As all tech industry observers are aware, the twin pillars of a successful startup are cost shifting (i.e. user generated labor) and regulatory arbitrage (i.e. tax avoidance).

For years, Facebook had its users write its content for it, and Amazon has avoided sales tax. Google’s famous “PageRank” algorithm gets every website in the world to do the hard work of ranking links for them, and Apple successfully avoided billions of dollars in taxation at the cost of a few awkward meetings. The greatest unicorns do both, like Uber and AirBnB, which avoid fare taxes and hotel taxes respectively, while pushing the costs and risks of car and property ownership onto their “partners.” YouTube and Instagram have even managed to work around child labor laws by the simple expedient of not paying their content producers. It’s win-win!

Looking at this competitive landscape, it is clear that if The Ethically-Trained Programmer is ever going to “exit”, I need to find a novel tax to scofflaw and a way to force my inventory costs onto my “partners”.


Dear Readers, today I am pleased to announce Bummr™, the greatest startup idea and investment opportunity of all time.

Suppose, like many of today’s digitally-connected, extremely online cybernetizens, you are jonesing for a cigarette right about now. Cigarettes contain natural “NCTN oils” that temporarily promote a sense of well-being and reduced anxiety. Bummr will show you affiliate partners in your area that you can Bumm™ a smoke from. This circumvents onerous tobacco taxes while helping the environment by promoting efficient tobacco distribution. (Did you know that most packs of cigarettes spend the whole day idling in someone’s back pocket?) Bummr uses patent pending “cloud technology” to help users identify one another by sense of smell alone. Simply approach a Bummr affiliate, say “Hey, can I Bumm a Marlboro Lite?” and get back to your connected, active lifestyle. Bummr replaces the need for unhealthy activities like checking Facebook or shaking your damn head while reading Twitter. Unlike Juul, which relies on teenagers and expensive lithium ion batteries, Bummr is used by all ages and compatible with all popular brands of cigarettes, cigars, and artisanal handrolled “craft smokes” as well.†

† Compatibility with cigarillos still in beta testing.


But what about the partners? What, you may ask, incentives them to Bumm Out™ loosies?

Introducing the greatest Initial Coin Offering since the Spanish doubloon: OCaml Cash™. (A note on the name: our mysterious lead programmer, Haibyō Satsujin, is a functional programming aficionado.)

For centuries, cigarettes have served as defacto currencies in carceral systems, disaster sites, and warzones. Now with Bummr and OCaml Cash, the convenience and security of tobacco-based finance can be brought into the digital age with PackChain™ technology. By collecting OCaml Cash points, affiliate partners can be rewarded with T-shirts, fannie packs, breath mints, GoFundMe campaign promotions, and individual cigarettes.‡

‡ Offer of cigarettes for OCaml Cash subject to regulatory approval.


Of course, Bummr is a woke bae, fam and acknowledges that traditional Native American ceremonial pipes are #notyourcostume and great damage was done by centuries of oppressive tobacco farming techniques. To offset this, we commit to ensuring that Bummr is available for women, historically underrepresented minority groups, and other intersectional identities. Get lit!™ 🔥🔥🔥 #bummrcares #blacklungsmatter #translungsarehumanlungs

Bummr: Invest today for a cloudier tomorrow! 🚬

*Surgeon General’s Warning: Investing involves risk. Past lung performance not a guarantee of future performance. Consult your mortician before using Bummr. Now seeking angel and devil investors. T-zone round expected next year.*