Related Book Chapters & Interviews
Brennan is a co-founder of Right Message. In this episode, we talk about the path he’s taken that led him to create Right Message and what he’s learned about building and launching SaaS applications based on his experiences with his various products.
Jaimee Newberry is the founder of Picture This Clothing where you can print a coloring sheet and design a one-of-a-kind ready-to-wear creation that they send to you. In this epsode we talk about making hard decisions and creating space in your life for ideas to take hold and give you time to work on them.
Steve McLeod is the founder of Feature Upvote, a SaaS tool to enable your customers to suggest and upvote improvements. In this episode, we talk about and compare his experiences running both a B2C app and B2B app and the value of having a part-time system administrator on retainer.
You may have no plans to ever sell, but sometimes life throws you a curveball. Moreover, even if you never sell, being mindful of these aspects of your business will make life easier for the rest of your time running the business.
Automation will be your friend, but only if it’s deployed strategically. Automating everything as soon as it’s annoying will be a distraction and prevent you from doing the work that matters. Make a plan for progressive automation and improve iteratively.
It’s easy to forget when you’re focused on shipping, but you have to keep your customers in the loop. Tell them what’s coming, and help them prepare for transitions. Let them know when you have to go offline for emergencies and other planned downtime. Always strive to keep the lines of communication open and honest.
Every business is unique, and every buyer is just as unique. However, there are some fundamental things that matter to buyers. Understanding them long before you sell can help you build a better business.
Ben and his co-founders started Honeybadger after a bad experience with an existing exception tracking tool. With a focus on customer service, they’ve successfully bootstrapped it into a healthy and sustainable full-time endeavor.
Scott Nixon is the co-founder of Meal Mentor, a subscription-based vegeterian meal planning service. Scott handles the technology side of the business and works to keep the operational side of things humming with software.
Matt and I talk about running a SaaS business after acquiring it, the mistakes they made early after taking over Churn Buster, and the common ways that SaaS businesses get dunning wrong and how they can do better. We also talk about the value of iteratively improving automation for tasks and how important it is to clearly document and explain manual process.
Tracy and I talk about her experience building and running Wedding Lovely, raising some funding for it, losing a co-founder, and even going through a heart-breaking acquisition process with Etsy. Through it all, she’s kept going and even published books to help others build their own web applications. She’s a brilliant example of someone that simply won’t give up, and while there’s no IPO looming, she’s making a great living doing what she loves with a small team.
Recently I sat down this Thomas Smale of FE International. Thomas and FE International helped me sell Sifter and made the whole process seem easy. After selling so many online businesses, FE International has the process down to a science, and they’ve been able to pick up on quite a few trends. So Thomas takes some time to share what they’ve seen and what matters when it comes to buying or selling an online business.
Nathan and I talk about the early days of ConvertKit, reaching a point where he had to make a decision to invest more significantly in it or walk away. He invested a significant portion of his income from other projects and really doubled down to make it work long before it was obvious things were going to take off. He talks about his sales process and how it simultaneously helped him better understand the needs of potential customers as well as build a relationship and find his first customers.
Josh and I discussed bootstrapping, accepting outside money, the drawbacks of hiring too fast and having to ask his team to take a pay cut. We also talk about how metrics simply aren’t important in the early days and how nothing beats spending time to talking to your customers in person.
Anthony built dnsimple on the side and didn’t come on board full-time until after there were two other full-time employees. We discussed some of the advantages and disadvantages of running a complex infrastructure product, marketing a complicated business with comics, and fighting domain fraud through it all.
Mike Perham has successfully built a wildly profitable one-man business built on his open source efforts. We discuss what it’s like balancing the seemingly opposing forces of open source and a for-profit business, managing support for the open source version as well as paying customers, and how businesses are all-too-willing to pay for things that provide value or help them save time.
Get a free playbook, worksheet, and short email course to help you navigate the journey so you can be ready to build your own SaaS application.