Episode 448 | Let’s Talk About Bluetick

Episode 448 | Let’s Talk About Bluetick

00:00 / 52:38

Show Notes

In this episode of Startups For The Rest Of Us, Rob and Mike talk about the current status of Bluetick. They discuss the Google approval process, external/internal motivations, current roadblocks, and Mike’s future with Bluetick.

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14 Responses to “Episode 448 | Let’s Talk About Bluetick”

  1. Ib says:

    Great episode. Honest and raw. Rob is doing a great job of asking the hard questions without throwing Mike under the bus.
    Love the comparison of speed bumps and road blocks. That’s what it’s like to build a company.

    It’s always easy to sit here on the outside and point fingers, but I really feel that Mike needs to get a co-founder to work with on a daily basis. Doesn’t have to be in person, but the @SingleFounder thing is really hard.
    Besides that I would recommend Mike to tackle a much lesser technical problem.

    Most importantly: Mike! Please listen to Rob.
    You have a personal relationship with a mentor that most entrepreneurs envy you for. Use that resource better.

    Best of luck Mike.

  2. Doug says:

    Two things contrasted in the episode to me.
    You are hung up on the correct code, best way to code, testing APIs. Rob talked about letting the system be imperfect, 90/10 on quality.
    Also mentioned was the hamster wheel of fixing others code when it was on fire. We have all scrolled through 5 miles of bad code as a developer.
    Does the bad experience influence the perfectionism? Your ego gets involved, because your project will not have all those bugs.
    Just a thought, knowing the cause can help get around the ego.

  3. Chris says:

    Wow, this one really hit home for me. I run a time tracking SaaS that’s been stuck at 1k MRR for over a year.

    I’ve felt a lot of the pain points mentioned here.. lack of motivation, hard to focus, the whole being differentiating and not shipping every week. Not sure how I’ll work through it but gotta figure out something to avoid the 9-5 grind.

    Hope Mike is able to work through it!

  4. Martin says:

    Hi Rob and Mike,
    really great episode – you two are setting the bar very, very high for all other podcasts out there.

    I think I can’t offer any meaningful business advice to Mike, as both of you guys are far more experienced than me and neither can I comment on the health issues nor do I have enough details for the technical issues (*hint* podcast episode the architecture of… *hint*).

    On the procrastination/motivation side however, what really has worked for me is timeboxing (like pomodoro). In case you want to give it a spin, it consists of the following simple rules:

    – Timeboxes have a fixed duration of e.g. 25 minutes
    – Working on a task is only done inside a timebox
    – When a timebox stops, work on the task stops as well
    – No distractions are allowed inside a timebox
    – A break follows a completed timebox

    It has the following advantages:

    – Works against Procrastination by forcing you to start and keep at annoying tasks for 25 minutes. After the first couple of minutes your brain has adjusted and it’s in work-mode and the task stops being that annoying, because you got your momentum going.
    – Batches Distractions by disallowing them during the work period, but allowing you a break after the 25 minutes.
    – Helps against getting lost in details by introducing the break after the work period. The break encourages you to question if you do really want to continue on the same path or maybe change your approach. Basically the break toggles your mind from focused mode to diffuse mode.
    – It also alleviates anxiety, but I don’t think that’s relevant for you.

    Anyway, I hope everything works out for you and you return to the podcast sooner rather than later!

    Take care,

  5. Kes says:

    One of the best podcasting episodes I’ve heard! Not so much to revel & gloat at Mike’s situation but just the raw unfiltered real world experiences of getting a startup up and running (for the rest of us). Unlike what the everyone and the media wants to make you think, it ain’t always rainbows and sunshine where the path is filled with trials and tribulation.

    Good on you Rob for really being both a great mentor/friend to Mike and being there for him. Not only did you ask the right tough questions, you also kept the tone absolutely positive. Sounds easy but I am sure it was hard to do so on your part.

    All the best Mike and hope you get a good break!

  6. MKK says:

    I got a whole bunch of things I will love to say but choosing one – I don’t think bluetick is a complete failure.. getting it to $1.5k MRR is an achievement by itself! I also both agree and disagree with Rob on bluetick – agree that there is no differentiation but disagree that it doesn’t seems to have an opportunity. It is all about framing! E.g. If Mike keeps everything about bluetick the same but position it perhaps as an automated dunning tool that will 100% deliver your collection emails to customers but will sound like it came from “you”. To me as a SaaS owner, my ears will perk up immediately!

    I know Mike is on a sabbatical but if you are reading this, look up April Dunford’s stuff on positioning/framing -> https://twitter.com/aprildunford/status/1128352777367953409.

  7. Scott says:

    Wow, I think this episodes has some of the best advice I’ve heard in on SUFtRoU.

    You HAVE to ship it.

    You have to do the hard things, make progress, be productive and actually ship it.

    If you aren’t going to ship it, it’s not going to happen.

    Definitely ‘shall double my efforts’ to stay productive and focused on shipping/building my SaaS.

    Some Star Wars Inspiration.

  8. Jen says:

    Great episode and thanks Mike for sharing your troubles. It takes a really strong person to admit their own failings and even more so to do it publicly. I am sure most of us are rooting for you so stay strong and good luck figuring things out!

  9. Kevin M. says:

    That was an amazing episode, amazing for its authenticity. Mike deserves kudos for the courage to have that talk out in the open, and Rob the same for leading the discussion with both honesty and empathy.

    I came away wondering one thing: How bad do you want it? (And when I say “you”, I really mean all of “us”.)

    If we really want it, all the other stuff falls into its proper alignment and priority. If we don’t or aren’t sure, then it’s all interesting side-talk.

  10. Matt S. says:

    Thank you so much Rob and Mike! I know that wasn’t easy, or fun for either of you, but this was the most valuable podcast episode I have ever listened to. Rob, thanks for asking the hard questions, and showing us all how to do it with kindness and care.

    Mike, I can’t imagine how hard that was for you. Thanks for letting us in on the conversation. I hope you take this time to step back and realinze how good you have it. I bet you will end up like the founders at Wistia (see ep. 209 of Zenfounder) where they realized if they could do it all over again, they would just want to build the company they already have. You have Rob, one of the best menotors out there, as a partner and friend. You have an app that has some traction. Now is the time to double-down and make it happen.

    As far as productivity goes, we all struggle with that. I just read “Measure What Matters” by John Doerr. Implementing goals (OKR’s as John calls them) has been a game changer for me. We now set quarterly goals with weekly, and in some cases daily, updates. It is has been life changing for our productivity. I’d be glad to show you the Google sheets we set up. They are simple, but have made all the diference. Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

  11. Justin Hunt says:

    That really was a great episode. I have listened to a lot of your and other podcasts, but this was like listening from outside the window. It was the most valuable of your podcasts to date.

    I felt a lot like Mike was me. I need someone to stop by from time to time and remind me that I am a businessman not an artist or a developer.

  12. Tony says:

    Nice episode. I will be very surprised if this is the first time that Mike hears from Rob that there’s no differentiation in BlueTick after all these months being together. I am sure you two talk offline.

  13. Sandy says:

    I said it after the end of Auditshark… Mike needs a cofounder.

    I understand the desire to do it solo… I do too in the things I work on. But Mike will one day really understand that he needs one.

    You don’t have to pick the first person you see either. Start a relationship with no commitment first and see how you feel with that person. Then agree to a cliff, a vesting period and a percentage. Then, repeat until both feel the equity split is fair.

    If it fails, big deal. It would have failed anyway if you had done it alone.

  14. Sandy says:

    Also in line with the previous comments, it seems you both are just cohosts and not really friends. Rob, why don’t you mentor Mike? Listeners could learn a ton and watch a startup be created.