How I Learned to Code, Quit My Job, and Bootstrapped a Solution

Hello! What's your background, and what are you working on?

Hi there! My name is Mitch Colleran and I’m bootstrapping Join It, a SaaS platform that helps organizations sell and track their memberships by automating repetitive tasks (to imagine our typical customer, think of a local theater group or professional association that needs to sell an annual membership to support the organization).

Prior to starting Join It, I spent six wonderful years at Eventbrite, where I got a broad “tech education” through roles on the sales, marketing, and finally product management team. At the end of 2016, I left to start Join It, moved to Spain for three months, and have been working full-time on Join It since then.

As of December 2018, Join It is making $18,000/month and growing!

home

What motivated you to get started with Join It?

While leading the API/Developer Platform at Eventbrite, I was responsible for building integrations with complimentary SaaS platforms (like MailChimp, SurveyMonkey, WordPress, and more). We easily built integrations with SaaS platforms serving a wide spectrum of functions (email marketing, surveys, CMS, etc.) but I was turned down by every “Membership Management” platform that I contacted, so I kept thinking “this needs to exist.”

At the time, I was also teaching myself to code, so I created an MVP (heavy focus on minimum) and ran a small Google AdWords campaign. This made it easy to drive some inbound traffic and get in front of potential customers. Once I had five customers put down their credit card to start a free trial, I quit my job and went full-time.

What went into building the initial product?

I used to build basic websites when I was in high school, but when I decided to start Join It, I knew nothing about developing web applications. So I started teaching myself how to code (JavaScript/Node.js) while building the initial product.

It took about nine months of late nights and weekends to get from nothing to an MVP that I was comfortable launching. This should have gone faster, but I was still very much a beginner software developer and had a full-time job.

The best decision I made was shipping my MVP even though it felt way too early.

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After launching the MVP and going full-time on the product, it took another three months to go from MVP to something that I could really sell and be confident about putting in front of customers. This was the time that I spent in Spain. A typical day would be 10 hours building the service and two hours talking directly to customers (phone, chat, or email).

Two massive benefits from moving to Spain:

  1. Longer runway because my money went further (my Airbnb was 1/4th of my previous monthly rent in San Francisco)
  2. Easier to focus without social distractions

This was a pretty intense three-month period, but it was fundamental in building the service. At the end of this phase, I finally had a product that I was confident in and our first 10 paying customers, so I felt like it was time to focus on growing the business.

How have you attracted users and grown Join It?

As of December 2018, we have about 700 paying organizations that use Join It, and we’re still in the phase where it seems like we have to individually fight for every single customer.

Our price point is relatively low (our most popular plan is $29/month), and at this price point, most SaaS companies won’t engage directly with customers on the phone/chat because it’s not profitable at this value of customer. So for us, engaging prospective customers at our price point is a classic example of “do things that don’t scale.”

And if you assumed that by $18,000 in MRR, we’d have customer acquisition/onboarding/success figured out—Not. Even. Close! We're still trying to build our acquisition channels.

To date, our acquisition is spread relatively evenly across multiple channels: Google Ads, Organic Search, and Word of Mouth.

Three channels that specifically have not worked for us:

  1. Paid referral program—way more folks come from old-fashioned word of mouth, rather than using our referral program
  2. Cold emailing—in our experience, it seems impossible to convince someone to change membership systems if they aren't actively evaluating
  3. Social Ads—we might try this again in the future, but Facebook/Twitter ads have previously led to low-quality leads

What's your business model, and how have you grown your revenue?

Join It revenue has two components. First, we use the standard SaaS model and charge a subscription fee to access the software. Second, we also have a transactional service fee that we apply when an organization sells a membership through the platform (in this case, we use Stripe Connect, which makes this incredibly easy).

pricing

This dual model allows us to keep our subscription fees as affordable as possible—which makes the platform more accessible to smaller organizations—while collecting higher fees from organizations who process a larger volume of membership sales. Also, it aligns incentives between us and our customers (e.g. if we launch tools that help them sell more memberships or we increase their checkout conversions, it’s more money in both of our pockets).

Last year, we increased our pricing (shout out to @patio11) by 50% and saw no negative effects on acquisition. And in 2019, we’re planning to raise our prices again. I strongly believe that since we're constantly adding new features to the service, it's becoming more valuable so, of course, we should be charging more.

Also, we’ve avoided any negative pushback from customers by grandfathering existing customer pricing forever. In a SaaS business, grandfathering old pricing to existing customers is a no brainer.

Month Revenue
Jan ‘17 300
Apr ‘17 1500
Nov ‘17 6000
Jul ‘18 12000
Dec ‘18 18000

What are your goals for the future?

Our customers consistently affirm that we’ve reached product-market fit, but I think we’re still looking for our ideal business model-market fit.

As I mentioned, we’ll be changing our pricing with the goal of charging more for larger organizations that use our platform. By increasing the average value of customers, we’ll be able to invest more in customer support and customer success, and grow faster. However, even at our current growth rate, we'll have to hire this year. So bringing on the first non-founder, full-time employee is definitely a milestone I'm excited to cross in 2019.

More broadly, though, my goal is to build a sustainable company that's around for the next 25 years. I'm having a lot of fun and feel like we're just getting started. :)

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What are the biggest challenges you've faced and obstacles you've overcome? If you had to start over, what would you do differently?

When building a business as a bootstrapped founder, there is a focus on the lack of capital, but one of the challenges that caught me off guard was how alone it feels.

Without investors, there are fewer people to check-in with and hold us accountable. Without investors, you’re going to be slower to build the team, so it's just you for a much longer period of time.

One of the challenges that caught me off guard was how alone it feels to be a bootstrapped founder.

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In my weaker moments, I considered raising a small round just to build a network of external advisers/mentors who would have a vested interest in our success. Instead, I’ve been reaching out to other folks in a similar position, and my goal for 2019 is to be even more proactive about meeting other founders/CEOs/execs at small or medium-sized SaaS companies (if that's you, let's connect!).

Have you found anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

One of the best things about building a SaaS in 2019 is that the playbook has been written and is easily discoverable online! Genuinely, if you have a question about anything SaaS related, you can usually find it through a well-tuned Google Search.

Also, there are a bunch of amazing SaaS founders/execs on Twitter who are transparently building their companies. Following these folks has been incredibly impactful when building Join It:

Lastly, I sing the praises of Stripe to anyone who listens. We incorporated via Stripe Atlas, we sell subscriptions through Stripe Billing, and we collect our service fees via Stripe Connect. I firmly believe that it wouldn't have been possible for me to build Join It without these tools from Stripe.

What's your advice for indie hackers who are just starting out?

"Ship It. Now. Yes, now!"

The best decision I made was shipping my MVP even though it felt way too early. Shipping brought me loads of helpful feedback and criticism (with a small dash of affirmation).

Shipping products early goes against the natural instincts of most people. In your head, you think that the service just needs a few more features or a little more polish. But you have to ignore those instincts and get your product out there. It's the only way.

Even today, when I’m building a new feature, mulling a price change, or writing an email campaign, I have to remind myself to follow this advice.

And I’m always glad when I do.

Where can we go to learn more?

If you’re interested in chatting more about SaaS, bootstrapping, or non-profits, then definitely slide into my DMs on Twitter: @Colleran.

To learn more about Join It, check us out: https://www.joinit.org.

Also, I’ll be hanging out in the comments below, so drop a question here if you want to know more!

Mitch Colleran , Founder of Join It

Want to build your own business like Join It?

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Courtland Allen , Indie Hackers founder

  1. 3

    Congrats man!
    I like the thing you guided above as: "Ship it" as fast as you can.
    And also I admired that you start building while learning javascript and nodejs.

    So what are your suggestion for a fresher as a developer? How could he start and what languages should he get command over to start his own Saas business/app?

    P.S. I have certain Saas ideas I want to work upon but unable to get the idea which coding languages should I enroll?

    Currently I am learning core java and advanced .
    Many thanks!

    1. 2

      Thanks for the kind words! :)

      Regarding "which language?", make sure you're picking the language/framework for your intended platform (e.g. Web, iOS, Windows, etc.) -- but other than that, there is 100% no right answer.

      I chose to go with JavaScript/Node.js and I'm very happy with it, but I imagine that I would have been just as happy with Python/Django, Ruby/Rails, etc.

      Pick one and run with it!

      The only other thing that really helped me was building my MVP as I learned -- this solved my 'motivation problem' that spoiled my other attempts to learn how to code. Because I wasn't building examples from tutorials all day (boring!), I was actually creating my product. :) Way more motivating!

      Let me know if I can provide any additional details!

      1. 1

        Thanks!

        This is great!

        May I know how did you start but?
        Means you already had this idea and you started working on it directly as along with learning javascript?

        How much it required to start building the MVP?

        And is there any resource/website where you strted making live projects along with learning?

        1. 1

          @biku7

          My process went much more like this:

          1. Staring at a blank page and thinking "Well, I guess the first thing my users need to be able to do is create an account"

          2. Google "How to create accounts node.js"

          3. Complete feature where users can now create accounts

          4. Now thinking "Well, it's useless to create accounts if they can't then do [Next Feature]"

          5. Google [Next Feature]

          6. Repeat process

          And the idea wasn't novel or unique, there are literally 100s of other 'membership management' companies out there.

  2. 2

    Thanks @colleran. This is a very inspiring story.

    Really nice to see that the "validate and ship fast" mentality really applied here, too. Useful insights and I really find the dual revenue approach using transaction percentage and a monthly SaaS fee interesting.

    My credo truly was brought to life by your story:

    Code Hard, Ship Harder - www.shipharder.com

    1. 2

      Thanks, @EeKay!

      Looks like we share the same philosophy!

      1. 1

        Same philosophy, different stages. I'm working on my first actual project (validating need right now): a (Dutch) video course "Lean content Marketing" for starting entrepreneurs... Was smaller and less friction than coding a product, so going with that :)

        Wish me viability 😅✌🏻

        1. 2

          Amazing! Best of luck! :)

  3. 2

    Hi Mitch, thanks for sharing! I was wondering what your customer acquisition model was when your first started (customers 0-15). You mentioned that cold outreach did not work?

    Your message was very inspiring as I am still learning to code and build out my SaaS platform for independent insurance agents.

    1. 2

      Hey Chase! Happy to expand!

      To get from zero customers to 15, we probably had to generate about 100 sign ups -- these sign ups predominately came through Google AdWords and a co-marketing blog post with a partner.

      Once they signed up for our service, we would reach out to them and engage directly. Because of the price point of the service: $20/month at the time, no one else would do this ("Do things that don't scale") and we converted a handful of them to paying customers!

      Let me know if I can provide more info!

  4. 2

    Nice. You built the entire MVP yourself with less than 1 year of coding experience? That is amazing.

    1. 1

      Yep!

      But huge emphasis on how 'minimum' the first MVP was -- it was a really slim feature set and selling to the absolute bottom of the market.

      I think most be people would be shocked by how little it actually did. Which is why I abide by the 'ship it now!' philosophy. :)

      1. 1

        Nice. I've done it similar myself, although I had some background in programming I was mainly a designer. Built the 1st MVP in PHP/MySQL/JS.

        1. 1

          That's fantastic, @fusionPT!

          Congrats on shipping your MVP! :)

  5. 1

    Inspiration story, thank you for sharing! How come you weren’t discouraged by existing established platforms? I’d love to hear your thought process in the ideation phase because I’d quit immediately if I were too so many polished website on Google.

    1. 2

      Hey @pavloko!

      Great question! :) I have a few thoughts.

      First, I agree that 'membership management software' is a very competitive category. :) There are a lot of solutions and it's a very fragmented market -- but I interpret this as opportunity. It shows that there is a customer base that's looking (and willing to pay for!) software.

      Second, though it's hard to tell without knowing the software solutions available in the 'membership management' industry, my service is differentiated from other solutions available in the market. We certainly might be competing, but we offer a distinct solutions and the nuances of the product, features, and user experience really matters.

      Lastly, there's a difference between building software and building a business. There might be a crowded market full of software that provides 'membership management', but if you have a business advantage (e.g. better distribution, innovative delivery model, disruptive pricing model, or something else) then you can still win the market without having significantly differentiated software.

      I say go for it! And don't let existing players scare you away. :)

      1. 1

        Thanks @colleran! I'll try to look more holistically on the existing products onwards. Best of luck with Join It.

  6. 1

    Hey @colleran!

    Congrats on your story, it's very inspiring to me as I'm working on a similar type of thing. I'm maybe even somewhat of a competitor for a small subset of your customers.

    I'm building an app that also has the focus of making use of many integrations, but it's centered around people that manage many smaller groups. Imagine a theater that runs classes—each class is a group of people that are supposed to do the same thing over the course of a few weeks or months.

    I've had a bit of a tough time formulating this in a simple way, although I know of many improv companies that mainly finance their businesses through classes. When they explain their process of getting registrations, approving applications, doing post-class surveys and collecting payments it's been all over the place. The common thread is that it's someone who does this admin work and most of the time this person wishes there was some way to make things easier.

    As these types of businesses succeed their admins drown in the "paperwork" of just handling all simultaneous classes.

    I don't really have a question, but since you're in the membership business—which could be described as the same thing as I'm doing except there's only one, much larger group—maybe you've spoken to someone or seen something or just have some thoughts that might help me out.

    Regardless, excited to see that you've had success in a similar niche as me! Keep it up!

    — Marcus

    1. 1

      Hey @marcusstenbeck!

      Sorry for the delay!

      It definitely sounds like there is a market for your app -- we support a handful of theaters and improv groups, so that part is definitely validated! :)

      I've seen Organizations use a combination of Join It, MailChimp, and Eventbrite to accomplish what you're discussing -- but I'm not familiar with anyone who does it 'all in one'.

      But I'll keep my eyes open!

  7. 1

    Hey Mitch, great story! Congrats and thanks for sharing.

    In your dual model approach, how much is coming from the transactions? I run a similar business (@aircourts) and we’re building online payments for our customers. We plan to take a small fee on every transaction (includes club memberships, classes and bookings).

    Have you looked at different gateways before choosing Stripe connect?

    Many thanks!

    1. 1

      Hey @oandreduarte!

      Thanks for the kind words! (I think we discussed this privately via email, but I wanted to answer here for others too).

      At the time, we didn't evaluate other payment gateways. Stripe Connect -- and the ability to allow each Organization to create their own Stripe account (meaning that Stripe carries the fraud risk) -- seemed like the perfect fit and we're happy with our choice (I've since been approached by other platforms and haven't found anything that would match).

  8. 1

    Hi Mitch,

    Great story.

    Was it difficult to integrate payments into your web application? Do you handle the payment via your Stripe (and whatever else) account, or do you need to hookup Stripe yourself as an end user?

    Nick

    1. 1

      Hey Nick!

      Relative to other technical hurdles, Stripe makes payments incredibly easy. :)

      We run all of our payments though Stripe -- and I'd say we have two different types/flavors.

      Type 1: Customers who are paying Join It to access the software (this is pretty straight forward and common for nearly all SaaS platforms). In this case, we have a Stripe account and we use their API to create 'subscriptions' via their Billing product.

      Type 2: We enable our customers to also sell Memberships through our software. In this case, we manage the 'Products' (Membership Types) that our customers sell and then help facilitate membership payments via a connected Stripe account using their 'Connect' product.

      Hope that answers the question you were looking for!

  9. 1

    "Once I had five customers put down their credit card to start a free trial, I quit my job and went full-time."
    Hello, impressive numbers @colleran! Could users subscribed directly online by themselves when you got your first 5 customers?

    1. 1

      Hi @jpfong!

      Yep! Using Stripe's API, I added the ability to purchase a subscription pretty early -- because there is a huge different between being told "I'd pay for that" and actually putting down a credit card. :)

      1. 1

        You're right, Stripe is great for that! Quitting after just 5 customers is quite a leap of faith though!

  10. 1

    Great article!

    1. 1

      Thanks, @JohnHarding! :)

  11. 1

    Thanks @colleran, great achievement. One question regarding raising prices. How did you deal with existing customers? How did you raise prices for those?

    1. 1

      @fastsyrup - Great question!

      We allowed 100% of existing customers to keep their previous (lower) pricing.

      For whatever reason, this just seemed like the obvious approach and meant there were zero headaches with existing customers. :)

      1. 1

        Thx mate, well done 👍😀

  12. 1

    Hey @colleran - I really enjoyed your post, thanks for sharing and congrats on finding product market fit! I wanted to ask: where did you go to learn how to code, was it codeacademy.com or coursera.com or a different service or did you just figure out the problems you needed to solve one at a time and google it? And how much code did you already know leading up to this, HTML and CSS only?
    All the best,
    Matt

    1. 1

      Hey @mattbacacfo!

      CodeAcademy, Coursera, Udemy, etc., etc. -- Like a lot of folks, I think I've tried them all and none of those worked for me. I had a lot of false starts with learning to code.

      For me, it only stuck when I actually started building Join It -- and solving real problems that I had -- rather than following examples/demos.

      And for solving those real problems, I mostly turned to Google which would lead me to different sites (Mozilla Dev, w3schools, Stack Exchange, etc.).

      Hope that helps!

  13. 1

    This is quite inspiring. I am in my 40's and now considering learning how to code. What coding resources can you point me to make this journey rewarding?

    1. 1

      That's a perfect age to start learning!

      I didn't use a specific resource (I tried using many, but they all failed me).

      The only way I learned was to break everything into small enough problems -- and then solve them!

      There is no plan to go from 1 to 100.

      Only a plan to go from 1 to 2. Then from 2 to 3. And so on.

      You can do it though! Good luck!

      1. 1

        Thanks a lot @colleran. I appreciate this and will commence immediately with a project I have in mind. Will update you on my progress.

  14. 1

    hi,

    first, congratulations. I myself bootstrapped SaaS platform in last year (BittsAnalytics, machine learning analysis of stocks and digital assets) and it is hard hard work.

    I would love however your opinion on something. BittsAnalytics was marketed by just tweeting (yeah, I know) and made around 50k USD in last 12 months from
    mostly institutionals (like hedge funds).

    But now we built another SaaS platform (Unicornseo.com) which is quite different. New platform is basically Moneyball approach, Big Data data science applied to SEO on keyword, niche level. Finding the gems.

    Just for quick feeling, what we are doing analytically, e.g. in last week:

    • calculated sentiments of 10 million sentences on 200,000 websites (found out that sentiment is correlated with rankings)
    • analysed domain ages of 380,000 ranked pages (found that keywords with a lot of young domains ranked are very interesting)
    • wrote about implications of GPT-2 OpenAI (it seems a quantum leap in content generation, if not already, you should check it out) and are running the smaller model currently

    Now to the question: what would you focus on in marketing such a platform. Direct emails, tweeting to influencers, SEO, partnerships.
    Would really appreciate your advice and can offer you our Gold Partner Plan as gratitude. I just want to do much more than with first platform marketing wise.

    Best regards and all the best with your platform.

    1. 2

      Hi @aiquant - first off, congrats on the success! That's so huge! Most everyone would kill for $50,000 / year.

      My first question would be "after your initial success, why are you starting another platform?!" -- but that's another topic. ;)

      Regarding marketing for Unicornseo.com (nice name!) -- the first step is really understanding/identifying the target user for your application.

      Then create a product and message that speaks to them.

      And then go find them!

      My biggest critique of UnicornSEO would be that no one is looking for MoneyBall for SEO (personally, I haven't read the book/seen the movie/don't follow the A's or Baseball/not a huge Jonah Hill fan ;) -- so I only sorta get the reference).

      And even though, I know what MoneyBall is ... I still don't know what you'll help me do: Save money? Find more users? It's really not clear from the headlines.

      After reading down further, I start to understand how you help -- and it's actually really interesting! But I don't think most users (depending how engaged) will invest enough to read as much as I do.

      Now, when it comes to finding them -- I'm trying to think of ways to find folks who desperately need your tool? Which services/industries have the most competitive keywords? Who else is helping sell AdWords (can you partner with Agencies)?

      Hope that helps!

      1. 1

        Hi,

        thanks a lot for response and ideas. Regarding first platform, it is in financial field and we are worried that we may get another financial crash in next years so we want to diversify to other fields.

        You are right about Moneyball, most probably do not know it or make a connection. So we will make it not a central point and we will change initial title to something else. Like "Find great keywords and niches with data science". It makes more clear what the value is.

        You are right about the targets. Could be agencies with clients in competitive industries. Or folks who build niche sites. Will try to think about it more.

        Thanks for the help. Appreciate it.

    2. 1

      Hey @aiquant impressive project/name with unicornSEO.

      Did you put all that together yourself?

      1. 1

        Yes, literally from scratch. My education helps with the quant part (got a Ph.D. in theoretical physics) and I am fortunate to be really fast at coding.

  15. 1

    Congrats dude! Ship, ship, and ship some more!

    1. 1

      Thanks, @trevordabram!

      And you said it, my man! Ship it! :)

  16. 1

    I know you said 9 months of part time coding but you were also learning. what did the first version look like? as a self taught coder I know its painstaking work....I'm assuming you didnt have 3 different plans and quite as many features initially? did you build most of them yourself or hire out parts of that? it seems like a lot to have done solo in 2 years!! and if you did build all of it solo, what were the learning resources you used to know how to various features and the automation etc?
    thanks!

    1. 1

      Hey @zeuscoder! :)

      Let me tell you... the first version was super ugly and embarrassing!

      First Dashboard for Join It

      Customers (a very very small few) were actually willing to pay for something that looked like this -- I think this would probably shock a lot of people. But it's true. And if you haven't launched a product and you're thinking "My product looks way better than that!" -- then you've already waited too long to launch!

      You're correct that we only had one price tier at launch. It had way fewer features.

      I did build all of it solo, it wasn't until recently that I hired someone to re-do some of the 'marketing' pages.

      The only resource that I relied on consistently was Google -- break every problem down into the next small step and solve it. :)

  17. 1

    Your 3 points on what didn't work for customer acquisitions really stuck with me. I operate Greenline POS.

    Paid referral program - we noticed that our customers didn't really pay attention to it (after all, referrals would be their competitors), and word of mouth was a much bigger deal.

    Cold emailing—we also noticed that it's difficult to get people to switch. It's more important to catch people when they have a problem with their existing system or are starting new.

    Social Ads—we haven't had any real results from this either.

    By far our main acquisition channels are:

    • Google SEO
    • In-person conferences
    • Word of mouth
    1. 1

      Hey @buttminer!

      Wow! Different industries, same results! Very interesting indeed -- thanks for sharing!

      I liked your point on 'referrals' -- in that they would be competing with anyone they would potentially refer -- wouldn't have though of that, but makes complete sense!

  18. 1

    Congratulations. Your story is on time as I am working on an idea with two other people. Thank you!

    1. 1

      Hey @one9ooh6!

      Glad to hear it! Exciting journey ahead! Good luck!

  19. 1

    What is the conversion rate like from the users signing up to the free tier to moving to a monthly description? Also how do you decide the features that go into the freemium over the subscription plan?

    1. 1

      Hey @sdcuthbertson - great question!

      From a top-of-the-funnel sign up to paid subscription, we see about 25% conversion. :)

      It's all trial-and-error for our 'packaging' (which features go into which tier) -- we've benefit a lot from building tools that allow us to easily change pricing and grandfather existing users to their legacy pricing.

  20. 1

    Hey Mitch, congratulations on the fantastic start!

    What were the key knowledge takeaways (sans tech) from your roles in sales, marketing and product management that helped you once you had a decent MVP/v1 built?

    I feel like there are enough resources out there to help non-tech founders build out an MVP but not much on how to handle everything else.

    Where do I start? Do you recommend any resources to learn from? Where can I get a good foundation of the first principles so I can start solving business problems myself?

    Thanks and good luck with your endeavours!

    1. 1

      Thanks for the kind words! Great question, too!

      Key take-aways:

      • Product Management: When it comes to SaaS, utility is way more important than beauty (founders get hung up on the design/branding/font/whatever way too early -- when it really doesn't matter, as long as the software accomplishes the task).

      • Marketing: Keep your messaging focused and based in reality.

      • Sales: Be honest, don't apply high-pressure, and raise your prices!

      Hope that's helpful! Happy to expand on any!

      1. 1

        Thanks for your reply! Definitely helpful!

        Could you perhaps help me with the second half of my question:
        Where do I start? Do you recommend any resources to learn from? Where can I get a good foundation of the first principles so I can start solving business problems myself?

        I can only do so much with specific anecdotal advice but if you can "teach me how to fish", I think that's a lot more valuable.

        1. 1

          @1stHacker Of course! Thanks for bumping it again. :)

          Where do I start? Honestly, it doesn't matter. :) Starting in itself is way more important than starting in the 'right' place.

          Here's how I would start:

          Do you have an idea/concept?
          If not, pick one!

          Do you have a domain?
          If not, buy one!

          Do you have a page where I can learn more and sign up?
          If not, start here!

          Once I sign up, can I accomplish a single thing through a feature?
          If not, add that feature!

          The big take-away -- if I would have waited to start until I had learned everything ... I still wouldn't have started. I only learned by breaking down the next small problem and solving it. :)

  21. 1

    Hi Mitch, great story and congrats on what you've achieved so far! I really liked the idea of moving to a lower cost area for a longer runway.

    Are there any resources that you could point out that helped you learn to code faster? Did you take a boot camp or were you completely self taught?

    1. 1

      Hey @Kelvin403!

      After a couple false starts with teaching myself to code -- the thing that made it work the final time was that I was actually building something that I was excited to work on.

      As opposed to following generic tutorials and building the examples.

      This approach kept up my motivation and moved the learning from the abstract to something more concrete.

      Also, something that I've appreciated (but I literally have nothing to compare too, so take with a grain of salt) is that we're built on Meteor.js -- so some of the harder problems (hosting, deploying, load balancing) are taken care of and we can focus on building (less of a recommendation for Meteor.js specifically, and more of a push to take advantage of Platforms-as-a-Service).

      Let me know if I can provide more details!

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        Nice, I've come across Meteor.js before but will review it again.

        I already run a SaaS with a technical partner and we've got a good customer base already (but could of course always use more) so your point about a specific project is golden. Appreciate it man and thanks for sharing your story again.

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    Hey Mitch, Love to chat, contact me gator8899 @ yahoo .com - I have two of these.

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      Hey @gator70!

      What do you have two of? :)

      SaaS products? Or organizations that need membership management?

      Sorry, a bit unclear! Cheers!

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        Two SaaS products, gone live recently

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    This comment was deleted a year ago.