Sep 4, 2023

The Ideal Business Model For Developers: The One Person Business Model

By definition—A "One Person Business" is where you, the solo-developer, does everything from start to finish; leveraging software and contractors as you grow.

With just your skills, determination, a computer and an internet connection, solo-developers can build products that have significant impact and income potential.
The One Person Business model to design your ideal lifestyle


Autonomy, skills acquisition, uncapped earning potential, and residual income. This is what motivates me as a developer running a One Person Business. It’s the ideal business model for my personality, and the lifestyle I envision for myself. In my humble opinion, the One Person Business (or 1PB) model lets a solo-developer like me start with just my skills, determination, a computer, and an internet connection, and build products with significant income potential. Quick note – Most of what I’m talking about can work for other kinds of businesses. But I’m a developer who builds stuff with code (checkout Listing AIgent), so my explanations here are geared more for fellow devs. Let’s get started!  


Building a one person business (1PB) as a developer is extremely appealing to me. Why? The autonomy. I have full control and freedom to work on what I want, when I want, no limitations. I can build things using any tech-stack that helps me quickly spin-up a working MVP, regardless of its popularity. Just the freedom to build things I enjoy and find value in. But being autonomous requires discipline and a strong belief in self. There’s no hand-holding or managers to oversee things. You steer the ship.  

Skill acquisition

Acquiring skills is a requirement if you want to be successful as a solopreneur. Even if you outsource, or hire freelancers, you still need to be able to articulate what you need done. That requires having knowledge of the thing (the skill) you’re hiring for. For me, programming, graphic design, sales and marketing, and content creation were skills I had to acquire to bridge the knowledge gap between where I was and what I wanted to accomplish; Building a portfolio of micro-SaaS products as a 1PB. I’m intellectually curious by nature, so the process of learning and using a new skill energizes and excites me.  

Uncapped earning potential

As a solo-developer, your income is directly tied to the value you provide through your products and services. There’s no limit to how much you can earn if you create something people really want. My guiding principles for building a product that has the potential to be successful are simple: solve a real problem for a specific group of people, and tap into people’s desire for escapism. Of course there’s no guarantee that if you use these principles your product will be successful, but if you build a genuinely useful product and market it effectively, the chances are high that you’ll out-earn someone working the same hours at a traditional job.  

Residual Income

Build it once and sell it forever. That’s the solopreneur’s mantra, and the beauty of residual income. You put the work in upfront to build assets like digital products, SaaS platforms, or online business systems with the goal to generate consistent revenue month after month. Take Pieter Levels, arguably the most known solo-founder out there. He’s built several 1PBs and as I write this article his MRR (monthly recurring revenue) is roughly $200K. Pieter Levels  

Now what?

Being a developer in today’s world is truly amazing. All you need is an internet connection, a great idea, and some spare time, and you have the potential to create something that can positively impact the lives of millions, including your own. Not sure where to begin? Follow my lead and start by identifying a problem to solve or automating a task that simplifies your daily life. Chances are, others will find it just as valuable. Then, work on bridging the gap between your current skills and your desired goals. And most importantly, keep building, keep creating. With your newfound skills and a determined attitude, you hold the keys to making a significant difference in your life. The journey of a solopreneur isn’t just about business; it’s a path to self-reliance, confidence, and unlocking your full potential. So, here’s to building and creating with passion! 🚀