A week ago, if you wanted to start your own software company I would have recommended finding a market you are interested in, build the product, and server that market. I would have very strongly recommended you do not let yourself get side tracked in service work. Focus. Focus. Focus.
However, this week’s Tropical MBA podcast, has put a serious dent in this recommendation.
The Rise of the Productized Services discusses the many benefits of starting your business by doing services work with Damian Thompson of Linchpin.
This should not be confused with “consulting” (developer/copywriter/etc for hire). Instead:
The more work you do, real problems will become obvious and building a product to serve this market be much more feasible (not to mention your current service customers are likely future product customers).
If you are on the fence about how to get start building your empire, this is a great episode.
Bonus: Dan Norris talks about why he went the Service as a Service route with WPCurve.
Superb article by Brennan Dunn and touches on some similar topics to the TropicalMBA podcast. In this case, he is advocating for building products which (at least initially) lead to service engagements. This should help you get to market faster and increase your own bottom line.
What this post clearly shows is there are no one size fits all answers. I remember leaving MicroConf last year armed with a list of things that were going to make us more money. Some of them worked (read the post), but many didn’t (read the post). The only thing that had a 100% success rate is testing. Test your assumptions, if they work keep them, if they don’t remove them…and even if they do work, ask yourself, can I do better?
Links to podcasts don’t seem to do well on this newsletter…and this is the second one in this issue….but damn it this is important. Super great tips by Dane Maxwell on copywriting. I am going to do a couple of tests on KickoffLabs based on this episode.
I thought, maybe, just maybe I would be able start with issue off with a recommendation to go to MicroConf 2014….well, it sold out in about 20 minutes, so that isn’t going to happen. However, the next best thing to being there is the actual content. If I had to pick just one, it would be Joanna Wiebe’s on copywriting.
I am blessed very good spouse provided health insurance. However, if I wasn’t I would be poring over these articles by Allan Branch: “I wanted to make choosing a health insurance plan less scary for others, so I wrote some articles to share what I learned. These articles are short and easy-to-understand. I may have even injected a bit of fun into an otherwise super UNfun task.”
If you need even more bootstrapper worthy news in your inbox, there is another excellent newsletter you can sign up for.
Avoided outside funding, did things their own way, laughing all the way to the bank….if there ever was a bootstrapped band, Phish would be it.
Remember, bootstrapping is not about being cheap. It is about being efficient and smart with your time and money. Don’t skimp on the hosting. You will absolutely regret it.
Thanks for reading!
P.S.. Did you share this with anyone? If not, why not? Let me know what I could do to make this newsletter so utterly compelling, you have to share it with someone.
P.P.S. More on strong opinions, weakly held.