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[00:00] Rob Walling: This is Startups For the Rest of Us: Episode 2.
[00:12] Rob: Welcome to Startups For the Rest of Us, the podcast that helps developers be awesome at launching software products, whether you have built your first product or are just thinking about it. I’m Rob.
[00:23]Mike Taber: And I’m Mike.
[00:24] Rob: And we are here to share our experiences to help you avoid the same mistakes we’ve made. So, Mike, what is going on this week?
[00:31] Mike: Not much. Just working on my product and trying to get it out the door. [laughs] I’m putting the finishing touches on that forum software relaunch.
[00:40] Rob: Oh, cool. OK. What’s the name of your forum software?
[00:44] Mike: It’s still to be determined. [laughs] It’s gone through two name changes and I’m still trying to figure out the third.
[00:49] Rob: Very good. Are you doing the development yourself?
[00:51] Mike: Mm-hmm.
[00:52] Rob: That’s fun. How much longer do you have?
[00:54] Mike: I would say maybe 20 or 30 hours total worth of work, or of development time, left. It’s mostly just finishing touches, like I said. But I rewrote all the back end’s database code and rewrote everything using stored procedures and redid a lot of things. So it just needed a lot of love and care, I’ll say. [laughs]
[01:14] Rob: Right.
[01:15] Mike: What about you?
[01:16] Rob: Well, you know, it is just after the first of the year here when we are recording, and so I’ve been taking a look at 2010 and figuring out kind of what direction I want to head with several of my businesses. And so I’ve been working on a marketing plan for DotNet Invoice specifically, and looking pretty in-depth at some adjustments I want to make to the way I’ve been marketing in the past couple years.
[01:37] You know, we did a redesign of the website and I think it came out pretty well.
[01:41] Mike: I saw that. I think it looks really good.
[01:43] Rob: Yeah, thanks! I just got that live, I think, in November. So now I want to push a lot of traffic to it because I want to do a lot of AB testing and improve conversion rates. With the old site, the conversion rate was so-so, and I think a lot of that had to do with it just wasn’t super-professional. It just kind of looked like a hacked together site rather than something that was professionally designed. So I think I’ll have much more of an easier time optimizing this site and getting conversions up.
[02:11] So that’s something I’ve been focusing quite a bit on. And then I also have an announcement to make. My second child is due in June of this year!
[02:19] Mike: Oh, congratulations!
[02:20] Rob: Yeah. Thanks a lot! I didn’t tell you about that! [laughs]
[02:23] Mike: No, you didn’t. [laughs]
[02:24] Rob: I am literally announcing it on this podcast. So that has actually given me the emphasis to look at acquiring a couple new websites or software products in the next few months and kind of getting them into my portfolio to make up for some time that my wife is going to take off and, potentially, some time that I’m going to take off, so I want to get them under wraps. So I am on the prowl looking for products and apps to acquire.
[02:48] Mike: Mm-hmm. Two is a lot different than one, I will tell you that.
[02:51] Rob: That’s what I’ve heard! Well, you know, I’ve heard both. I’ve heard that two is not as difficult because the jump from zero to one is way more than one to two. And then I’ve heard, just like you said, that it is actually a lot because you have to chase two kids around at once.
[03:05] Mike: Yeah, it just depends on how old the second one is at any given them. Obviously, when they are younger and they are not mobile yet, then it is not really that bad because you at least know what you are doing, kind of like business. You know, in any of your second products, as opposed to your first, you at least know what you are doing the second time around. But it still eats into your time quite a bit. Obviously, I mean you have to pay attention to a lot. So, you know, it is not like you can just put things on cruise control or auto-pilot! [laughs]
[03:34] Rob: Right.
[03:35] Mike: Well, good. That’s very exciting!
[03:37] Rob: Thanks.
[03:41] Rob: Here we are in our main segment, and what we are going to be talking about today are three stupid reasons to start a software company.
[03:48] Mike: Yes.
[03:49] Rob: So Mike and I sat down and we’ve had a lot of discussions about starting software companies, launching products, and there are a lot of misunderstandings going on, maybe, in the developer community.
[04:01] Some people launch products for the right reasons, but most of us, the first one, we do it for the wrong reasons. And so given our experience, we came up with three reasons that we wanted to share with everyone.
[04:11] Reason number one is: having a product idea. And just having a product idea is a bad reason to try to start a software company. And the reason is that there is a big difference between a software product and a software project.
[04:27] Software projects are things that you build for fun, right? And you have this product idea and it is going to be fun to build; you want to use a piece of technology, typically is what the emphasis is. Whereas a software product is something that is actually commercially viable. It is something that someone will pay money for.
[04:44] And it is so easy to confuse these two things — product and project. And it is easy to fall into the trap of looking at a cool, new technology like WPF or even AJAX a few years ago and to say, “Man, what can I build with this?” rather than just start from a market need and to ask, “What would people pay money for?” and then going backwards and actually building that.
[05:08] Those ideas tend to be a little more boring frankly. Not as exciting. They don’t ignite our developer passion as much as using this cool new technology. So just having a product idea is not a very good reason to launch a product.
[05:21] Mike: A lot of things that I’ve seen and, quite frankly, done in the past, I guess distant past, thankfully, a lot of what I had done was just look at something somebody else had done or was in the middle of doing and say, “Oh. I could do that.”
[05:32] I think about the number one example in my mind is Ebay. How many people who are listening to this podcast have the development skills to build Ebay? And let’s be honest: granted, there’s a huge scale that you would have to deal with, but out of the gate there’s virtually no software product has to deal with scaling issues. I mean, no products have those sorts of problems out of the gate.
[05:52] So typically, what you do is you build a prototype or you start building this clone of somebody else’s successful product. And you do it because you either want to prove to yourself or to somebody else that you can do it or you think that you might be able to make money off of it. And the problem with it is that that’s a project. It’s not going to go anywhere because you haven’t really committed to building it into something that is going to make money. You’re essentially trying to prove to yourself that you can do exactly what somebody else did or do it better than they did.
[06:21] Rob: Yeah. I think a corollary that we should add to this is that an even worse idea to launch a software product is because you have a “feature idea.” Have you ever heard someone say like, “Microsoft Word is cool but it just needs to be able to do this.”? Or, “Ebay is cool but it really needs voice chat.” And so someone goes off and builds eBay and then adds voice chat and think that that’s going to make a big different. Whereas eBay can then in a week, implement voice chat and you’re out of business and they have the marketing and everything in place.
[06:50] Mike: Yeah, I mean there’s no feature that is compelling enough that can be added onto a product that will make that a compelling product.
[06:58] Rob: Reason number two.
[06:59] Mike: So reason number two: to get rich. We always hear about the person who wrote some stupid application that anyone with half a brain could have written and made millions. But this, in and of itself, is an awful reason to state a company, especially a software company.
[07:14] If you want to make a million dollars and you want to retire early, you need to do one of the following three things: either buy a lottery ticket, go to Vegas and put $500,000 on black or write a Facebook application, because that’s probably what it’s going to take. I mean, essentially, you’re gambling with your future. And most of us are really not gamblers, or at least we prefer not to gamble with our time, that’s why some people are geared for doing start ups and Angel or VC funded companies and some people aren’t, because they’re just not interested in gambling with their future.
[07:44] If you’re looking for a high risk, high reward situation, then by all means: Angel and VC funder ventures are a great way to go and there’s a number of other podcasts you can listen to that you would probably enjoy a lot better than this one. But if you’re out to get incredibly rich then starting a software company probably isn’t the way to go because it’s going to take a while and it’s not going to be something that you’re going to be able to do overnight.
[08:04] Rob: Yeah. And I think you touched on a good point there. Even over the long term, the odds of you getting “incredibly rich” are just pretty low. The odds of making a comfortable living…
[08:14] Mike: I think those are very high.
[08:16] Rob: I do too, especially over an investment if you stick with it long-term over several years. I think a lot of people would be able to do that. But yeah, you’re right.
[08:24] Mike: That’s a great way to put it, though. If you’re looking at building a software company as an investment in your future and if you’re building these smaller applications that gradually have value or you’re able to tweak them until you get them right and you’re able to start generating recurring revenue from each of those ventures or small businesses, many businesses if you will, that is going to take your portfolio, your software company, whatever you have, whatever entity you set up behind your software products and that will grow that into a investment for you.
[08:57] Rob: Stupid Reason number 3: because it sounds like fun. Starting a software company is a lot of fun; it’s new, it’s exciting. But running a software company is a lot like a relationship. In the beginning everything’s new and fun, but after a while you realize it’s actually a lot of work. It’s easily three to five times more work than you ever thought it would be. Now, why is that?
[09:22] It’s primarily because we’re software developers and we think that the bulk of the work is in building the product, but it’s not. Only about 30% of the total effort of what it takes to launch a product is really in the development of the software itself.
[09:37] Once you have a product you have to worry about selling that product. And it can take a long time to get to the point where you’re actually paying yourself for the development time you put into it. As an example, making money is fun, but do you get giddy every time you get a pay check? After a while, the novelty just wears off.
[09:54] Mike: It’s a lot of work. I mean, that’s the bottom line.
[09:56] Rob: Yeah. Starting a software company has been romanticized by a lot of the blogs we read. I started reading “Joel On Software” eight or nine years ago and I was under the impression that it was this really fun thing to do. And reading Eric Sink’s blog and a lot of these tales of people starting their software company or startup sound like it’s a ton of fun. And I don’t think we get a lot of…
[10:20] Mike: You don’t get the reality of it. You get the picturesque version of starting a software company from bloggers. I mean, they tell you about all the great things and you can get to see all the different places they go, and the things that they do, and the new products that they launch and you just get this heavily romanticized version of building a software company.
[10:40] What they don’t tell you about is the massive amount of bills that you have to pay that are associated with your product. I mean, they don’t tell you about the stacks and mountains of paperwork that you need to deal with at the end of the year with the IRS because they’re saying, “You owe us X amount of dollars because you made this much money last year.” Or you’re dealing with partnerships or things like that.
[11:00] Just the paperwork issues alone are horrendous, they’re terrible and nobody ever talks about those. Nobody ever tells you that you need to file paperwork every year with the state or with the government just because you own a software company. People don’t say that sort of stuff. What you hear about is, “Oh, I launched this new product and it was successful. We had 40 billion users on the first day.” That’s the sort of stuff you hear about. You don’t have to hear about all the back end stuff that needs to get done.
[11:23] Rob: Right. There’s a reason for that, because the backend stuff is kind of boring. If you’d blogged about it, it just wouldn’t be that interesting and that’s fine. But you have to realize that when you’re reading these blogs…And these blogs includes yours and mine certainly; I don’t blog about the boring…
[11:38] Mike: You’re right.
[11:39] Rob: …last week. I spend a few hours every month doing finances and stuff and I’ve never written a blog post about that. Frankly, because it really wouldn’t add much value and it would be kind of boring. So you’re right. It just doesn’t present a really clear picture of it. And as a result, I think a lot of people including myself, eight or nine years, go into the business of starting a software because it sounds like fun. And that’s why Stupid Reason number 3 is because it sounds like fun.
[12:04] Mike: Stupid Reason number four to start a software company is: you think, “How hard could it be?” You think that it’s going to be easy. You read all these blogs and this is something of an add on to reason number three, because it sounds like fun – but you look at all these bloggers who are out there, who own their software companies and are running them, and it just seems like it’s easy; it seems like success comes easy for these people. It doesn’t seem like what they’re doing is really all that difficulty. And as I said, you get this romanticized view of running a software company, building a software company, and it’s not nearly as easy as it’s made out to be from these blogs.
[12:40] Rob: The interesting stories out there tend to be your edge cases. The interesting story that a magazine, like Entrepreneur, or Inc., or Fast Company, or Business 2.0 back in the day, the stories they’re going to write about are these anomalies that don’t happen every day.
[12:56] If you start a company that serves the niche of helping paper companies organize their inventory, that is so boring and no one cares. And you’re not going to make 10 million bucks in revenue the first year, right? You’re going to build up slowly. It’s hard to get an interesting story out of that.
[13:12] Whereas the Facebook apps that have all these downloads, the iPhone apps, that’s what everyone’s talking about. And as a result, it seems like all you have to do is write an app because all these stories about these apps are filled with wild successes. It’s very, very rare you will see a story that is a dismal failure. And typically, when you see one that’s about a failure, it’s always in the past. It’s what someone learned from it and how they parlayed it into their present success. Right? Typically, someone has a success after the failure that they’re actually writing about.
[13:43] Mike: Right. I think you hit the nail on the head. All the publicity that’s around a lot of startups and software companies, they make it look easy. And you look at what they are doing and what they have done and the thing that jumps right into your mind is, “If they can make that successful, how hard could it really be?”
[14:01] One of the things I remember from a long time ago was looking at what other people were doing and what other people building. For example, one of my earliest companies, which was not necessarily a failure but wasn’t certainly a startling success, was I started a company to build computers for people. And it’s certainly not the sexiest business in the world, building a computer, but at the time there weren’t very companies or many shops out there that were doing it. And Dell was doing a horrendous job of it. They just could not build a machine to save their life. Everything that I worked on was always a Dell machine and they had hardware problems all over the place. Hard drives would fail left and right. Video cards would just bomb. None of the drivers seemed to work and it was just a mess. It was a nightmare working on all this stuff.
[14:47] And I’m like, “Well, I can do a better job than them.” And I did. And for probably, I’d say, about two years or so I was pretty successful selling these computers. And I was making probably on average about $300 per machine that I sold. And it was great money, because at the time I was in college and I didn’t really have any other income. And I was just selling several of these computers a month and doing reasonably well.
[15:10] And it got to the point where it was just a lot of manual labor and just wasn’t really worth it anymore. I felt like Dell was a bunch of morons. That’s really what it was. And I’m like, “If they can make a successful company and they’re doing an absolutely terrible job, then how could I possibly not be successful doing almost the same thing? All I need to do is basically do what they’re doing and do it better, and how could I possibly fail?” And I won’t say that I failed, but I certainly got to the point where I just didn’t want to do it anymore. It just wasn’t interesting or fun to me anymore.
[15:42] Rob: Right. Since Dell was the darling of Wall Street and the Internet back then, I’m sure it seemed like you could just build a better computer and you would be Dell soon. And that obviously isn’t the case. There’s more complexity to it than that.
[15:57] Now that’s we’ve talked about four stupid reasons to start a software company, let’s take a look at the right reason to start a software company.
[16:04] Mike: Is there only one?
[16:05] Rob: I think there’s only one and it’s to achieve goals that you define. So you can have multiple goals, but the reason to start a software company should be to achieve some goal or goals that you’ve decided on before you start launching that company. If you don’t have a clear understanding of what your goals are, it’s very hard to make decisions moving forward.
[16:29] Imagine that you’re driving west, you come to a fork in the road. Do you go left or right? That depends on whether your destination is north or south. If you don’t have a destination in mind it’s really hard to make those decisions effectively and to move towards your goals.
[16:43] I think another example is if you’re starting to build a product and someone comes along and makes a suggestion and says, “Hey, don’t you think you should get investors, raise 100 grand or 500 grand, and really go big with this thing and eventually have an IPO and cash out of this thing a multi-millionaire?”
[17:01] That all sounds great and attractive but if, from the start, you decided that your goals were to spend more time with your family, to leave a job that you didn’t like, to live where you want, to have income flexibility, and location independence and time independence, if that’s something that you really sat down and thought about and decided that those are your goals for starting a company, then the suggestion, while it sounds interesting, is something that you probably need to turn down. Or else, what you’ll find is that you’ll chase after this because it sounds so attractive, and six months or a year or two years down the line on your way to achieve this thing that your friend had suggested, you’re going to be really unhappy because you’re not going after what you really want and what you decided on up front.
[17:44] Mike: That’s kind of the difference between, “Do you want to be king or do you want to be rich?”, sort of.
[17:49] Rob: Yeah, that’s right. That’s a good point. And the thought behind king or rich, you want to go into what the difference is between being king or being rich?
[17:57] Mike: Sure. So if you want to be king then it means that you want to build up a company and you essentially want to be recognized for being the head of that company and be somewhat famous in your realm, so that speak.
[18:11] So, for example, Joel Spolsky is famous among developers for what he does at Fog Creek. Jason Fried at 37 Signals, same sort of thing. I mean I think that if you were to offer to buy those companies out, they would turn you down. And not so much because you wouldn’t offer them enough money, but because they enjoy being king of their domain, so to speak.
[18:31] Instead, if you look at somebody like Jason Cohen of Smart Bear Software, he got to a certain point where somebody came to him and gave him an offer that he just really couldn’t refuse. They said, “We’ll give you several million dollars for your company.” And he said, “Where do I sign?” because he made a decision at the very beginning that he wanted to be rich. He wanted to build his company, sell it, and then essentially retire early. And that’s exactly what he did.
[18:56] So the first step is to decide on your goals. The next step is to write those goals down. A study by Dr. Gail Matthews found that people who write down their goals had a statistically higher chance of achieving those goals than people who didn’t. And this research was based on a widely cited but completely non-existent Yale or Harvard study, based on where you hear it from, that there was supposedly 3% of the graduates had written goals at graduation day. And between 10 and 20 years later, those 3% had achieved a net worth of about 10 times what the other 97% of the graduates combined had achieved.
[19:36] And while this particular Harvard/Yale study doesn’t actually exist, the research done by Dr. Matthews shows that it really is true, not quite to the extent that this non-existent study would have had you believe. After all, I’ve never written down that I need to take a shower, but somehow I manage to get it done every single day, or at least most days. [laughs]
[19:55] Rob: That’s not what your wife tells me.
[19:57] Mike: That’s true, but she lies!
[20:00] Rob: Well, but this is an interesting point because I hate writing goals down. It feels self-helpy and it just feels like, “What if someone finds these?”, like it’s a diary or something that I don’t really want to put on paper that could be potentially be read by someone else, because it just feels vulnerable.
[20:17] Mike: Is it because it would damage your reputation if you don’t get those things done?
[20:22] Rob: I don’t know. If you just write them down…Let’s say I wrote them down on a piece of paper here in my office and I didn’t put them online or anything. I’m not so worried about reputation…I guess it just feels cheesy to me. It really does. I know that sounds odd, but that’s why I had never written goals down before just a couple years ago, actually. And one of the reasons I’m now a fist pounding proponent of writing them down is because this worked for me. I’m not only a client, I’m the president.
[20:49] Mike: That sounds like the Hair Club for Men.
[20:51] Rob: It was! I really believe that writing down your goals is important, because a few years ago I broke down, I wrote them up, and the interesting thing is that I had forgotten about them for maybe six months or a year. And I came back to them and most of them had come true. And so, you know, I’m not 100% sure what happened there. I just know that I wrote those goals down and I’m very happy I did achieve them. So I think this is a key part…
[21:17] Mike: Of your success?
[21:18] Rob: Of your success. Yeah, of getting stuff written down and getting started with your company.
[21:24] Mike: Well, I don’t think that writing your goals down is very much different than using some sort of project management software to keep track of all the things that you need to get done. There are all these project management software packages out there and typically you set them up and say, “This is the goal I’m trying to reach; these are the tasks that need to be executed in order to get there.”
[21:45] Rob: So one short term goal that Mike and I have discussed, one thing we propose to people who are thinking about launching their first product, is to strive to build a product that generate $1,000 a month profit with less than 2 ½ hours per week of support time.
[22:02] This is a reasonable and an attainable goal, and it has a number of benefits. First thing is it places a value on your time of about $100 an hour. This is also a quantifiable goal, which is a good thing.
[22:14] Second, the $1,000 per month revenue is not millions of dollars. It’s virtually impossible to make a huge amount of money from day one. And if that’s what you have your sights on, you’re going to get discouraged quickly.
[22:26] Your first milestone is one of the hardest ones to achieve. It gets easier over time because you know more about what you’re doing, you’re going to start making fewer mistakes, but setting an achievable and quantifiable first goal is very important to making this whole process work.
[22:45] Mike: It’s just easier the second time around. And I think the only other thing I would add is that what you said about the first milestone being the most difficult is absolutely true. As you do things more and more, you get more comfortable with them. And repetition certainly helps. And I’m actually on my fourth business at this point and every business that I have started has done incrementally better than all the previous ones.
[23:13] And if I were to probably quantify it, I would probably say that each business that I have started is probably more successful than all the businesses I started before each of those. So my second business was more successful than my first and my third business was more successful than my first and second business combined. I think it just takes repetition and experience, and you don’t get that unless you actually get started.
[23:38] Rob: And I think the first time that you start making any money from a product that you launched or a business that you started, and whether that is $100 a month or a $1,000 dollars a month, you passed a milestone. And the next time you try to do that with a business in the future, it’s so much easier to get there. There’s this mental hurdle that you don’t have to clear again because you’re already cleared it.
[23:58] Mike: Do you think that’s because you know that it’s now possible, now that you’ve reached that $100 or $1,000 a month?
[24:04] Rob: I do think so. I think it has a lot to do with maybe some self-confidence and believing that you can do it, as well as the mental hurdle that we all place in front of ourselves not believing that it can be achieved.
[24:17] I’m sure you’ve heard the story of Robert Bannister. He’s the guy who broke the four minute mile. And people had tried for years to run a mile faster than four minutes and no one was doing it. And as soon as he did it, in the next year there were half dozen or a dozen who broke it. And for years before that, no one had done it.
[24:36] So there’s this big mental blockade that we put in front of certain feats. And no matter how much someone tells us, “You can make $500 a month,” or “You can launch this product,” or “You can be successful,” you just don’t believe it until you’ve done it yourself. And then once you’ve done it yourself, then that hurdle is gone; the wall’s broken down and now you can move forward much easier the second time.
[24:57] Mike: Did you say Robert Bannister?
[24:59] Rob: Yeah.
[25:00] Mike: It’s Roger Bannister.
[25:01] Rob: Is it really?
[25:02] Mike: Yes.
[25:03] Rob: Roger?
[25:04] Mike: Yeah, Sir Roger Gilbert Bannister. You’ve been misquoting for years. [laughs]
[25:09] Rob: I have! That’s terrible. I always thought I was named after him. I was his namesake. I’ve been robbed!
[25:15] Mike: [laughs] No pun intended!
[25:17] Rob: No pun intended! All right. Roger.
[25:20] Mike: It’s funny, because when you said that, I’d never heard of him. [laughs] So setting a dollar amount as a goal is obviously one of the things that you can do. But something else that you can do, completely unrelated to money, is trying to get users for your product.
[25:33] There is no shortage of companies out there that are putting their software out there and choosing not to even charge people for it. They are essentially using a free pricing model for their software. You can choose to pay for it, donation — that sort of thing.
[25:47] But you really need to set a goal. And whether that goal is a monetary goal or whether you just want people to use your software, people to use the things that you build. Maybe there is a particular problem that you want to solve. Whether you are trying to make money from that particular product or not, you need to be able to set those goals.
[26:04] So even if your first product you’ve decided, “Hey, you know what? I want to build a software product and I’m not trying to make any money. In fact, I don’t want to make any money from this product. The only thing I want to do is learn the process of how to take a product, build it, put it out there, and market it.”
[26:18] And you can take that knowledge and, as I said, your very first milestone is the most difficult one to get to. And if you can take a product and you build it, and it is a completely free product, you get it out there and you get 10,000 people using it, well, that sets your level of expectations for the next product that you build, because you know that you can get 10,000 people to use your product. Although, sure, there are people who are using it for free, but there are going to be people out there who are willing to pay for your products.
[26:47] Rob: I think that is a good point. It is a good reminder that this is certainly not all about money, right? It is maybe not even a little bit about money for most people. I mean it is about enjoying building and launching a product. It is about learning a lot of new skills. And ultimately, it may be about independence.
[27:04] Mike: It goes back to your goals. It goes back to deciding on what your goals are and whether your goals are to work for yourself, work for somebody else. It is interesting that we are talking about this, because I had somebody who was chatting with me last night online. He is fresh out of college and wants to become a sales engineer.
[27:21] And I had him into my office. I interviewed him. I actually know him personally. I then offered him a job at one point. He ended up going to another company. But one of the things that he was interested in was becoming a presales engineer. And for somebody fresh out of college, that is very difficult. And it has nothing to do with talent. It has nothing to do with ability. It has to do with where you are in your career.
[27:44] And because he’s coming fresh out of college, nobody is going to give him a presales job where he is trying to sell enterprise level software. It is just not going to happen. And the reason is because he is too young.
[27:55] And it is sad to have to say that, because obviously, that comes down to age discrimination. But you and I both know that somebody coming out of college is going to be given, essentially, grunt work to do for several years until they’ve essentially proven that they are capable of doing other things.
[28:12] So essentially, I laid it out to him and I said, “You need to decide what your end goal is, and then, from there, back off a bit and say, ‘OK, well how do I get there?’ And based on what your final goals are, map out your path to reach those goals.”
[28:29] Mike: If you have a question or comment, please call it into our voicemail number: 1-888-801-9690. Or you can email it in MP3 or text format to email@example.com. Feel free to include your name and URL if desired. A transcript of this podcast is available on our website at startupsfortherestofus.com.
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Thanks Mike and Rob for sharing the wisdom you’ve gained from your experience! I’m looking forward to more episodes.
The first thing I’ve learned early on as a micropreneur is that building software for a company as an employee (software project) and building a product to sell to companies as a micropreneur is TOTALLY different.
I couldn’t never imagine how much more work it is to build a software product.
And I’m talking plain development, no marketing or sales, simply writing code.
As an employee, when I wanted to change a simple application configuration, I was doing it directly at the database. In a paid product, I had to build a whole control panel for the customer.
Most people have no clue what they really want and have no plan. I like that you brought that up in the conversation. Starting a business (and that’s what were talking about here) you had to have a plan of where you want to take it.
Building a company from the ground up is a lot of work. It’s true that a lot of blogs make it sound simple and easy to start a website or web app and make millions. The reality is it takes hard work just to build a simple blog. Setting up the blogs is easy, but getting traffic to it making money from it and making it automated can take a very long time.
Thanks Mike and Rob
Love your podcasts. I agree that you do have to put in alot of work to start a company.