Single Person Billion Dollar Company

Single Person Billion Dollar Company

For one year I've told people that it's going to be possible for a single person to build a billion dollar evaluation company soon. My reasoning is quite simple and based upon math.

200 years ago if you wanted to become the richest person on earth you needed 1,000,000 employees. 100 years ago you needed 500,000 employees. 50 years ago you needed 200,000 employees. Today Elon Musk has maybe 50,000 employees. Extrapolating the figures forward in time inevitably reaches the point where you could become the richest man on earth with a handful of employees.

Hiring AI

I passionately hate it when people anthropromorphize AI. It's an inevitable consequence of all the AI doomsday sayers I guess. However, "hiring AI" is one of my exceptions. Automation has driven our ability to reduce head count, while still increasing revenue. Something illustrated by the above walk through 200 years of history.

The reason why Elon Musk doesn't need 500,000 employees to become ultra rich, is because he's got robots and automation. AI is in these regards just the natural end of the line for automation. In the video below for instance, I am performing a task in 5 minutes that would take a human being 3 hours to perform a couple of years ago.

AI can in such a regard automate a huge portion of your manual labour, to an extent that would seem like science fiction 5 years ago. We would know. As an AI company we're at the zenith of this evolution.

Combined with traditional automation, AI can in theory replace hundreds of thousands of human employees, to the point where a single person could in theory create a company, leverage AI, and grow it to a billion dollar company.

Is this a Get Rich Fast Scheme?

This is in no ways a get rich fast scheme. If you're looking for easy money, this article is not your excuse. If it was easy, everybody would do it and become billionaires. It still requires extreme amounts of efforts and work, simply because if everybody could do it, everybody would do it, and money would effectively lose its value.

Elon Musk is still sleeping in his office and working 100+ hours per week. If he didn't, somebody else would outperform him, and he would no longer be the richest guy on earth. And it doesn't matter how far we push the envelope. If you want to bubble to the top, you're going to have to put extreme demands on yourself in order to get there. AI and automation will never change this, simply because it's a competing space, where whoever puts down the most effort, naturally will bubble upwards and become "richer" than the next guy.

However, there are some unique historical opportunities here for those willing to put down the extra work ...

The Social Revolution

If you believe my main notion in this article, the consequences of this becomes "interesting" to say the least. First of all, there's "old money and new money". "Old money" here implies people having already become billionaires using traditional means.

When the USSR collapsed for instance, Oligarchs would get to buy all state owned production means for pennies on the dollar, turning these into capitalistic juggernauts, where most of these companies would employe 10,000+ people. Everybody who made their fortunes this way in the mid 1990s would learn that "it's all about manpower". I don't mean to pick on Eastern European people here. Similar mechanisms also occurred in the west, but it's more "visible" in the former USSR states, because it happened over night.

The lessons these Oligarchs learned were counter intuitive for their abilities to earn money in the future, because what they learned was that if you somehow can employ 10,000+ people in some production facility, you would outperform your next of kin, and end up with more monetary means than your neighbour.

As salaries are increasing due to a more globalized economy, where US companies can hire the smartest guys in the East, outperforming Eastern European countries on salaries - It becomes increasingly difficult for this "old money" to find talent and employ in their companies. So "old money" is left with scraps.

A super talented software developer can easily outperform a mediocre software developer by 10x, probably much more too. So it's no longer about "head count", but rather about "the right head". I spoke to a Russian guy who obviously understood this a couple of weeks ago in Limassol where I live. He told me he had just recently hired a software developer he was paying $50,000 per month to build him an LLM. Getting paid 50K per month as a software developer in Limassol would seem like a ridiculous prospect 2 years ago. Today it's "just the way things are".

I congratulated him, and told him that if he tripled that monthly salary, maybe even I would consider working for him ... πŸ˜‰

In case you didn't "get it", I was literally turning him down, thinking 50K per month wasn't good enough for me to even consider switching ... πŸ˜‚

And yes, I am worth it. If you think 10,000 software developers can outperform me, let me know on LinkedIn, and I can easily hook you up with 10,000+ software developers. I'm getting half a dozen of offers for hiring people on LinkedIn every single day, and I keep on clicking the "no button" every single time. In fact, at AINIRO.IO there's one software developer so far, and that's me, period! I don't see this changing any time soon either. I will easily outperform your 10,000+ strong army, without even breaking a sweat. If you don't believe me you might want to check out my work.

It's not about head count, it's about hiring the right guy. And the "right guy" doesn't work for money!

The end of the line for the Oligarchs

This implies that "new money" will be built using mechanisms that "old money" cannot possible understand. And even if they can understand it, "new money" don't even want to work for old money. Basically, there are people on this earth that I wouldn't work for even if they paid me a billion dollars per hour. And I'm not alone feeling this way.

I would much rather build my own company, together with my children, roughing it for a while until we break it. And I suspect that's true for 100% of "super talented software developers", implying "old money" cannot even compete, because they cannot attract the right heads. Basically ...

Google doesn't have deep enough pockets for me to ever wanting to work for them. I don't care if they paid me a billion dollars per hour, I'd still tell them to go fΓΈkk themselves ...

The inevitable long term consequences of this is that we're about to see the single largest movement of money throughout the history of humanity, and it's the movement of money away from "old money" and into the pockets of "new money". Basically, at the end of the line, Sam Altman is right, and we'll see the following occurring over time ...

AI facilitating for a single human being able to build a billion dollar company, using nothing but extreme determination, and a willingness to work insane hours

And since it's a competetive space, "old money" will simply dry out and vanish ...

I am in no ways a socialist or communist, in fact quite the opposite - But I suspect there are several "Marxist jokes" in the above observation - And I suspect even Karl would laugh and roll over in his grave if he could witness what's happening today, even though he was arguably proven wrong ... 😁

R.I.P. old money!!

Edit - Psst, if you actually want to "hire me" this is extremely easy. Buy our services here and help me build a family company together with my children - Because at the end of the line it's the only thing I care about - If you do, I will even work for free for you ... πŸ˜‰

Thomas Hansen

Thomas Hansen I am the CEO and Founder of AINIRO.IO, Ltd. I am a software developer with more than 25 years of experience. I write about Machine Learning, AI, and how to help organizations adopt said technologies. You can follow me on LinkedIn if you want to read more of what I write.

Published 1. Feb 2024