Founder’s Journey: Building a Startup from the Ground Up
By Josh Pigford, Founder of Baremetrics
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A weekly podcast by Josh Pigford, founder of Baremetrics, on his journey growing a startup.
||CleanWhy founders need hobbies||As founders, a lot of our identities get wrapped up in our companies. Certainly within our industries, but even to family and friends it’s how people know us. And over time, we sort of become our companies. Most founders or CEOs are the “face” of||9 5 2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanHow to identify your perfect customer||A couple of years ago, we were in a hard spot. I had just realized we were mere weeks away from running out of cash and had asked the whole team to take a pay cut while we figured out how to get profitable. But in addition to cutting costs, we needed to||4 4 2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanNo, that thing is not a big deal||When you’re just getting started, everything feels like a big deal. Everything. The tinniest things can turn in to huge showstoppers that drain time and, in many cases, money. But the longer you’re in the game, the more you realize how few things ac||14 3 2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWhy we transitioned from Medium back to our own blog||Where to publish something has becoming a difficult decision for a lot of businesses. You read so many stories about using various channels to distribute content and grow traffic, it's hard to know what does and doesn't work. Medium, in particular, has||24 1 2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDon’t let personal health take a backseat in your company culture||When building a startup, so much emphasis is put on “the product” or even “the customers”. Everything else takes a backseat. On some level, and at some points in a company’s lifecycle, this makes sense. Of course you’ll make sacrifices and y||10 1 2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEverybody’s winging it||Last week I hit some sort of boiling point with life and work. July was an incredibly stressful month for me both, personally and with work. Just lots of extremes, and it wore me down. Every single founder is struggling with something. Maybe it's big,||16 8 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanNavigating the long, slow SaaS ramp of death||There can be some really exciting days when you’re building a SaaS company, but the large majority are a slog. Just one foot in front of the other, slowly trudging your way up the hill in the muck. The hockey-stick growth you’ve envisioned feels lau||21 6 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanBeing a Solo Founder: Pros, Cons, Tips & Tricks||Founding a company is hard. You’ve got an infinite number of decisions to make while simultaneously trying to catch lightning in a bottle with creating something out of nothing. It’s even harder when you’re doing it alone. Being a solo founder, i||14 6 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMost startups are not “crushing” it||https://baremetrics.com/blog/most-startups-are-not-crushing-it Ask any startup founder how things are going and they’ll tell you it’s “going great”. They’ll talk about some new feature they’re rolling out, or a new round of funding. Or mayb||17 5 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanStartups: Keep It Classy||https://blog.baremetrics.com/startups-keep-it-classy-5bba13285cc6 Every day founders have an infinite number of tiny decisions to make and it’s easy to get decision fatigue. In a moment of weakness you may do something dumb that hurts you, your team,||12 4 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe startup echo chamber is making you deaf||https://blog.baremetrics.com/the-startup-echo-chamber-is-making-you-deaf-771eec220181 Being an entrepreneur is a lonely place, especially if you’re the founder/CEO. Sure, you may have co-founders, but the reality is, there’s a lot of weight on your||23 3 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanGetting out of the startup rat race||I’m done. I’m tapping out. I’m bowing out of the startup rat race. No, we’re not shutting down Baremetrics. Very much the opposite. I’m just finished subscribing to and following the traditional startup mentality as we build our company. http||1 2 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanHow removing self-serve cancellations saved our business (and why it’s not as evil as you think)||There may be no topic in the world of business that spurs such impassioned responses than self-serve versus manual cancellation of a subscription. Let’s just say the word “evil” gets tossed around a lot.||18 1 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanCalculate what feature to build next||What feature should we build next? Ain’t that the question of the year? While that next feature won’t save your business, it’s still important to actually improve your product and create more value for your customers. And figuring out what you sho||5 10 2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanOur system for scoring & prioritizing every marketing idea||What if you could put a system in place that instantly scores and prioritizes any marketing idea you had? You could focus in on exactly the strategies that are most likely bring you a return on your effort while minimizing costs and increasing impact.||14 9 2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThat new feature will not save your business||https://baremetrics.com/blog/new-features-will-not-save-your-business As a founder, you ooze optimism. It’s a necessary coping mechanism to deal with the volatile up’s and down’s of creating something out of nothing. But that becomes problematic||7 9 2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanOur 7 day launch sequence for announcing anything||https://baremetrics.com/blog/product-launch-sequence If you launch something on the internet and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? I know. Deep. But seriously, how do you launch/release/announce/publish something and make sure people d||31 8 2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanHow we increased annual upgrades by 30%||When you’re building a business based on recurring revenue, what you want is predictability. The “recurring” part has a pretty strong measure of that, but getting more of that recurring payment upfront reduces churn and improves cashflow, letting||17 8 2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe importance of reflection: How writing monthly updates improves our business||It’s easy to focus on forward momentum. Looking to the future naturally has an optimistic flair and so we spend more time thinking about it and planning it out. But if we don’t stop to reflect on the past, we’ll miss out on things we could learn.||20 7 2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanHow to write a startup culture manifesto||When I hear the words “company culture” my gut reaction is generally to contort my face in some way that conveys “Ewwwwwwww”. It’s just one of those buzz phrases that gets thrown around without anyone knowing what it actually means. But as our||6 7 2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEmbiggening the Mission: We now support Recurly & Braintree||Today we’re launching the biggest update in Baremetrics history: we’re expanding our platform to support Braintree and Recurly, in addition to the Stripe support we’ve always had (with more data sources on the way!). https://baremetrics.com/blog/||28 6 2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanHow we’re fixing “unlimited” vacation||It’s a common startup benefit to have a “loose” or “unlimited” vacation policy. “Take all the time off you need!” “We don’t babysit you, take off whenever you need off!” But does anyone actually take off any more time than if they we||4 5 2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanRemote Hiring: Our 5-step Interview Process||You’ve plastered your job listing on every job board and social network known to man. Now comes the fun part: sifting through the hundreds or even thousands of applications. But how? How do you narrow down a seemingly endless stream of folks who all w||27 4 2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Impossibility of Separating Work & Life||There’s a lot of talk about “work/life balance” and figuring out how to find some sort of perfect equilibrium wherein your personal life is completely divided from your work building a startup. This is not about that. In fact, it’s about the opp||13 4 2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean10 common mistakes founders make||Bless our little founder hearts. We’re eternal optimists who have great intentions paired with a propensity to try things that common sense would say is a bad idea. That means we try a lot of things, most of which don’t pan out. But it’s the thing||6 4 2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWhy we’re changing how we calculate metrics||We just rolled out a change to Buffer’s very public revenue dashboard that resulted in a $25,000 increase in MRR. This provides some backstory in to how we originally calculated metrics and the transition to a greatly improved version of metric calcul||14 1 2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanHow we generated a $14,000 influx of cash in 7 days||https://baremetrics.com/blog/saas-annual-plans We recently tried something that got us an extra $14,000 in cash in seven days. Let’s take a look at how we did it.||9 12 2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanHow freemium nearly caused our business to implode||Three months ago, we introduced a Free plan…and it nearly brought Baremetrics to its knees. Let’s take a look at what we did, how it affected our business and how it was ultimately a failure. https://baremetrics.com/blog/freemium-saas-implode||10 11 2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanHow to use customer feedback to drive your business||While customer feedback is crucial to your startup, it’s also something most founders have a love/hate relationship with. How do you decide if feedback is valuable or not? How do you keep complaints from dragging you down? Where do you draw the line o||8 7 2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMaker to Manager: What a startup founder does||I’ve struggled with what exactly it is that I do here. I’ve hired people who are each exponentially better at their craft than I ever could hope to be. So where does that leave me? I rarely make things anymore. Instead, I’m a manager...an enabler||24 6 2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanHow to Deal with Competition (or Not)||As an entrepreneur, one of the biggest sources of stress you have with your startup is likely your competition. It’s easy to become really paranoid about each move they make, each feature they launch and each piece of content they’re publishing. Eve||18 6 2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean3 things we did to reduce churn by 68%||If recurring revenue is a rainbow leading to a pot of gold, then churn is the dirty leprechaun trying to keep it all from you. I’ve written before about how to reduce churn in SaaS, so I won’t rehash that here. But what I want to talk about is how w||6 5 2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanBuild vs. Buy: How to blow $100,000 saving money||When you’re just getting started and you’re strapped for cash, you typically do all sorts of things to pinch pennies. It’s just part of surviving, and it’s a healthy thing to do when you’re not actually making any money. The danger, however, i||29 4 2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanHow to organize the daily chaos of running a startup||As a Founder, you’ve got your hand in everything imaginable, from legal paperwork to hiring to product management to support and everything in between. You’re pulled in every direction from everyone who’s got your contact info and you feel obligat||8 4 2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Startup Guide to 1-on-1's||If there’s one thing I’ve found to be true over the past year and half of building this company, it’s that I’m completely winging it. Sure, I’ve read articles and books on how to build a company, but I've never actually done this before and I||1 4 2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWhy we spent $250,000 in 120 days (and the mistakes we made)||A few weeks back I wrote about our experience going from bootstrapped to funded as we raised a $500,000 round, why it was good for our business and some of the things we’ve learned along the way. Now, I want to give you an in-depth breakdown of why an||11 2 2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Fallacy of Motivation||Most days now I wake up before my alarm goes off (at 5am) and I immediately hop out of bed, excited to get the day started. But that wasn’t always the case, especially when things weren’t going so well. It’s easy to be excited when the skies are b||4 2 2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanHow to Pull Off a Startup Retreat||In mid-January we did our first retreat as a team. Since we’re completely remote, this was the first time most of our team had met and worked with each other face-to-face. I’ll take you through how we planned and budgeted for the trip, what we did,||29 1 2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanHow we grew from $0 to $25,000/month in 12 months||One year after Baremetrics was launched, we hit $25,000 in monthly recurring revenue. I’ve tried a lot of things to grow the company over the past year. A few things have worked well. A lot of things have flopped. We grew quickly, then stagnated for a||21 1 2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanHow I hired a team of 6 without having a clue what I was doing||Last week I wrote about our experience going from bootstrapped to funded, why it was good for our business and some of the things we’ve learned along the way. I mentioned there were some big shifts for me and one of those shifts was the transition fro||15 1 2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanBootstrapped to Funded: What's it like? Was it worth it? Should you do it?||What’s it like going from a decade of bootstrapping to running a funded business? And what’s it like transitioning a business that started out bootstrapped to having a pile of cash at my disposal? Has it been worth it? Is VC money evil? So many ques||7 1 2015||Free||View in iTunes|
Josh tells it like it really is
Josh's views on the life as a SaaS founder are incredibly valuable. He tells it like it is, and helps other founds like me to deal with the slower-than-hoped growth, and focus on the things that really matter. Thanks Josh - awesome work!!
It’s good to hear the open opinion of people like Josh Pigford talking through his experiences so far. Especially interesting for people that have/are transitioning towards their own digital products.
Great content, perfect length
Just listened to the first three episodes and the thing that stands out the most, aside from the impressive leaps forward in audio quality, is the concise, and interesting ideas and experiences of running a business.
The episode on funded vs bootstrapped was one of the most well reasoned explanations of the trade-offs I've heard in what is generally more of a holy war than a discussion.
Looking forward to the next 300 episodes.