Life on the Frontier


I’ve been following Brad Feld’s blog since I moved to Boulder. I like it because he makes it personal, I always learn something interesting, and many times I’m inspired. His post last Thursday, Welcome to The Frontier – An Ode To Startups, was both instructive and inspiring. The post was written by Zack Rosen, the CEO of a Foundry portfolio company.

I’ve often talked about entrepreneurship being the wild west. There is no status quo. You survive by your vision, wit, street smarts, and a little of what many people call luck (I call it destiny because I don’t believe in luck).

However, the analogy of the wild west falls short in many ways. Right? There are no due’s in entrepreneurship, particularly if the entrepreneur is any good. It’s not about standing face to face with a competitor waiting to see who will shoot first. Rather, entrepreneurs work together, even with those who may seem like competitors, to build a thriving market out of nothing. It’s a game of growth, not of market share.

Also, entrepreneurship isn’t about hijacking trains, bandits, or bluffing. In fact, the exact opposite is true. Reputation is extremely important and tarnishing yours can end your career.

Zack’s article shared a much better, yet similar analogy for entrepreneurship. He called it the Frontier. It is not about duels. It is about working together. It is about respect. “Notice the other paths laid by other teams out here on The Frontier….When you pass another team blazing their path, tip your hat….Be gracious on The Frontier.”

Why? Because things change quickly on the Frontier, you never know when you may have to pool your resource in a hard winter. It happens! The only example I can think of is a competitor becoming an acquirer. Others?

I’d love to hear your reaction to Zack’s article (I’ll apologize in advance for his two expletives).

Personally, I think his ideas would be perfect to share with potential employees. They’ll either be inspired by the challenge, or scared away by it. Take, for instance, the following thought, “On The Frontier, there’s no rule of law and there are no guarantees. There are consequences if we get it wrong. We won’t be destitute, but we’ll always wonder if we could have done better.”

If someone isn’t inspired by that, they shouldn’t work in a startup. It’s that simple. I’m not trying to be disrespectful, it makes total sense to not be an entrepreneur. Why would any one want to live without rules, where the consequences can be enormous.

But then they may have to live with what might have been. I can’t do that.


About The Author

Ben currently works as a senior developer and technical business consultant outside of Boulder, Colorado.

Read more about Ben

About Buink

Buink Web Development is a development shop founded in 2009 by Ben Buie. For years, Ben built and modified web assets for clients in Utah. In 2011, he moved the company to Colorado and in 2015 he started taking on new clients full-time.

Buink’s Core Values:

  • Cost effective technology (with business strategy in mind)
  • Eloquent, maintainable code
  • Responsive and transparent communication

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Dave G.
Dave G.
14:05 13 Aug 23
Buink is a great place to work, as well as a great place to have quality software written. I originally contracted Buink for some web development, and it worked out so well we began working together on many different projects. Definitely an honest transparent company that needs to be considered for... your software more
Dru M.
Dru M.
15:41 25 Mar 21
Ben’s a super responsive, thoughtful, sharp and all around great guy to work with. Excellent with his trade. I’d recommend him to anyone. Thanks Ben!
Seth L.
Seth L.
21:36 29 Jun 19
Ben and team are incredible to work with. They are reliable and proficient. I'd highly recommend hiring them for web development work. SethVOLTAGE
Craig A.
Craig A.
20:50 18 Jun 19
It was a pleasure to work with Ben and his team. It is rare to find such attention to high standards of coding and devops.
Lexi S.
Lexi S.
15:36 18 Jun 19
Grateful to have Ben and his team as such a capable, reliable partner for completing client work!
Tom S.
Tom S.
13:18 14 Jun 19
I reached out to Buink after finding Ben’s name in a local developer/consultant listing in 2017, and I have to say, it has been an absolute pleasure to work with Buink. Ben consistently understands not just the development task laid in front of him but the business application behind the task. I’ve... never felt more comfortable with a development team than I do with Buink. I truly feel Ben and his team are integral partners in the success of my more
Marilyn F.
Marilyn F.
22:47 13 May 19
I could not recommend Buink Web Development more highly. Ben and his team have recently developed a budgeting app for me (both web and IOS). I have had the opportunity of working with them for over a year and I am extremely happy with the results.I would say that the biggest plus for me is that I... trust Ben completely. From the very first, Ben has helped me make decisions that were in the best interest of my company. I have never felt like he is taking advantage of me. Ben does his best to keep the whole process very open and upfront. I have really appreciated that.I tell people all the time that I love my developers. And I do. I'm very happy that I chose to use Buink to develop my apps. It was the best business decision I could have made.If you are looking for someone to develop a website or app, I strongly suggest choosing Buink Web Development. They are fantastic!Marilyn Ference, President, Defend Your Money, LLCread more
James Landon B.
James Landon B.
01:33 28 Aug 18
Great company to help with all your web design needs!
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