Solo Entrepreneur: Nick Bradbury

One-person companies are earning upward of $1 million in revenue annually. How do they do it? With high-speed Internet connectivity, mobile apps, automation, and a little help from their customers.

InformationWeek profiled one-person companies that are currently reaping more than $1 million in revenue annually. These businesses have a number of things in common. First, all of them use the Web to leverage their limited financial and personnel resources for everything from marketing and sales to sourcing raw materials and products to customer service and support.

Second, they depend on high-speed Internet connectivity and mobile applications to work from anywhere and create virtual teams and partnerships that can be either permanent or brought together on an ad hoc basis. Finally, they depend heavily on their customer bases/user communities to pitch in and help with essential operations.

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Today: Nick Bradbury. Bradbury is a legend among the independent, grassroots, pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps Web-developer set. A serial entrepreneur, he is the creator of the HTML editor HomeSite, the CSS/xHTML editor TopStyle, and the RSS reader FeedDemon, all of which have achieved a near-fanatical user following over the years.

He won’t divulge how much NewsGator Technologies paid for Bradbury Software in 2005 — or what his annual revenue was prior to that, when he was a one-person business for more than 10 years — Bradbury admits that they were both “considerable” and provided for “very good living.” And although now technically an employee of NewsGator, he refused to move to Denver, preferring instead to continue working solo in his home outside of Nashville.

Although now part of a large organization, he is continuing to work on his own creations — just with more resources behind him. “I’m allowed to just work on FeedDemon out of my house,” he says. “It’s a lifestyle decision. Every developer who grows his business ends up not developing anymore. I didn’t want that to happen to me. I’m still doing the things I like doing — designing new applications and then coding them.”

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