithms.
Step 2: ???
Step 3: PROFIT!


Given the number of people here who are now checking out venturethevoid.com, perhaps this should be:

Step 1: Get friend to interview somewhere WTFy
Step 2: Get mentioned in passing on The Daily WTF
Step 3: ???
Step 4: Profit!

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 13:37 • by Mark Draughn (unregistered)
247505 in reply to 247473
Steerpike:
No one else got uncomfortable reading a story that was making fun of someone that seemed pretty clearly mentally ill?

Little bit.

You can't always tell, though. Sometimes it's a fine line between genius and madness. I've run into a couple of guys who sounded only slightly less crazy than Jeff but had real money because a few of their thousands of ideas had hit it big. One of them even had a combination laboratory/machine shop/electrical shop in his basement, making him the closest thing to a mad scientist I've ever met.

Then there are the marketing types, because sometimes it's a fine line between marketing and madness. They say the same kinds of things as Jeff, but they also tell you they have a digital artist, a Google senior researcher, the Department of Defense, and someone at Pixar interested in the project...

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 13:37 • by WhiskeyJack
If it were me, the interview would have ended before it began, once I found myself looking up at a residential apartment building.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 13:38 • by Zaratustra (unregistered)
Thinking you can make a MMO in six months and rake the money in seems to be a prevalent disease in the industry.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 13:38 • by Adam K (unregistered)
This is exactly like my last job. My boss couldn't, for the life of him, figure out why his "stores" (which were just Amazon affiliates) weren't pulling in high page ranks for "shoes" and "baby products." After the second or third week I gave up trying to explain it to him and I blindly obeyed everything he wanted coded. Thankfully he paid well.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 13:42 • by Huhwut (unregistered)
Call me a cynic, but this story (however good it may be) just feels like a good bait for free publicity to Venture the Void.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 13:45 • by Someone That's Not You (unregistered)
Ok look, he's not mentally ill, just stupid. It's a disease that 80% of humanity suffers from. We just happen to have social niches that don't put us into TOO much contact with them. Sounds like this guy just happen to find someone who's in the bottom of the barrel.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 13:46 • by BruceA
247512 in reply to 247508
Adam K:
This is exactly like my last job. My boss couldn't, for the life of him, figure out why his "stores" (which were just Amazon affiliates) weren't pulling in high page ranks for "shoes" and "baby products." After the second or third week I gave up trying to explain it to him and I blindly obeyed everything he wanted coded. Thankfully he paid well.


If it paid well, your last job was probably NOT exactly like this.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 13:49 • by Schnapple (unregistered)
247513 in reply to 247473
Steerpike:
No one else got uncomfortable reading a story that was making fun of someone that seemed pretty clearly mentally ill?


I don't think he was mentally ill. He was introverted, not terribly bright, and a bit of a social retard, but I don't think he was literally mentally ill.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 13:57 • by Schnapple (unregistered)
247515 in reply to 247435
Roy T.:
The funny thing is, someone asked me todo the exact same thing for him. Why do people keep expecting that programmers can make you millionairs! We are just tools! (like any employee is to a business)


OK, so honest discussion question:

You're someone who is not a programmer, but you have a brilliant idea. And just for fun let's say it really is a brilliant idea. Like, it's the next Google.

But you don't have a lick of programming chops. And you know for a fact that you can't learn how to either (and again, just for fun, let's say that this is actually true - you're the kind of person who just doesn't have the mental capacity to learn programming).

And you don't know anyone at all in real life who can program.

And you have no money whatsoever or hope of being able to pull down venture capital.

But you have this idea that is going to make Google look like a cakewalk.

Is it really that insane of an idea to try and see if you can find a programmer willing to turn your idea into gold with the premise that you won't be able to pay them until you can make money, but once the idea is making money they'll be paid very well?

And is it really that much of a stretch to think that you couldn't find someone willing to do this? Someone who's got programming chops but is financially secure? Someone willing to do this in their spare time (see: FOSS)?

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 14:12 • by anon (unregistered)
I especially like that my virus scanner classified the VtV client as malware (based on heuristics).

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 14:15 • by jscott (unregistered)
247518 in reply to 247488
CaRL:

We would make millions. Well actually, he would, being his idea you know.


I actually like his idea: http://www.motors.ebay.com

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 14:16 • by Calli Arcale (unregistered)
Okay, so there's a great WTF story in this, but am I the only one who thinks it's just totally cool that this guy was trying to canoe from Calgary to New Orleans?

That takes GUTS. Very cool indeed.

And I was impressed by the kids, fresh out of college, who paddled from St Paul to Hudson Bay last summer. Wow. Very cool. Now I want to go look at maps and try to figure out what route he took. From Winnepeg to the Twin Cities is fairly straightforward (Red River to Minnesota River to Mississippi River), but I'm not sure how you get from Calgary to Winnepeg by canoe. I have little doubt that its doable, though, provided one has enough time and doesn't mind a few blisters.

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 14:18 • by A.T. (unregistered)
This venture the void game looks cool, but I don't want to pay 25$ for it. Can't you just tell Calvin to provide a free online account that will be financed with ads?

Re: Rolling in the Money

2009-03-04 14:22 • by JamesQMurphy
247521 in reply to 247515
Schnapple:

Is it really that insane of an idea to try and see if you can find a programmer willing to turn your idea into gold with the premise that you won't be able to pay them until you can make money, but once the idea is making money they'll be paid very well?

And is it really that much of a stretch to think that you couldn't find someone willing to do this? Someone who's got programming chops but is financially secure? Someone willing to do this in their spare time (see: FOSS)?


Yes it is a stretch. Go to one of your favorite video games that actually lists credits. Something like Guitar Hero or Portal -- anything with credits. Now read them.

Seriously, read them. I'll wait.

You're back? Notice how many people are involved? Granted, that's for a polished video game, but the point is, it takes more than a single programmer with good chops, spare time, and a retirement fund. At some point you'll need more resources. What about customer support? QA? Accounting? This is why business plans exist.

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