Episode 396 | Revisiting 2018 Goals, Raising Funding, Marketing at Events, and More Listener Questions

Show Notes

In this episode of Startups For The Rest Of Us, Rob and Mike check in with their 2018 goals, and answer listener questions on topics including raising funding and marketing at events.

Items mentioned in this episode:

Transcript

Rob: In this episode of Startups For the Rest of Us, Mike and I revisit our 2018 goals, talk about raising funding, marketing, and events, and we answer more and listen to questions. This is Startups For the Rest of Us, episode 396.

Welcome to Startups For the Rest of Us. The podcast that helps developers, designers, and entrepreneurs be awesome at building, launching, and growing software products, whether you’ve built your first product or you’re just thinking about it. I’m Rob.

Mike: I’m Mike.

Rob: We’re here to share our experiences to help you avoid the same mistakes we’ve made. What’s the word this week, sir?

Mike: Well, I recorded a video this morning for Bluetick with somebody who’s starting a partner program and we basically walked through a process for doing LinkedIn prospecting and then feeding the prospects into Bluetick to do the email follow ups and get people onto a scheduled call, which is kind of the whole premise or at least the starting point for where Bluetick really started anyway. It’s good to see that it’s making, I’ll say, not really making a name for itself, but it’s going to be getting out there into much more people’s hands.

Rob: Do you consider Bluetick more of a cold email tool or a warm email tool?

Mike: A warm email. It does work for cold email, but cold email is basically a subset of warm email, so really like with cold email you’re just trying to make that initial contact and there’s lots of companies out there that do.

But, typically, once you’ve gotten them to reply, then they are completely hands-off, whereas, with Bluetick I’m trying to do a lot of things to structure it such that it will help you manage the conversation moving from the point where you’ve initially made contact, all the way up to the point where they become a customer, and then even after they’ve become a customer, still managing some of that sales communication, the upsells and things like that or even if somebody stops becoming a customer, you can add them into an email sequence that’s like an offboarding email sequence, for example, and feed that information back into the system, so that’s the general direction, I’ll say.

Rob: For sure. Cool. From my end, I have a couple of more podcast recommendations that came to us via Twitter and our comment thread for episode 395. Then, I have a couple of books I want to talk about that I have attempted to or have been listening to.

The two podcasts that came through, one is from Josh Duty and he is a longtime listener and MicroConf attendee, and he talked about EconTalk, which is a podcast I’ve never heard of.

He said it’s a must listen podcast for your list. I’ve listened to every episode and it’s probably the single most valuable intellectual resource I found. It’s great for understanding economics, but he’s branched out to interviews and lots of other areas over the past years. I can’t recommend it enough, so interesting podcasts. I’ll certainly add it to my list and listen to a few episodes and see if it strikes my fancy.

The other podcast is called Exponent and it’s recommended by Joe Hopkins. He says, “Hey, Rob and Mike, thanks for sharing your podcast list. You might like Exponent by Ben Thompson, the creator of the Stratechery blog,” I like the blog a lot. “It explores the business models and strategies of major tech players like Google, Apple, Uber, Facebook. Somewhat contrary, but provides a different point of view, more well-thought-out point of view than a lot of media.”

Those are two to potentially add to your podcatcher and then a couple of books that I’ve been listening to. One that I really like is called Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in Silicon Valley and it’s the story of Theranos. Have you heard of Theranos, Mike?

Mike: Yes, I have.

Rob: So you know the story of how it imploded, so the author John Carreyrou is basically walking through the whole history and he interviewed a bunch of people and particularly got emails and he’s doing direct quotes. It kind of feels a little bit like a Nick Bilton, like a hatching Twitter or a book like that where week by week it tells the story.

The founder of Theranos, Elizabeth Holmes was like 19, maybe. She dropped out started when she was 19, but it was definitely in her early 20s and she had this youthful hubris, and so young, and so naïve, and she basically was like faking demos early on with this.

It was basically a patch that was supposed to take blood samples and look at stuff in the blood and the product never worked is an essence what, it sounds like, this book is saying. They would fake demos even to investors and they would fake demos to potential clients like Pfizer and these big drug companies.

It’s just mind-blowing, it’s like you just can’t do that, but it was like she had this reality distortion field they were saying she was trying to be Steve Jobs and she switched to kind of a wardrobe of wearing black turtlenecks, and she would bully her people, and they would just turn over constantly, turned over the entire senior leadership team over the course of a year. They turned over most of the employees and then they would just hire new ones.

It’s just this insane tale of like mismanagement hubris and thinking that the end justify the means and they would sue anyone. Like the employees would leave and then they would like sue them if they spoke out at all. It was like they were trying to keep everybody silent to the fact that this thing didn’t work.

Anyways, I’m probably 25% of the way in. It’s a really good story. It’s a little bit aggravating, because she thinks she’s Steve Jobs and that always pisses me off. It’s so irritating when people take that tact of like, “Well, he did it and so I can do it, too.” But it’s like, “Yeah, but it worked for him and you’re not going to be able to reproduce that.”

Anyways, it’s something that if you can stomach it, it’s kind of painful to listen to but if you can stomach it, it’s a really well told story.

Mike: Awesome. Yeah, I’ve seen them in the news quite a bit and, obviously, like all of the stuff that’s coming out after the fact, so I definitely kind of seen the inside scoop on some of that. I totally agree with you about people who are going out and thinking, “Oh, I’m going to be the next Steve Jobs and the end justify the means.”

That can be true to an extent, but you have to be successful at it, because if you’re not then the whole thing is going to implode, like there’s no way around that, like you’re really skating on thin ice, and you can’t violate the law when you’re doing that either, you just can’t.

Rob: That was a big problem and that’s the thing. It’s like when you look at someone like Steve Jobs who people say really was very hard to work with and he was a bully, and he just had all these really odd traits, but he figured out a way to make it work. One of the ways is that he was a deca millionaire by the time he was 21, and that kind of helped like they have that success with the Apple 1 and the Apple 2.

If you don’t have that, and you try to have this attitude, and you basically burn all of these bridges, and you burn out all of your people, and you burn your relationships like it just crumbles, and the odds of you then even achieving that first success just plummet in my opinion, so it’s a tough one.

The other book that I started reading or listening to and then just bailed on it, if anyone is considering reading this book, I really didn’t enjoy, it’s called Valley of the Gods: A Silicon Valley Story and it follows like three or four aspiring founders in a sense, but it really doesn’t.

I get the feeling the book really didn’t know what it was about. It was just kind of wandering and it talked about the Thiel Fellowship and then it talked about these founders doing stuff, and eventually I was just like, “I just don’t care about the people and I don’t care about the stories that are going on,” which is a bit disappointing because I loved these tales of startups but, again, if you’re going to come out listening to it, I would probably or reading it, I would probably recommend maybe skipping that one.

Something else I wanted to do today Mike is revisit our 2018 goals. It is approaching midway through the year and I think we talked about them back in maybe February or March. We have listener questions that we’re going to dive into, but I think it’s always helpful to kind of get status updates a couple times a year as we progress to figure out where are we with our goals, have our goals changed, and just trying to check where we’re at.

Mike: I guess I’ll kick things off, one of my carryover goals was logging at least 100 days worth of exercise this coming year and I’ll say the first couple of months I was a little lax just because I had a lot of things going on, but I am happy to say I think the last month I logged 13 days at the gym, so slowly getting up there. I think I’m a little bit behind right now. I’m thinking around 130 or so something like that.

It’s June now, by the end of June, I should be at 50, so if I did 20 days which is probably unlikely this month, just because I know I’m going to be gone for a week for family vacation. Then, I would get to about halfway, so I’m slightly behind, but I think that I’m definitely optimistic that I’ll be able to catch up and hit that goal this year.

Rob: Very cool. My first goal was to write a virtual reality program that allows me to roll around in a mattress of bitcoins. Wait, that was the goal that you set for me, remember that?

Mike: Yes, I do. How’s that coming, by the way?

Rob: I’ve not started doing that yet.

Mike: You’ve got seven more months.

Rob: I do. It’s not even going to be VR, it’s just going to be an R program, a reality program, where I actually roll on a mattress of bitcoins, a bunch of thumb drives. No, my first serious goal was to be in fewer meetings, under 10.

Mike: I think you cheated on this.

Rob: Under 10 hours a week.

Mike: You cheated.

Rob: I didn’t.

Mike: You cheated.

Rob: I did not know in December of 2017 what was going to happen in 2018, but I have nailed this one, Mike, just nailed it.

Mike: I’m sorry, man. You cheated.

Rob: No, man, I love it. I love it. So for those who aren’t understanding what we’re laughing about is by leaving Drip at the end of April, basically, I’m in almost no meetings now. This is probably the only recurring meeting I have on my calendar now as you and I recording, so I definitely achieved that. I’m looking forward to maintaining that through the rest of the year.

Mike: My other carryover goal was to make Bluetick profitable, including my time. So far I’m cautiously optimistic on this one, revenue has been going up, cleared kind of another hurdle this past month, so moving things forward.

I don’t know, I’ve got a couple of annual plans that I’ve sold as well, so those are definitely helpful in terms of the revenue. Like I said, I’ll keep people posted on it. I don’t know how much of the numbers I’m actually comfortable sharing at this point, but we’ll see. It’s something I kind of have to think about.

Rob: Do you feel like you’re on track for this by December or is it, it depends?

Mike: I don’t know if it’s an it depends. I mean, obviously, it depends, but I think the issue is like there are certain pieces of it that I’d really like to have in place for teams. I’ve had a couple of conversations lately with companies that have teams and I know that they want to add multiple people in, and it sort of supports that right now, but it’s not a great experience.

I’m just curious or I question how interested they’ll be once they see how it actually works versus what their expectations may be, and it could be just like by the time I get them to the point where they’re signed on, and on-boarded, then I’ve got that stuff in place, and it doesn’t matter, but I don’t necessarily want to churn them out before then either, do you know what I mean?

Rob: Yup, I totally do. So if this happens, keeping this goal, do you feel like it’ll be in the last couple months of the year?

Mike: Yeah. I mean, I definitely think that it’s going to be a later rather than sooner thing. The other thing is like summer right now, so I don’t expect a whole lot of it, a lot of Bluetick to be sold over the next couple of months. But once the end of August hits, I would expect things to kind of start ramping up again.

It’s also like, because it’s summer though, and I know that companies feel like the summer kind of trends downward, email follow up––interest in it might go up, because they know that they’re going to have to follow up with people more, so it may save them time. I’m not sure. It’s hard to say.

Rob: It was interesting. What I was seeing seasonally with really most of my apps, that include SaaS, and non-SaaS that I’ve owned is certainly December tends to be a train wreck, with one time purchase software, it would plummet. I remember doing an invoice plummeting like 80%.

Not every December, but there were months when it would do 1/5 of the revenue that it had done in November. But SaaS apps tend to be pretty flat in December unless you specifically get around that and do promotions and such. Then, right around tax time, it was either April or May, it would tend to not be great months.

I never noticed dips in the summer and what’s interesting is growing up in California, we really don’t have strong seasons. I mean, there’s rainy season and then there’s a lot of sun and there’s drought season, which typically in the last seven years. But, really like my work didn’t slow down in the summer like it does now that I live here, like living in Minneapolis, like I want to work a lot less, and you’ve talked about this, too.

It’s like if you live in a place where it’s snowy and the winter sucks, I feel like I get more work done in the winter, because I’m indoors and then less work done in the sunny times of the year. Whereas, again, in California, that just wasn’t the thing. We just kind of work year-round, because it was kind of the same.

I guess it depends on where your customers are coming from. I would not anticipate that the summer is going to be flat for your growth. I just don’t think. I think people are still doing business and they’re still thinking about it now. Certainly, if you have a lot of Europeans as your market and you’re looking to do something in August, I bet that month is terrible because I know a lot of folks go on month long vacations then, and there are other factors playing to it, but all of that said, I would not count on any growth in December for you.

Then, I think from now until, basically, Thanksgiving, which is the last week of November, I think you’ve got a pedal to the metal this time.

Mike: Cool, that’s comforting, I guess, but we’ll see how the actual numbers shake out. Predictions are worth what you paid for them, I guess.

Rob: Exactly. My next goal was to do at least three days of exercise per week. I have far exceeded that. I’m probably averaging five days a week, and when I was still working the day job I was hitting three then. Sometimes a day of exercise is like it’s 10 or 15 minutes.

It’s just what I can get and it might be a quick bike ride around the lake, which is like 3 miles, so it’s not the longest ride of all time or I’ll do like a 10 minute CrossFit thing, but just something to get the heart rate up, and that’s been going. So I feel like I probably need to, I don’t know if I want to increase this for next year, but definitely I’m meeting and exceeding that goal, and it feels good to do that.

This is the first year, probably, ever or I mean since college that I have consistently exercised.

Mike: Next one on my list was to read one business book at least every two weeks and I think at this point I actually might kill this one. I’ve only read a couple, but with my backing off of podcasts earlier in the year, I’ve been backing off of like just consumption of stuff in general, I don’t know if this is even realistic even if I were to try at this point, like I just don’t see it happening, so I think I want to kill this one.

Rob: I think it’s a good one. I would agree with you. I feel like it’s a distraction from your real goal, which is to stay physically healthy with exercise and to get your business to the place of profitability. Cool.

My last goal for 2018 was to ship something. I wrote a little paragraph in December when we originally talked about this and it said this, I’m not sure what it’s going to be yet, but I’ve been laying low for about 18 months, 2017 was supposed to be a rest year, and it was a hard year. So the first part of 2018 is going to continue to be rest, but I need to start shipping, either consistent blog posts, a book, a new podcast, of course, software or something.

I will say that Sherry and I shipped the entrepreneurs guide to keeping your shit together, which Sherry did the vast majority of the work on that, but I assisted with the launch, and the promotion, and writing the copy and writing emails and stuff like that to market it. In addition, we have a course that is coming out.

It’s actually a good time to talk about it actually. I haven’t talked about it yet on the podcast, but if you go to ZenFounder.com, one of the products under the how we help menu is founder family date night video course, and it’s a six-part video course. It’s 20 minutes to kind of get you in the mindset of something and then there’s a handout that you take and you’re supposed to go on a date with your significant other, it’s all about keeping you connected.

Founders don’t have a lot of time and don’t have a lot of head space in general to connect with the person that probably is the most important to them, their life partner, their significant other, and that’s what this course is designed to do is just shortcut that and give you pre-built stuff to go and have a conversation about different topics. If you’re interested in learning about that, you can always go and sign up for the ZenFounder mailing list, and we’ll be selling that probably in the next few weeks, I believe.

I was involved to filming, there was a half day or full day of filming, and then I’ve been involved honing the landing page and the copy stuff. It definitely feels like I am keeping busy. It feels good, so I don’t know. I guess the verdict is out. I feel like those count towards this goal of shipping something in quotes to kind of ramp up, and I’m guessing in 2019 I’ll need to be a little more specific and perhaps a little more ambitious with this one.

Mike: The other goals on my list, the first one was hire somebody to take over Bluetick development, and the second one was to speak at six plus conferences or events this coming year. I’ve spoken at two so far. I’ve not reached out to people to expand my profile or whatever to get on the docket for different speaking engagements, so I’m not sure how that one is going to turn out, so we’ll kind of see how that plays out.

But the other one for hiring somebody to take over Bluetick development, I’m wondering if I should actually change this from Bluetick development to implementing certain marketing strategies, because I think at this point I don’t think that I could hire somebody at the level that I need to take over Bluetick development.

I just don’t think that I could afford it. I do think that I could outsource certain parts of like marketing, sort of like different marketing campaigns, for example like, “Hey, I need this to be done and these are the things that…” like scope out what needs to get done, and then hire somebody to do them.

When I had, for example, all of the copy rewritten for the website, that was something that was a lot easier to outsource, because it was skilled labor, but it needed to get done, and it was an expertise that was, I’ll say somewhat unfamiliar to me, and it was easier to just hand it off to somebody else versus with the Bluetick development, there’s a lot of stuff there and it’d be, I think, really hard it and really expensive to hire somebody. I don’t know that given where I’m at and my goals for making it profitable by the end of the year, I don’t think that I could get there, not without funding, for example.

Rob: What was the mindset behind that goal?

Mike: It was to allow me to do the marketing. That was it. It was because I needed time to do the marketing and the development stuff needed to get to a certain point and it is, I would say, that it’s not necessarily too far off. There’s a few, I’d say, two or three major things that need to get done in terms of development and then I could probably push much more harder on the marketing side of things.

I don’t know, it’s a balancing act, I’ll say, do you know what I mean? Because like I said there’s just tons of code there and it’s all in different technologies and it’s just hard to find somebody who’s familiar with most of them.

Rob: Yeah, it always is. I mean, it’s always a balancing act, like you’re saying. That’s like the struggle of starting up from a standing stop and trying to get something to the point that is profitable. These are definitely the hardest and most uncertain time, so you may adjust that goal then is to hire someone to help take over other stuff.

Mike: Yup.

Rob: Cool. Well, now that we’ve done that, we’ll probably visit these again in three or four months. Let’s dive into a few listener questions. Our first voicemail is actually a listener success story.

Kevin: Mike and Rob, Kevin Wagstaff here from Spectora. I wanted to call in and give you guys a long overdue thank you. We have taken our company Spectora as a bootstrap startup from zero to 40 MRR in 16 months. We launched January 2017 after many months of listening to every single one of your podcasts and we have come out the gate screaming, so we’ve had ton of success I wanted to share with you guys. I hope to be on your success stories at some point and may be even be on the show. We’ve learned so much from you, thanks.

Mike: Congratulations to Kevin. That’s awesome news that you’ve gotten that far with Spectora in such a short amount of time. It sounds like you’ve really gotten a lot of value out of the podcast and really appreciate you just ringing back and letting us know that you’ve been able to take your business to the next level because of it.

Rob: Yeah, that’s awesome to hear. Just one note there, he said zero to 40 MRR, obviously, that meant 40,000, so that’s a perfect bootstrap startup to do that in 16 months, it’s pretty sweet. They’re in, it looks like, home inspections software space, which I’m imagining could be both challenging, but also a challenging vertical, would also one that if you got in there and you become kind of the name, it would be really, really hard to topple you from that.

The next question is actually a comment from Matthias Bedard from SWAAAP.com. It looks like SWAAAP has three A’s, SWAAAP.com.

He says, “Hey, Rob. I’ve thought I’d reach out and congratulate you on the Drip acquisition and your current unemployed status. I was listening to your parents on the Rogue Startups podcast, that was on a couple weeks ago, and I found your take on micro fundraising interesting, since that’s more or less what we have done. It’s cool because we’ve been able to maintain control on most of the company, but we have had to put in a lot of our own money, spent a lot of time applying for government grants, and take on a lot of side projects to keep the lights on. In the end I’m glad we took the route we took. We’ve definitely learned a lot doing so. I treasure the learning experience, but I think if we had an investor or someone on board with more knowledge of the SaaS base, and monetization strategies, we could have moved faster and take more advantage of some of the tech we’ve built, like our event matchmaking platform. I’m also an avid listener of Startups For the Rest of Us. I just want to say I really appreciate that you guys take the time to throw a bit of your knowledge out every week, cheers.”

It sounds like they didn’t take funding, but they wish they had that he feels like it would have kept them from having to do the side projects, the government grants, and, basically, they said they had to put a lot of their own money into it. It’s an interesting take on it.

Mike: Well, that’s always the trade-off, like if you take money, then you don’t have to do those things, but you also are going to have to give up some or probably more control of the company, so it’s just a matter of like how much you’re willing to give up, and sacrifice in exchange for that equity.

Rob: Our next question is a voicemail from a longtime listener and a question asker, his name is Owen, and we’ll roll that right here.

Owen: Hey, Rob and Mike, this is Owen from Bitesize Irish Gaelic. I’m a long-time listener, so I have to start by saying thanks so much for all of the information, and knowledge, and opinions that you have shared over the years.

I remember Rob talking about thinking about doing something different after HitTail, I think, and then it turned out to be Drip, and then it turned out to be selling Drip after growing it, and ending your time there, Rob. It was really cool to follow that whole journey, so thanks for sharing it along the way.

My question is, I have what you would say is against wisdom, it’s a B2C SaaS app for learning the Irish language. We tag people outside of Ireland, so they’re the people who emotionally want to make a connection to their Irish heritage by learning to speak some of that language. There are local groups that get together. They have immersion weekends, yearly events in different places.

My question is how would you think about trying to tap into those audiences to get our app in front of those people? Like, probably, I’m thinking sponsoring an event and getting our logo displayed just wouldn’t do anything. The one idea I did have was asking the organizers to send a direct email to attendees and offer some kind of discount for our app that they could click through. Anyway, if you have any thoughts, ideas, I’d appreciate it, and thanks a lot for your time, anyway, see you.

Mike: I have a bunch of thoughts on this, so there’s two answers to this. First one is a general thing that says that if you’re going to try and market at an event or sponsor an event that you’re not attending, it’s probably not going to work. I say that in reference more to larger events, so if you’re talking 100 to 200 people or larger than that, it’s probably not going to get you nearly as much as if you were to attend it.

But it sounds like Owen is after from the sounds of it like an immersion weekend where it’s probably not a huge number of people. You’re probably talking less than 50 and I think in those cases what you could do is you could approach the organizer and say, “Hey, I’ve got this workshop in a box that you could give to everybody there.”

Take an hour to go through and give them all of the materials for it, and then see if they’ll go through that workshop as part of like whatever your sponsorship is for the immersion weekend. From there, once the people are done with that workshop, then, you give them a handout of like, “Hey, here’s a coupon code that you can go and sign up for this if you’re interested in hearing more about it.”

That way they get to experience it and somebody is personally delivering it and that person is not you, but I think that you have to do a really good job about that, Bitesize Irish Gaelic in a box thing that you send to them. I wouldn’t shy away from sending them something physical, where they’ve got handouts and things like that, and just ask them, “Hey, how many people do you have?”

That can be part of what you’re doing as sponsorship, because when they walk away from the event with something in their hand, they’re much more likely to be interested and they have that thing that they can always reference as opposed to something when it gets sent in an email, which may easily get lost or overlooked, but it avoids the spam filters as well.

That’s probably my advice for something like that. Generally speaking though, sponsoring an event from afar isn’t something that generally works, but I was a member of Friends of Redgate program for a while.

One of the things that they did was they would send their Friends of Redgate around in exchange for giving them free software they would have them do demos essentially on their behalf. It worked out well in both directions, but it got them the marketing experience or the marketing exposure that they needed to smaller groups by having somebody just do the demo, and that person-to-person interaction is really the key.

Rob: That’s what I was thinking. If you could find a way that the organizer or someone there could do a demo and if you sponsor the food that they eat or whatever, even whatever amount of money you decide, it’s worth to test out. You have them do a demo and I guess the trouble there is if you think they’re not going to do a good job of it, then maybe you have to record your 60-minute Screencast commercial in essence that they play it at the beginning, and then they do get something. I like getting mentioned in the email, so that it’ll remind them, as Mike said, it could go in spam filters or could get misplace, but I think it’s the multiple touch points.

You want to get mentioned at the start. You then want to have that software somehow demoed, so people can get their heads around it, because typically most non-techies struggle to understand how software is going to help them and so seeing how easy it is or seeing what it actually does I think would be the game changer, and I think if you can’t get a demo, and like you said if you just get your logo somewhere or you just get a screenshot, I don’t think it’s worth even a small amount of money to do it, but getting the software working in front of them, I think, is a much bigger deal.

Mike: Well, that’s why I said the workshop in a box thing, because if it’s like an immersion weekend, you’re not guaranteed to have an internet connection either. So by having it there, it gets around that, and then if you give them a video file that they can play it locally through an iPad or a laptop or something like that, then that gets around to any internet connectivity problems that you might have.

I also wouldn’t go with like an hour-long demo. I might do five minutes to open like a video and you talking about it, and then have the organizers essentially manage the rest of it for whatever it is like half hour or 45 minutes or something like that. But it really has to be the right event for that kind of thing. I think it’d be hard to do it if it was immersion weekend for some other language or something like that, I think it would be tough.

Rob: I like your idea. I think that workshop in a box is a really savvy approach. Our last question for the day is about the IP of feature requests, IP standing for intellectual property. It’s from Scott and he says, “Can you guys talk about accepting feature requests from users of SaaS apps? Are there any IP concerns or something we should add in our terms of service to cover feature requests and ideas submitted by users?” What do you think, Mike?

Mike: That is a really good question and I’m not a lawyer, so I don’t know. I don’t know, I would think like having an idea for something that should be added to a product is not something you could ever ask them to put in there and then have any expectation that they’re going to do it, and that you would own it, because it was your idea.

It seems to me like that’s a foregone conclusion, but maybe there’s something in most Terms of Service that say specifically that ideas submitted are not subject to that, and you’ll get no compensation for them. I don’t know, it’s not something I’ve really given a lot of thought to.

Rob: I’m also not a lawyer, but I’ve never seen anything like that. I’ve never noticed anything like that in terms of service and I haven’t read a lot of them, but I read enough terms of service, when I’ve had lawyers draw them up for me that I’ve never noticed that offhand. You could certainly just go to a big company, look at GitHub or Dropboxes or Leadpages or Drip’s terms of service, because they have big legal teams who draft these things up.

If there’s no precedent for anyone ever suing and somehow taking ownership of an idea they sent you or posted on some board, then there probably isn’t anything in this terms of service, and you’re probably fine.

Also if you wanted to throw one sentence in, just like any feature requests or ideas submitted become the property of us, you could do that. I want to say I’ve never heard of anyone being sued over something like this or even it being an issue where people requesting things feel like they own the idea or something. I don’t know, I’ve just never thought about it in all honesty.

Mike: I think that about wraps us up for the day. If you have a question for us, you can call it into our voicemail number at 1-888-801-9690 or you can email it to us at questions@startupsfortherestofus.com.

Our theme music is an excerpt from “We’re Out of Control by MoOt” used under Creative Commons. Subscribe to us on iTunes by searching for startups, and visit startupsfortherestofus.com for full transcript of each episode. Thanks for listening and we’ll see you next time.

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