Where The Old PUAs Go To Die

When discussing pro PUAs (think RooshV, Yad, TylerRSD) with friends, at some point someone (possibly me) will say, “… but they’ll be fucked when they’re older”. The thinking behind this is that they make their money by picking up girls, and teaching other guys how to do this. A job like this surely has quite a young retirement age attached to it. It’s unlikely they can be doing this successfully in their late 40s. So what will they do next? They’ve got one skill (pickup) that will be useless to them when they get to a certain age.

At first I thought as entrepreneurs they could just find a new business. As I thought more about this I started thinking as the manosphere ‘market’ as a whole, and had some interesting thoughts on where it’s heading.

Big changes in Western society mean that marriage rates have been declining rapidly since the 60s with this trend accelerating in the 00s.

Between 2000 and 2009, the share of young adults ages 25 to 34 who are married dropped 10 percentage points, from 55 percent to 45 percent, according to ACS data. During the same period, the percentage who have never been married increased sharply, from 34 percent to 46 percent. In a dramatic reversal, the proportion of young adults in the United States who have never been married now exceeds those who are married.

I will never get married (for reasons which I presume are obvious to my readership). If the current marriage trend continues it is estimated that half of the men in Western countries will never get married. In a decade’s time I will be in my early 40s. I predict that that by this point I will be the rule, not the exception. I beleive less men will end up getting married than the article suggests. It really wouldn’t surprise me if by the time I’m 40 odd and still single, around 60 percent of men will be in the same boat. While this doesn’t mean these men won’t have kids, I think a good percentage of them won’t. In the 2020s you will have a situation where a sizeable proportion of men (maybe 20%):

  • Have never been married, and never will
  • Don’t have kids, and never will
  • Have no financial responsibilities, barring their own personal needs
  • Aren’t strongly tied to one geographic location
  • Still want casual sex with many different partners, and are free to pursue this

This will be the first time in human history when this is the case. There will be too many of us to dismiss as ‘Peter Pans’ who never grew up. There will be millions of us. We will be legion. Obviously this will be very worrying for society (and especially women), as this is a demographic that would have traditionally shouldered the bulk of the tax burden, in addition to giving most of their money to their wives. They won’t be doing this any more, and yet government spending seems to keep increasing… You get the picture. How badly this could fuck society in the ass isn’t what this post is about, I just find it ammusing that the manosphere sees this coming, whilst the sociologists and the politicians can’t see the storm front on the horizon.

So what has all this got to do with ageing professional PUAs? In the coming years the type of man I described above will make up a very lucrative market. These men are going to be in the market to buy products in the form of books, DVDs, seminars, supplements that will help them do the following:

  • Make money in a location independent manner
  • Manage their money wisely
  • Live abroad
  • Learn languages
  • Stay looking young and in shape despite ageing
  • Pickup girls much younger then them, or failing that
  • Get women in their 30s who want commitment from a man to accept fuck buddy status

All this information is currently offered to some degree across the internet, but there aren’t many people as of yet specifically targeting the ‘mature manosphere’ and their needs. I think many people who today make their money selling PUA services will transition to selling to this market. The PUA material will simply shift emphasis to dealing with multi decade age gaps between a man and the girls he wants, and add an emphasis on travel and entrepreneurship.

Having seen increased references to location independence, personal finance and things like Euro jaunts this transition is already taking place. It’s a slightly different market from just selling cold approach bootcamps to guys in their 20s, and it will be very profitable for the right person with the right products.

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Why Software Development is a Bad Career Choice

I’ve read a lot of advice in the manosphere recently telling young guys that they should go into a career in software development. As someone who now has 10 years of software development experience under his belt, I’m going to tell you why this could be a bad idea.

First I’ll clarify what exactly it is I mean by software development. I mean anything that involves programming some form of computer, including but not limited to:

  • Desktop application development
  • Mobile application development
  • Web development

I myself a a web developer, but the following applies to all forms of programming career.

Lets look at why people are recommending this as a career to young manosphere guys:

  • No degree needed
  • Demand for developers exceeds supply
  • Can earn large amounts of money
  • It’s the next big thing

These are all true, to some extent. Lets look at each of them in turn:

No degree needed

This is true. If you teach yourself development and put a portfolio together, you can probably get a job as a junior developer in most major cities without a degree. This is an advantage over other careers such as law or medicine where a degree is essential. This makes software development a very easy career to break into in a world where multiple degrees are increasingly required for many professional jobs.

Demand for developers exceeds supply

True to some extent. The business world is often whining about not being able to find developers. The truth is that this is fairly easy to do if your business:

  1. Isn’t located in an area of excessively high developer demand, like Silicon Valley.
  2. Offers a truly competitive salary. Many do not then wonder why they struggle to hire. I’m not even talking about offering an excessive salary, just on the good side of market rates.
  3. Offers a reasonable working environment for developers (proper tools, quiet working conditions, good management)
  4. Isn’t excessively picky in what technologies you require new hires to have. Tech changes fast. There’s hot new stuff to learn on an almost monthly basis, and there are many competing technologies out there. This means if you look for a very specific set of technologies, as opposed to looking for a good grasp of the fundamentals, you massively limit your search.

Although there is certainly a lot of work out there, the main reason for business whining about a lack of developers is in order to put pressure on the government to relax work visa laws. This will enable UK / US businesses to ship in foreign workers in order to keep the supply high, and stop salaries rising. If you think this is me being all conspiracy theory please bare in mind this is what the company I work for is currently doing. Our CEO whined to the press that it was hard to find developers and the government should do something about it. The company is now part of a government scheme that fast tracks work visas for tech workers. About 1/3rd of our developers are now on visas, and all of the new ones we are currently interviewing would be.

Can earn large amounts of money

Again, somewhat true. The accounts of guys earning $150,000 straight out of university are by no means representative. If you graduated top 10 in your class in a top 5 tech college in the US you may well make this much working for one of the big tech firms in Silicon Valley (Facebook, Google). You have to remember Silicon Valley has costs of living such that $150k isn’t much money there. Most developers in the US will earn around $80k, with a career peak of maybe $100k.

It’s the next big thing

True…

So far the points I have presented seem to disprove the title of the blog post. You can earn more than the average salary. There’s a lot of work going. There are low barriers to entry. One of my colleagues is a great example of this. He taught himself web development in his teens. Never went to university. Left school early to become a Junior Developer at 17. Now, at the ripe old age of 22 he makes £50k a year working in London as a web developer. So at a young age and no degree he makes a salary that is almost twice the UK average, and around 40% higher than the average London salary. This is very good considering many UK graduates that studied non science subjects can’t even get a job.

There we have it then. Software development is a great career. In your twenties. This is the rub about this career: you peak fast and it’s down hill from there. I’m now 32 and I’m one job hop away from reaching peak career salary. This is despite me being quite slow at moving my career forward. It’s quite possible to peak before you’ve even hit 30. If I want to progress I need to move into a purely management role. This is unlike law or medicine where you can increase your authority whilst still mainly doing your core job, rather than management, with a steady rise in salary throughout your career. So just bite the bullet and go down the management route? Not that simple. Many tech teams are managed by people from a non tech background (account managers, marketing managers etc), and as such there often isn’t much of a management track available.

Then we hit the age factor. As a 32 year old developer I’m considered old. Many would consider me too old (no, I’m not joking). The industry likes to thing of itself as young and fast moving. Unlike if I was a doctor where my greying hair would be seen as a reassuring sign of experience, in software development it’s a sign that I’m probably out of touch with technology, and not willing to work for a tiny salary and the promise of ‘stock’.

Then there’s the pace of change. Baring core software development skills, all of a developers skill set will go out of date every 5 years. Even if you hold back on learning new skills for a single year you will be behind to the extent that it could negatively impact your employability. It’s a bit like running on a treadmill at a brutal pace. You have to keep going just to keep your job, and to run even faster if you want to learn the skills to progress to higher levels. It is probably this that is the biggest cause of hitting a ceiling within 6 or 7 years of coming into the industry. Anything much beyond about 6 years of experience adds little to no extra value to an employer. Think of it this way. I started in the industry in 2005 using technology set A. By 2010 I have 5 years experience in this, enough to pretty much master it. Then in that year technology B becomes the new standard. So I start learning that. By 2015 I am now an expert in technology B, but have no more experience in it than people who entered the workforce in 2010. This leads to me being paid the same despite having an extra 5 years of experience.

If any young person reading this still wants to enter the software development industry, I suggest you take the following path. It’s the one I’m trying to move onto now, 5 years late:

  1. Get a development job
  2. Work hard outside of work keeping up with the latest technologies and refining your skills so you stay ahead of the curve.
  3. Aggressively job hop to get new skills and a higher salary.
  4. After 5 years form a company and work as a contractor rather and a salaried employer.
  5. You should be able to work 9 months of the year and still make good enough money to save tens of thousands over the next few years. Cut down your learning of tech skills to the bare minimum and spend your free time creating side businesses. Money saved can be used as capital.
  6. After the 3 years are up you should be able to transition to having your own business full time, just as you would start to hit a ceiling in the software development industry.

Shameless Profit

I was browsing the lifestyle section of the RooshV Forum the other day, casually reading up on business ideas. Most of the ideas on there seem flimsy at best, with the majority being able to net me less money than my day job, and probably with more effort involved to boot.

I did, however, found one idea interesting. You fill a storage unit close to a tornado ridden county in the US with the type of product that are at a premium in the aftermath of a tornado. You wait for tornado season, then go there and flog off all the petrol generators, plywood ect at a massive markup. I don’t live in the US so this isn’t one for me, but it seems like a good concept to make oneself a little windfall. It’s simply using a massive spike in demand relative to supply to make a healthy profit. Good business.

Then I read something that perturbed me. Doing this is actually illegal in many states. It’s an act that is known as price gouging:

Price gouging is a pejorative term referring to a situation in which a seller prices goods or commodities at a level much higher than is considered reasonable or fair. This rapid increase in prices occurs after a demand or supply shock: examples include price increases after hurricanes or other natural disasters.

The fact that this is illegal ignores one of the basic concepts in economics. The relationship that supply and demand has to price. I believe that price is derived from two things:

  • The value which potential buyers place on an item
  • The current level of supply of an item, relative to demand

Note that how much an item costs to produce doesn’t factor into the equation directly. I say directly because the cost of producing an item may influence price indirectly by influencing supply (items that are cheaper / easier to produce may be in more plentiful supply as people are more able to supply them). This means that there really isn’t such a thing as a ‘fair’ price. Fair implies a morality dimension to calculating prices, where non exists. People may say it’s unfair that a petrol generator costs $400 the day after a hurricane when it only costs $100 the day before. I disagree. The $100 price was based on a certain supply : demand ratio that no longer exists, hence the $100 price is no longer valid. Comparing the $400 price to the $100 is only human, as the human brain often judges the world based on comparisons, rather than absolutes. This is just a flaw in one of the human brain’s heuristic judgement mechanisms, not unfairness that should cause a law to be created.

I’m all for making shameless profit. Why am I ok with taking advantage of other people’s needs to make money? Simple. It’s how all business and employment works. Your local supermarket takes advantage of the fact you need food in order to make money from you. You take advantage of your boss’s need for a certain type of labour by being paid to provide that labour. The only time I’m against someone profiting is if they’re misrepresenting what is on sale. Take ‘advantage’ of people that lived in an area hit by a hurricane is just the same. The thing is people react emotionally to things like this, not logically.

I’ll leave you with a quick story to illustrate how most people view profit as something unfair and evil. I was in a shop near my house one day, when I saw a young man complain to the shopkeeper about the price of a bottle of coke. The shopkeeper has accidentally left the whole sale price on the bottles. Turns out if you buy 4 bottles, the price per bottle goes down to half the price that the shop are selling the cola for. The lad was saying it was unfair that the shopkeeper was charging double what he paid for them. The shopkeeper managed to calm him down buy telling him of all the costs his business incurred that had to be factored in to the price. “Oh”, the youth said. “That’s ok, thought you might have been profiting”. I find it almost unimaginable that many people don’t realise that not only do businesses try to make a profit, it is there main reason for existence. He’ll charge as much for that coke as he thinks most people will by it for. How much it cost him to buy has no bearing on what he’ll charge for it (or it shouldn’t do).