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Indie Hackers

#213 – An Indie Hacker's Process to Reach $10K MRR

Jun 18th — <p>Molly Wolchansky is the founder of The Agent Nest (@theagentnest), an application that manages social media posts and marketing materials for real estate agents. In this episode, we'll find out why she chose this niche and how seven years of manual agency work led to a breaking point. </p><ul> <li>Follow Molly on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theagentnest</li> <li>Check out Molly's App: https://www.theagentnest.com/</li> </ul><p><br></p>

Run With It

A Social Media Analytics Tool with Dave Chesson

Jun 17th — <p>If you like the show, please <a href="https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/run-with-it/id1477133536">leave a review on Apple Podcasts</a>!</p><p><b><strong>Action Steps:</strong></b></p><p>1. Look at user feedback from poorly reviewed competitors in the app store<br>2. Spend only a few hundred to a few thousand dollars developing a Chrome extension <br>3. Collect user feedback<br>4. Expand to other channels like LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter</p>

Startup to Last

What we've learned about podcasting after 100 episodes

Jun 15th — <ul> <li>Tyler has a new mic.</li> <li>Tyler is in the middle of the final round of interviews for his new dev hire, and he's starting to plan onboarding.</li> <li>We discuss whether to put a new LACRM content project on the main lessannoyingcrm.com domain, or a separate mini-site.</li> <li>Rick finished taking his javascript course.</li> <li>Rick's dad is in town, and he's taking a bit of time off work.</li> <li>We discuss a trick for getting people to complete online courses.</li> <li>We reflect on what we've learned after recording 100 episodes of this podcast.</li> </ul>

Indie Hackers

#212 – Actionable Steps for Building the Right Business with Arvid Kahl

Jun 15th — <p>Today's guest recently sold his company, FeedbackPanda, but instead of disappearing to an island, I've seen him all over Twitter, all over his blog, all over Indie Hackers <em>helping</em> people. In this episode, I talk to Arvid Kahl (@arvidkahl)  about how involuntary reciprocity built his audience and how Indie Hackers can do the same. We'll dig into his new book, <em>The Embedded Entrepreneur, </em>to break down how he co-developed and grew his businesses through audience engagement. </p><ul> <li>Check out The Bootstrapped Founder: https://thebootstrappedfounder.com/</li> <li>Follow Arvid on Twitter: https://twitter.com/arvidkahl</li> <li>Arvid's new book: https://embeddedentrepreneur.com</li> </ul>

Software Social

Sympathy, Empathy, and Solving Problems

Jun 15th — <p>Pre-order Michele's book! <a href="https://deployempathy.com/order/">deployempathy.com/order/</a></p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>00:00</p><p>Welcome back to Software Social. This episode is sponsored by the website monitoring tool, <a href="https://ohdear.app/">Oh Dear</a>. <a href="https://ohdear.app/">Oh Dear</a> does everything they can to help you avoid downtime like scheduled task monitoring, SSL certificate expiration notifications and more. But downtime happens. When it does, it's how you communicate in times of crisis that make the difference. <a href="https://ohdear.app/">Oh Dear</a> makes it easy to keep your customers up to date during critical times. You can sign up for a 10 day free trial with no credit card required at <a href="https://ohdear.app/">OhDear.app</a>.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>00:35</p><p>So Michele, do you have a, </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>00:38</p><p>Hey, </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>00:38</p><p>Good morning. Do you have a numbers update for us on your book?</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>00:43</p><p>I do. So my presale went live about a week and a half ago, when our episode with Sean went live. That was my deadline. And, I've sold 43 copies right now. Yeah, it's kind of exciting. Um, it's not all people I know, which is exciting.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>01:06</p><p>That's very exciting.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>01:08</p><p>I love how supportive people have been. And it also, it makes me, it's just reassuring that people I don't know are buying it. But yeah, so that puts it right now, just, and this is just the raw, you know, number of times $29, which is $1,247.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>01:30</p><p>That's amazing. Congratulations.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>01:33</p><p>Yeah. Thank you. And I got my first payout yesterday, which after, like, taxes, and everything else, was $912.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>01:41</p><p>Wow.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>01:42</p><p>Which was kind of exciting, and gives me a little bit of budget to work with, with, like, you know, hiring a proofreader, and using some, like, layout tools, but, you know, so I was pulling these numbers, and because, you know, everybody loves numbers and whatnot. And I was thinking about it. So, so I got this, this message from someone yesterday, who had started reading the book, and it was actually someone I don't know. And if I can just kind of read what they, what they said. </p><p><br></p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>02:25</p><p>Yes, please.</p><p><br></p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>02:26</p><p>And so I had a personal aha moment reading distinction between sympathetic, empathetic and solution based responses. My sympathetic conclusion based responses are leaving no space for empathetic, something I need to address. I'm an engineer and an architect by trade, and I'm looking to do a better job interviewing the humans attached to our work. But I'm also thinking about your book from the sense that a better balance of empathy will help me be a better teammate as well. And, like, getting that was so moving for me because it made me think about how, you know, I'm not writing this book for the money. Like, yes, the book needs to make money, because I've been working on it for four months now and have, you know, there's a lot of time I haven't spent working on Geocodio. Oh, like, I've been a pretty bad Geocodio employee the past couple of months, like, full honesty, right? So like, I have to, like, it has to have been, you know, worth my time. But like, I am not, I'm not motivated by that, like, I am motivated by this, by like, you know, like, I have this like, secret dream goal. Well, I mean, it's not a secret cuz I've, like, tweeted about it, but like, whatever. You know, Mathias sometimes says to me, he's like, I know you were thinking about something because you tweeted about it. And I’m like, oh, I forgot to, like, verbalize that. Anyway, um, I have this dream that through the process of learning this for interviewing, and, like, product development and marketing reasons, people will understand how to be more empathetic and use that in their daily lives. Like, everyone has a capacity for empathy. Everybody can learn it, not everybody is taught it or shown it so they don't really learn it. But everyone has a capacity for it. And, but also, like, very few people, you know, put like, be more empathetic, like, learn how to learn how to use empathy, like on their to do list every day. But they put write a landing page, get more customers, build a feature, like, reply to all of those customers and intercom like, those are the things that end up on a to do list. And so I have this like, kind of, I don't know, like, naive dream that like people will read this and apply these skills to the things they're already doing, but in doing so, learn how to be more empathetic in their daily life or you know, as a as a team member or whatnot. And just getting this message really, it was so motivating, but also so soul-nourishing because it really made me feel like, like the book has done what I wanted it to do. Like, this is what I set out to achieve and, like, this message makes me feel like the book is a success, regardless of how many copies it sells. Like, so it was just like, it was kind of a, it was kind of a, like a moment, like it was, it also sort of like if you're having this effect, like you can, like, stop rearranging it, like, you know, I feel like I've done a rewrite every week for, like, the past eight weeks. Yeah, time to time to ship the gosh darn thing.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>05:57</p><p>That is wonderful. So what I just heard you say is, this book is secretly teaching us how to be better humans, wrapped up in a book about customer interviews.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>06:09</p><p>Yes, wrapped up in a book about which features you should prioritize, and how to, you know, pick a pricing model based on what people's usage patterns are, and, like, how to understand what people want and write better landing pages. All that stuff they're already trying to do. But then yeah, there's, there's this kind of bigger message. Like, I feel like so much of good UX practice is good human being practice. </p><p><br></p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>06:35</p><p>Yeah. </p><p><br></p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>06:36</p><p>Um, and, I mean, I, I really learned about empathy by doing interviews myself. So this, I mean, it's, it's, it's very personal for me in a way that, like, the book is, I don't know, it is very, very personal for me. And it's not just about showing empathy to other people. It's also about showing empathy to yourself, too, which is just as important.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>07:06</p><p>So I have not read the book yet, unfortunately. Can you tell me briefly, what the difference is between empathy and sympathy that that writer wrote into you? Because we talk about it a lot, but we've never defined it, really.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>07:22</p><p>Yeah, that's true. So empathy is when you, basically when you, when you try to understand the other person's context without judgment, and it doesn't mean that you agree with what they're saying. You're just trying to find the context behind what they're saying or what they're doing. Because, sort of, most of us, basically, we assume that our, there's this assumption that our actions make sense from our perspective. That is to say you wouldn't go out and do something if it didn't make sense to you, like, maybe very few people might, but like, for the most part, we have this underlying assumption that, that the things that we do make sense to us.  And so you're basically trying to find that internal context for why somebody does something, and then you reflect it back for them. So for example, if you came to me and started telling me about how, like, I don't, I don't know something you were struggling with, like, let's say, you felt like you were banging your head up against the keyboard all week on some, like, coding problem and it was really frustrating for you. An empathetic response to that would be man, that sounds really hard and like you were working really hard on it and it was super frustrating for you. A sympathetic response would be, oh, I'm sorry you went through that. So a sympathetic response creates distance between the person who is speaking and the person who has aired something, and that might not be a complaint or a frustration. It could be like something positive, but it creates distance. And sometimes it's called fake empathy. Like, I feel like this is what you see in a lot of, like, really bad public figures, celebrity apologies. It's like, I'm sorry, that offended you. It's like, no, that's wrong. Like, like, that's not, that's not actually apologizing. And then there's also kind of this other element that I feel like is this sort of, like, solution-based responses, which comes from a place of caring, and I think us as product builders, I know me, like, we really fall into this, is someone, like, if you came to me with some, some problem. If I just said, oh, well, have you tried this? Which, I'm trying to solve your problem, I'm showing care, right? Like, I wouldn't propose a solution to your problem if I didn't care about you and making that solution better. The problem is, is that it doesn't validate your experience and it doesn't acknowledge your experience. So, while it comes from a good place, it's not empathetic because it doesn't say, wow, like, that was really hard for you. Like it doesn't, it doesn't fake make you feel seen or heard. And it could end up being, through the course of a conversation, you end up explicitly asking me like, do you have any advice for how I could do this? Like, what should I try? I feel like I've tried all these other things. But an empathetic response starts with acknowledging what the other person has gone through. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>10:25</p><p>Okay. Okay </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>10:26</p><p>And then also checking in with them, like, do you, do you want me to listen to you about this? Or do you want me to help you brainstorm ideas?</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>10:33</p><p>Okay.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>10:33</p><p>Like, so but I think that's, that's like one of those that really, like, it took me a while to wrap my head around that because the other thing about a solution response, especially in the context of a customer interview, or whatnot, is that you need all the context behind, behind why someone does something and why they went through something in order to really build something that solves the problem for them in a way that they understand and they're capable of grokking. Right? Because we need all of the context behind it, not just the functional context, but also sort of the emotional and social context of things in order to build a product that someone feels like is speaking to their experience and the problem they have. Does that make sense?</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>11:18</p><p>Yeah, it, it does. It's, it feels like a subtle difference, though. Like, when I try to understand your problem in your context, in your context, the sympathy for versus the empathy, like, it feels very subtle to me.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>11:34</p><p>It is subtle, but like, um, I mean, it's, it's subtle. You know, it's the difference between, I'm sorry, that was hard for you and that was hard for you. Like, those are a subtle difference between them, but there is a huge difference between that and what someone would receive.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>11:53</p><p>Yeah, I can see that.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>11:55</p><p>And because when you say, I'm sorry, that happened to you, it emphasizes that it didn't happen to me.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>12:01</p><p>Right, okay.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>12:01</p><p>It actually, like, Brené Brown talks about this a lot. I'm sorry, that happened to you. It, it makes the other person feel more alone because it emphasizes that they are the only one who experienced that, and it makes them feel isolated. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>12:18</p><p>Okay. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>12:19</p><p>And she has a great way of responding, I'm sorry, of phrasing this, and I don't know if I'm doing it justice. But basically it creates that distance, and feeling alone and feeling like you're the only person who went through something is a really, really hard feeling, especially when you have just gone through something frustrating, and it doesn't have to be a big thing. It could just be, you know, the fact that I spent my week fighting with Grammarly, like, like that could be the problem we're discussing. And, but if you said oh, I'm sorry, you went through that, like, it reminds me that you didn't go through that. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>12:55</p><p>Hmm. Okay. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>12:57</p><p>And it was like, oh, yeah, that was like, maybe it was just me, like, maybe I was doing something wrong, like, am I using it wrong? Like is like, like, you know, it creates all of that doubt and feeling of sort of loneliness in it.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>13:11</p><p>And so tell me the empathetic response again.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>13:14</p><p>That sounds really hard.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>13:15</p><p>That sounds really hard. Okay, right. So you're not, you're trying not to create that distance where they're an individual isolated,</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>13:23</p><p>Right.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>13:24</p><p>And you're over here.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>13:25</p><p>And it doesn’t start out with I, right? Like, the sympathetic response to start with, you know, like, I'm sorry, that offended you. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>13:33</p><p>Okay.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>13:34</p><p>Versus the difference between like, that offended you. Because when you say it that way, you're sort of asking for elaboration.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>13:41</p><p>Right. Right.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>13:42</p><p>Versus I'm sorry, I offended you just shuts it off. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>13:46</p><p>Wow, I say that all the time. I'm sorry, XYZ happened to you.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>13:50</p><p>I said it all the time, too, then I started learning about this stuff. And I was like, I’m accidentally like, a jerk, and I didn't even realize it. But so many of us speak this way. And we learn the way we speak from the people around us. And if the people around you, when you were learning to speak, didn't speak empathetically, even if they're otherwise nice people. like, then it would make sense why you think this way and don't realize it.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>14:15</p><p>Interesting.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>14:16</p><p>Like, it's totally normal to not realize that what you have been saying is actually not empathetic. Like, like, it is a, it is a learned skill for many people. I mean, the people who have it built in are the people whose, you know, parents really made it a focus when they, when they had their kid. Like, but for most of us, it's kind of oh, I guess I should stop saying that. Like, I remember how at one point, like, when I was in my early 20s, I was at a job and somebody was like, you know, you really shouldn't say well, actually. Like, I don't know if you realize how you are coming across. Like, I know you don't mean anything by it, but like, it's, it's kind of like, and I was like, oh, crap, I do that all the time. Okay, like, mental note, like, mental dictionary update: stop. Like, so it doesn't, you know, it doesn't mean that you're not a nice person or that you're not an empathetic person or that you’re not, you don't have a capability for empathy, it simply means that you haven't learned it and all of the various implications of it and we can call learn.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>15:15</p><p>Okay. Yeah. Well, thank you for, for telling me about that. Like, that's really interesting. I didn't know that. I find that like, this whole thing, empathy and psychology, as I'm trying to, as I'm talking to people and trying to sell my product, I have found that it really, and I already knew this, but like, now I'm seeing it, it really makes a difference. Can I just tell you about this one issue, which I find so interesting?</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>15:42</p><p>Yes. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>15:43</p><p>Okay. So the way my product works is you upload files to the cloud, and then I provide you a dashboard where you can see all of those files. I have gotten several requests now from people to allow them to tag the files.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>16:02</p><p>Oh, yeah, like Drew asked for that. Right?</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>16:04</p><p>Yeah. So I've been trying to figure out why people want to tag the files. He's not the only one who asked for it. Some other people have asked for it. The reason these people want to tag the files is because they want to be able to mass delete all of the files they've uploaded in a development environment. Why did they want to do that? From what I'm understanding, they want to do that so those files, like, because those aren't production files, they're not, like, cluttering up their dashboard. So when those people have asked me about this, I said, well, look, if you exceed your storage, because I don't have a mass delete function right now, and I don't have that, I'll just give you more storage. But nobody likes that answer. It's like, and so I think it's like a mental psychological thing where they want, like, a nice, clean dashboard. I don't know, I just find this really interesting, because I'm like, storage is cheap. I'll give you more storage until I implement this. But, but it's like, it's, like, as human beings, they really want, like, to segment stuff. I don't know, it's like mental. That's kind of the way I've been, I've been thinking about it. Like, as human beings, they don't want files that they don't need on their dashboard, even if they don't have to pay for them. But I'm like, I don't know. So, so that's just kind of been an interesting one for me. I'm like, but you literally like, I'm not gonna make you pay for those files. It's fine. They can just be there in outer space. But no one, yeah, that's an interesting one that keeps coming up.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>17:25</p><p>Yeah, it sounds like they, like, that clutter is creating a certain like, </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>17:33</p><p>Mental clutter or something psychological clutter.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>17:36</p><p>Nervousness, or something. And then there's also this element of wanting to, like, mentally, like to mentally separate things like, I'm sort of, I'm reminded of one of my favorite economics papers called Mental Accounting by Richard Thaler, which is basically on how people like, they create different jobs for different bank accounts and investment accounts, and like, you know, for example, people might have one brokerage account that's just for, like, they have like fun money versus they have their serious 401k. Or like, some people have many different bank accounts for, you know, for different purposes. And it, there's, there's probably a broader term for this, but since I come from an econ background, that's, but like, people wanting to create these different mental categories, and basically, like, it's almost like they want to go, sort of, it's like mentally going to IKEA and buying one of those room divider shelves with all the different boxes you can slide boxes in and, like, being able to look at it and see that everything is in all of its little different categories and is in its place. And they know like, you know which things are in which box, and it looks all nice and organized from the outside.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>18:51</p><p>Yeah, I am going to do it because I have found I use my own product for my clients, and I have found I desire the same thing. But I think you're absolutely right. Like, from a purely practical perspective, it doesn't matter. But from, like, a human organizational mental box perspective, like, it seems to make people happy.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>19:11</p><p>Yeah, like, there's that functional perspective of it. But then there's the emotional perspective of feeling like everything is organized. And then I also wonder if there's a social element where like, maybe they're afraid one of their coworkers will use a file that was only for development, or because there's so many files and they're all in one list, someone will use the wrong file or, like, I wonder if there's any, any sort of elements around that going on?</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>19:41</p><p>Yeah. Could be. I didn't ask that. That's,</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>19:47</p><p>So when someone asks you for that, what did you say back to them, exactly?</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>19:52</p><p>Well, the first time someone asked me, I said, that's a great idea. I'm totally gonna do that. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>19:58</p><p>Okay. That’s an understandable response. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>19:59</p><p>I know you're over there thinking, like, have I taught you nothing, Colleen? You have taught me. That was before we were doing a podcast.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>20:06</p><p>No, that was a starting point, and that's a perfectly understandable reaction to that. What did you start saying after that?</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>20:15</p><p>So the second request I got was via email. So I didn't really have the back and forth that I would have had when I'm talking to someone on the phone or on Slack. And, so this person, I asked them kind of what their use case was, and I also told them in the email that they, you know, I wasn't going to charge them for development files. So if storage became a problem, we could work something out until I had the, you know, a bulk delete API set up. And this person was looking to segment files so they could do a mass delete of the development files. And they also brought up they thought it would be great to be able to segment files, like via model. So you could have, here's all my avatar files over here, here's all my resumes over here, which would be really cool. I mean, that I can totally see the value because and then you're then in your admin, yeah, then in your admin dashboard, you could easily filter based on, you know, what your tag was. And it's really not hard to do, I just haven't done it. But I do like, I do like that idea. And that, to me, makes a lot of sense because I think people really like, like we just talked about, like, you like to have your stuff in the appropriate boxes.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>21:34</p><p>I think it's hard sometimes when somebody proposes an idea that we get the value of because we would use it ourselves. It can be really hard to say, can you walk me through how you would use that? </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>21:46</p><p>Yeah it is.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>21:47</p><p>Like, because their reasons may be different. And we really, we need all of those reasons because the reasons I would do something might be different than the reasons why somebody else would do something. But when we understand something, it feels very unnatural to ask for clarification, even when we don't need it. But it's so reasonable. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>22:08</p><p>That's exactly what it is. It feels so weird, because I'm like, yeah, totally. That's a great freaking idea. Yeah, it is odd.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>22:16</p><p>I sometimes feel like it's, I wonder if this comes from, like, conditioning in school where, like, I feel like the kid who asks a lot of questions is, you know, sort of branded as annoying. I was definitely that kid in math class. Like, I just always seemed to understand it two weeks after the test. And I wonder if it's like that fear that like, oh, God, like, am I going to be the person who asks questions. And then we have this like, sense that being the person who asks questions, even one that might be sort of a quote, unquote, like dumb question that's clarifying something. Get you like, like, I wonder if there's kind of this built in social conditioning around that, that makes us not want to ask those clarification questions. And we're like, okay, I think I can guess what they want, so I'm just not gonna ask further about that. But, but when we're building a product, you need to be able to, like, look in all the different nooks and crannies of how they're thinking.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>23:08</p><p>Yeah, definitely. That definitely is valuable. To your point, you might use it one way, and they might want it for something totally different. So I really do think, like, throughout the course of this podcast, and since we've been spending a lot of time talking about customer interviews over the past several months, that I've gotten way better at it, because it's, it's my instinct, just to say, yeah, I totally agree, because I do totally agree. So why, I think for me, it's not like, I'm not I don't I'm not scared of asking clarifying questions. I think it's more like, I don't want to waste any more time. Like, I'm like, okay, cool. Let's not waste anyone's time, and let's just go do it. So I have, I do really think I've grown a lot in that, in that kind of sphere of pausing, slow down Colleen, because not really good at slowing down. And, you know, kind of dive into what they want and why they want it. So I think that's been good.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>24:02</p><p>It can be kind of tough as like, I feel like we're both pretty enthusiastic and kind of like, like, have you ever been called bubbly?</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>24:11</p><p>Yeah, of course.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>24:11</p><p>Yeah, I have been called bubbly, too. Yeah. So like, I like feel like enthusiastic people want to be like, yeah, that sounds awesome. Like, it's so, it's so counter,to like how I would interact with someone socially.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>24:25</p><p>Yeah, I agree. So, so anyway, that was something, I was thinking about that when you were talking all about, you know, empathy and sympathy and psychology, is how much these kinds of factors play into product building. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>24:41</p><p>Yeah and building an intuitive product that, that makes sense to people. Like it's, it's really hard to build something that's intuitive because it requires understanding the user’s mental model of how something works, and you can't understand their mental model unless you have, you know, really, you know, poked through every nook and cranny of how they think about it. And also seeing what are the similarities at scale across many different customers. You can't just build it for one particular person, right? Like this, I think this is like, do we want to do we want to do more definitions? Because now I'm excited to get into definitions between Human Centered Design versus activities under design. But if we are, we are feeling good on definition today, then,</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>25:29</p><p>I don't know what those are. Yeah, go ahead.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>25:32</p><p>So like, you probably hear people talk about human-centered design, right?</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>25:37</p><p>I mean, no, but okay, I believe you, so not me. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>25:40</p><p>So like humans, I feel like this kind of came really into it, like, especially in, in tech in the past, like, I don't know, 10,10-15 years, like, you like, think about the human behind it. And like, this is where a lot of like, agile stories come from, is like, as an administrator, I would like to be able to update the billing page, whenever we get a new credit card, like, like, those kinds of stories that if you've worked in the corporate world, you have seen the ads of so and so like, those kind of stories. And like, creating personas, and maybe there's like a picture of a person, and there's their age, and there's like, you know, like, all of those kinds of things that's very, like human-centered designs, and you're designing for people and understanding what those people need. Then there's activity-centered design, which is designing for things that people might be trying to accomplish, but not for specific people, if that makes sense. So it's like, so if you're thinking, I just used an example of like, a billing administrator. The human-centered design approach with a persona might be you know, this is Susan, and she lives in Iowa, she has been working in insurance for 20 years, she has a dog named Charlie, like she prefers to use her iPad on the weekends, but during the week, she uses Windows like, it's like that kind of stuff. Activity-centered design would be like, when billing administrators are going through this process, they want to be able to, you know, these are the different kinds of things they're thinking about, these are the different functions that they need to be able to do. Here are the different things they might be feeling. Like, do they want to be updating a credit card? Like, how does that make them feel, like, is that, is that enjoyable for them? Is that frustrating? Like, are there other people they're working with on this? Do they need to go get a p-card from someone else? Like, what is this entire process they're going through that is independent of them as a specific person and independent of the product? And then how does the product help them get through that entire activity, either easier, faster, or cheaper.  I feel like I just dropped like, </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>27:54</p><p>There's a lot. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>27:54</p><p>A lot. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>27:55</p><p>I'm gonna have to re-listen to that one. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>27:56</p><p>But basically, </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>27:57</p><p>So what's the,</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>27:58</p><p>Activity-centered is kind of the approach that I take. And that's the, the approach in the book is designing a process that exists regardless of the person and regardless of the process. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>28:10</p><p>Okay.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>28:10</p><p>The product, I think I messed that up.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>28:13</p><p>Okay, so which one is better? Do you have all the answers, Michele? Tell us.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>28:18</p><p>I am not going to throw bombs in the design world here. I mean, you know, there's, there's value in designing for specific people, right, and, and specific types of people, especially when you're talking about accessibility and whatnot. But fundamentally, you know, like, activity center design is okay, what it, what is the thing that someone's trying to accomplish? For example, 500 years ago, you may have solved, you know, entertain me at home, when I'm alone on a Saturday night with cards or dice, right. And now you might solve it with Netflix. But that fundamental process that you're going through to not be bored when you're in your house on the weekend, like, that process and that desire is relatively constant, which is the thing about activity-centered design approaches is that you're looking at a process that is consistent over time, because you're speaking to sort of broader, underlying goals. And this types of products, someone might use the different functional and social and emotional things that might be important to them are different, but the overall process is the same. And so this is what I think about a lot when we're like thinking about the process that someone is going through and designing something that's intuitive for them and building that mental model is understanding, okay, why do they need to be able to tag things and why do they need to be able to mass delete these things, and what is this overall thing they're trying to do? And it sounds like it's sort of, to feel like all of their files are organized and they can find things when they want to, and that desire to be organized is a relatively consistent desire.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>30:03</p><p>Yeah, I think one of the things, one of the phrases we use at work is to surprise and delight the user. And I feel like this falls into the surprise and delight category. Like it's not necessary, but it's delightful. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>30:19</p><p>You just used the phrase ‘at work’. Does that mean when you are working? Or?</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>30:26</p><p>Oh, just when I'm, just this company that I've been contracting for for a while likes to use that phrase.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>30:31</p><p>Okay, gotcha.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>30:32</p><p>So this to me feels,</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>30:34</p><p>I didn't know if you’d suddenly gone off and gotten a full time job without telling me.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>30:39</p><p>Well, I'll tell you if I do that. I may be considering that. That's like a whole ‘nother podcast episode. I feel like we don't have enough time to dive into that.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>30:50</p><p>We'll do that in a future episode.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>30:52</p><p>Colleen's life decisions. But yeah, so, this feature, I feel like, is delightful. And when we talk about like design, you know, in the context, you were just saying, I think it does fit into the, the latter category.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>31:10</p><p>Yeah. And I can, I can understand how someone, or you might even, or probably, I feel like if we had talked about this, like, six months or a year ago, the reaction kind of would be like, this feels like we're really splitting hairs over something that's super obvious, and why don't I just go build it?</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>31:29</p><p>Well, yeah,</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>31:30</p><p>Which, I think it's a very understandable reaction.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>31:34</p><p>Yeah, I mean, I think the problem I'm having, and I know everyone in my position has this problem. It's just, there's just not enough time to do all these things. Like, one part of me wants to take like six months and just do all the things, right? And then the other part of me wants to balance my life with building this business, and is trying to be patient with, with my constraints as a human. So I know, you know, everyone has those, that struggle, everyone who's working and trying to do this. But yeah, I'd love to add all these things. Like, I want to do all the things of course I do.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>32:10</p><p>Speaking of which, building the business, we started this episode with my numbers update. Do you want to give us a little numbers update before we go?</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>32:31</p><p>So I do want to tell a little story about this. Storytime. So, someone who's kind of a prominent bootstrapper had a tweet the other day about how for his SaaS, he just implemented file uploading using some JavaScript library, and it took him like, I don't know, like a day. So not an insignificant amount of time, but not a huge amount of time. It's a long time if you're a developer to take all day. But I saw, so, like, I saw his tweet, and I was like, oh, like, why didn't he use Simple File Upload? Like, clearly my product is crap. Okay, so this happened at like 9am. So then, like, later in the day, this just happened a couple days ago, I went to see if I had any new signups. And as you know, like, I've been pretty flat for like two or three weeks now, signups have been pretty flat. So, in one day, I got $325 boost in my MRR. One day.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>33:19</p><p>What?</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>33:20</p><p>That has never happened in the history of my product, like ever. I was like, whoa.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>33:25</p><p>So did someone Tweet it, like, add it to that thread, or, like what happened?</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>33:29</p><p>No, no one added it to the thread. And I didn't add it to the thread because he was clearly looking for a non-paid solution. So it seems like it wasn't that he hated my product or it was bad, he just wasn't looking for this kind of solution I was offering. I don't really know what happened. But a whole bunch of people signed up.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>33:50</p><p>These two things happened on the same day, and you don't have any conclusively linking them, but it feels suspicious that they wouldn't be linked.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>34:00</p><p>It's super weird, right? </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>34:01</p><p>Yeah. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>34:02</p><p>Um, so I am trying to like, I'm just really starting to try and get into, like, Google Analytics and understand that. Anyway, so that was, my point of that story is like, you know, this is, we're never bored. I'm never bored, right? Like one day, I'm like, this thing is miserable. The next day, I'm like, I'm the most brilliant person in the world. Like, it's never, it's never boring. I guess my point of that story was it's all over the place. I'm all over the place with, with this product. And some days I feel like it's just not, not as good as it should be. Some days I feel like I'm charging too much. And then other days I have, like I realized I have, there's all this power in this thing I built that no one is utilizing. So that's something I really want to spend some time getting some content going out there and spend some time, like, showing people why it's more powerful than, than, you know, other solutions they've been using.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>34:58</p><p>You seem really fired up. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>35:00</p><p>I am. I, I've just had like, a, it's been, like, a really good week. I mean, from a work perspective. And although I didn't get to spend the time, you know, I got, okay. I don't have a lot of time to spend on the product the next month or so, so I'm just taking it in little bits, right. And so this week, it's a tiny thing, but someone pointed out to me, and I think this also plays into psychology. Okay, so my marketing site is built in Tailwind UI. My application site is built off of Bootstrap. Bootstrap and Tailwind are not friends. I can't just throw Tailwind into my Bootstrap site.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>35:37</p><p>If it makes you feel better, the Geocodio dashboard was on Bootstrap, and the Geocodio marketing website was on Railwind for, like, a really long time, like, like, you, like, we were on the like, 2013 version of Bootstrap for, like, a very long time. And it wasn't until like maybe six months or a year ago that we actually got them both on Tailwind. So you're not the only one. Okay, so back to yours.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>36:06</p><p>So this. Okay, so if you are on my marketing site, and you click through to sign up to get the free trial, here's the thing that happens. The nav bars are different.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>36:17</p><p>Mmm. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>36:18</p><p>Yeah, it's not good, and someone pointed it out to me. They were like, oh, I had to click back and forth a few times to make sure it was still the same application. And I was like, oh, my goodness. And so I can't, but it was like, it was, so it's just this visual thing. But this he pointed out, he was like, you know, that's, that made me think I was at the wrong place, it might make me close the window.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>36:40</p><p>Yeah it might make them think something was wrong, or, like, they accidentally got led off to another site that wasn't the right one. And like, maybe it's, like, phishing or something, like.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>36:50</p><p>Exactly, that's exactly what this guy said. And I was like, oh, my gosh. And so, so my, my Simple File Upload technical accomplishment this week, was basically like, and because I can't, my application is pretty complicated. I can't just pull out Bootstrap and drop in Tailwind. That's gonna take me forever. So I actually, like, just stole, stole is the wrong word. I grabbed some of the Tailwind styles and just over, you know, and overrode my Bootstrap styles just for the navbar. So anyway, the point is, now the nav bars look the same. And it's like, it sounds like a small thing. But like, I think the mental block for, if you sign up and I drop you to a totally different site, you're like, wait, what? </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>37:29</p><p>Like, yeah, it's like, something is, like, the brain is a little bit like, danger, something is different.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>37:34</p><p>Yeah, exactly. So, so another, so it was another big CSS week for me, which is not my forte, but I got it. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>37:41</p><p>I wrote JavaScript this week, which is not my forte.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>37:46</p><p>Oh, jack of all trades. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>37:48</p><p>Well, we wrote stuff that, that's not our forte, and you're going back and forth between feeling like it's amazing and you've built something super powerful. And then, also feeling like it's, really has a long way to go, and is it ever going to get there, which, honestly, is how I feel, like, I feel the exact same way about my book. Like, every day, it's like, oh, my God, this is a hot mess. And then I'm like, actually, this is amazing and I should just publish it now. Like, I think that's, I think that's just like part of building something, whether it's a book or you know, software. I mean, yeah.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>38:31</p><p>And honestly, I think it's part of the fun. Like, I honestly do, like I, it makes it interesting. Like, I've worked jobs that are really boring, and they're really boring. Like, this is way more exciting.</p><p><br></p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>38:52</p><p>I think that’s the thing I love about being an entrepreneur is that it's always different. And sometimes it's different in ways that are super boring and require a lot of paperwork. And sometimes it's different in ways that are like, super awesome, and exciting. But the fact that it is so different all the time is, is what makes it fun and makes me feel like I get to, like, feel lucky that I get to do this as my job.  On that note, perhaps we should sign off for this week. Thank you so much for listening. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave us a review on iTunes or tweet at us. We love hearing what you think about it. Have a good one.</p><p><br></p>

Newsletter Crew

Numbers that matter with Walt Hickey of Numlock News

Jun 14th — <p>Walt Hickey is the author of Numlock News, a daily newsletter with tens of thousands of subscribers. Hickey started working in newsletters as a data journalist in 2014, before creating his own platform on Substack in 2018. Here, he shares his writing process, growth strategy, and more.</p>

Indie Bites

Making $10k in a weekend selling emoji email addresses - Ben Stokes, Tiny Projects

Jun 14th — <p>Ben Stokes a full stack developer and entrepreneur based in Bristol in the UK, who's started an ice cream business and cookie dough business amongst other things. Ben, like many indie hackers, has a bunch of small side project ideas, but not enough time to do them. So he started Tiny Projects. Tiny Projects documents his progress with these small ideas, launching 6 projects since May last year, including One Item Store, which he sold, and his most recent, Mailoji, which has just crossed $10k in revenue.</p><p><strong>Sponsor</strong></p><p>Thank you to today's sponsor, <a href="http://veed.io/">VEED.io</a>, who are hiring developers, designers, product people and more. So if you're looking to join a growing bootstrapper-friendly business, reach out to their CEO, Sabba ([email protected]), or take a look at their published roles <a href="https://apply.workable.com/veed-io/?lng=en">here</a>.</p><p>Get ad-free and extended conversations of the podcast with <a href="https://indiebites.co/membership"><strong>Indie Feast membership</strong></a><strong>, </strong>for just £4 a month.</p><p><strong>What we covered in this episode:</strong></p><ul> <li>Why Ben started an ice cream business</li> <li>Buying an ice cream machine for £700 after a few pints</li> <li>Growing a cookie dough business to £13k a month</li> <li>Why Ben started <a href="https://tinyprojects.dev/">Tiny Projects</a> </li> <li>The six projects he's worked on</li> <li>How to sell a project for $5,000, that only made $2</li> <li>Selling $10k of emoji domain names</li> <li>How to go viral on hacker news</li> </ul><p><strong>Recommendations</strong></p><ul> <li>Book: <a href="https://uk.bookshop.org/a/5782/9781471146725"><strong>Shoe Dog</strong></a> </li> <li>Podcast: <a href="https://productjourney.fm"><strong>Product Journey</strong></a> </li> <li>Indie Hacker: <a href="https://twitter.com/alexwestco"><strong>Alex West</strong></a> </li> </ul><p><strong>Follow Ben</strong></p><ul> <li><a href="https://twitter.com/tinyprojectsdev">Twitter</a></li> <li><a href="https://tinyprojects.dev">Tiny Projects</a></li> </ul><p><strong>Follow Me</strong></p><ul> <li><a href="https://twitter.com/jmckinven">Twitter</a></li> <li><a href="https://twitter.com/indiebitespod">Indie Bites Twitter</a></li> <li><a href="https://mckinven.co/">Personal Website</a></li> <li><a href="https://whistablecraftco.com/">Buy A Wallet</a></li> </ul>

Past Month

Indie Hackers

#211 – Making 5-figures a Month as an OnlyFans Creator with Aella and Savannah Solo

Jun 10th — <p>This is not a typical episode for the podcast. Today I am talk to two OnlyFans creators: Savannah Solo and Aella. They are both top earners on the platform and we'll find out why. OnlyFans is at the intersection of the creator economy and porn. So if you're not comfortable hearing about sex work or internet porn, you may want to skip this episode. </p><ul> <li>Savannah's twitter: https://twitter.com/savannah_solo</li> <li>Aella's NSFW twitter: https://twitter.com/aellagirl</li> <li>Aella's safe-for-work twitter: https://twitter.com/aella_girl</li> <li>Courtland's OnlyFan page: https://onlyfans.com/csallen</li> </ul>

Run With It

One Inbox to Rule Them All with Guillaume Moubeche

Jun 10th — <p>If you like the show, please <a href="https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/run-with-it/id1477133536">leave a review on Apple Podcasts</a>!</p><p><b><strong>Nuggets:</strong></b></p><ul> <li>When you build a business realize that your community of clients may be more valuable than the money they give you. You can always build additional products and services that they need. But without an audience, you have no business.</li> <li>It’s okay to provide different amounts of compensation to co-founders based on their needs at a given time, but it’s also useful to start with an even share of the company.</li> <li>Communications add-ons for linked in is still and underserved niche.</li> </ul><p><b><strong>Action Steps:</strong></b></p><ol> <li>Choose to focus on a very simple product first: LinkedIn Inbox integration with Gmail.</li> <li>Create a landing page and collect emails of interested folks.</li> <li>Connect with technical co-founder(s) (or sales and marketing co-founders if you are technical)</li> <li>Start building with a small equal share investment from your co-founders</li> <li>Realize you are building an audience as you gain users. Focus more on the relationships and building it than monetization and your initial idea.</li> <li>Add features and build relationships with team members at LinkedIn to make sure you  are not stepping on their strategy and to seed the prospect of acquisition by LinkedIn at some point.</li> <li>Grow your users and grow your features through feedback and rapid iteration.</li> </ol><p><b><strong>Links:</strong></b></p><ul> <li><a href="https://www.lemlist.com/">lemlist: Your Go-To Cold Email Software &amp; Outreach Automation Tool</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/contact-center-software-market">Contact Center Software Market Size Report, 2021-2028</a></li> <li><a href="https://frontapp.com/">Front - Customer Communication Platform | Team Email</a></li> <li><a href="https://techcrunch.com/2020/10/12/twilio-confirms-it-is-buying-segment-for-3-2b-in-an-all-stock-deal/">TechCrunch Twilio confirms it is buying Segment for $3.2B in an all-stock deal</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.paulgraham.com/earnest.html">Paul Graham on Earnestness</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.territoryfoods.com/">Territory Foods</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.cookunity.com/landing-referral?referral_code=chjusti432">CookUnity: A Chef Collective</a></li> </ul><p><em><br>Guillaume is the Co-Founder and CEO of lemlist, a personalized cold email sequencing software. In 3 years, lemlist went from 0 to $8 million ARR and 10k+ customers worldwide, without any funding. His mission is to help 1,000,000 entrepreneurs to build a profitable business by 2025.<br></em><br></p><p><strong>Love a part of the show? Did we get something completely wrong? Let us know at [email protected]</strong></p><p><br></p>

Startup to Last

Content marketing: Putting all our eggs in one basket

Jun 8th — <p>Topics covered this week:</p><ul> <li>We selfishly discuss larger themes we've covered on the podcast which might make for good topics on the Indie Hackers podcast.</li> <li>Tyler's newsletter signups have increased since changing the call-to-action.</li> <li>Rick lost another LegUp Health client due to unavoidable churn.</li> <li>Tyler has a content idea centered around CRM pricing.</li> <li>Tyler wants to do engineering as marketing but doesn't have any good ideas.</li> <li>Rick is almost done learning javascript.</li> <li>Rick has his first coding projects lined up.</li> <li>We discuss the new Stripe payment links.</li> <li>We revisit last week's topic because a listener called in with a new thought on the topic.</li> </ul>

Newsletter Crew

Acing email delivery with Yanna-Torry Aspraki

Jun 8th — <p>How do you make sure your emails aren't marked as spam? What causes your newsletter to go to the dreaded "promotions" tab? How can you fix it? Deliverability specialist Yanna-Torry Aspraki answers all of your email deliverability questions. </p>

Software Social

Michele's First Numbers Update

Jun 8th — <p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>00:00</p><p>Welcome back to Software Social. This episode is sponsored by the website monitoring tool, <a href="https://ohdear.app/">Oh Dear</a>. </p><p>If you've listened to this podcast for any amount of time, you know that I'm passionate about customer service and listening to customers. </p><p>A few months ago, we noticed something wasn't working on the Oh Dear dashboard. We reported it to them, and they fixed it almost immediately. Everybody has bugs occasionally, but not every company is so responsive to their customers, and we really appreciate that. </p><p>You can sign up for a 10 day free trial with no credit card required at <a href="https://ohdear.app/">OhDear.app</a>.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>00:35</p><p>So Michele, I'd love to hear about how things are going with the book. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>00:40</p><p>They're going. Um, so after our episode with Sean last week, I realized that I kind of, I have to launch this thing eventually, right? </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>00:54</p><p>Yes. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>00:55</p><p>And, you know, for, you know, I mean, for months I've been hearing that advice of, you know, do a, do a presale and like, start selling it beforehand, And, and I was like, yeah, I mean, you know, I, that's the best practice. That makes sense. And then just kind of be like, but that doesn't apply to me, right? Like, I couldn't make, um. It's, you know, it's funny, because it's almost, I feel like the way people feel about when they hear about customer interviewing, they're like, that sounds really valuable and like the right thing to do, and I'm just gonna act like that doesn't apply to me. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>01:29</p><p>Yep. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>01:30</p><p>So that's kind of how I was, and talking to Sean really kind of got me to be like, okay, okay, fine. I should actually sit down and do this. So I got a very simple website together, and then I actually did end up launching the presale. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>01:46</p><p>Oh, congratulations. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>01:48</p><p>Yeah, that was super scary. Like, because the book </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>01:50</p><p>I bet.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>01:53</p><p>And, like, random places where it says like, insert graphic here.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>02:01</p><p>So tell us how many books have you sold? </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>02:03</p><p>Okay, yeah, so I guess I get to do, like, a numbers update for the first time. This is fun. Um, so I have sold 34 copies. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>02:15</p><p>Wow. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>02:16</p><p>Presale.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>02:17</p><p>That's a lot. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>02:18</p><p>So, and that's not including for like, you know, platform fees and whatever. Just like, you know, $29 times 34, basically. $986. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>02:32</p><p>That's amazing. Congratulations! </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>02:35</p><p>So close to that, like, 1000 mark, which, I was talking about this with Mathias earlier, and he's kind of like, I feel like that's like a, you know, that's like, the legit threshold, is 1000. Like, and I don't know why, but it's like, yeah, it's like that feels like, that feels like the, the, like, the first big hurdle. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>02:55</p><p>I totally agree. That's wonderful news. Congratulations. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>03:00</p><p>You know, I expected to feel excited, or relieved, or something positive after releasing it, or the presale, at least. And I gotta tell you, like, I just feel pressure. Like, I'm really glad I didn't do this sooner. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>03:25</p><p>Really? </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>03:27</p><p>Yeah. Because now I have, you know, at least 34 people I can't disappoint.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>03:32</p><p>Right. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>03:32</p><p>And I feel like, just like, the pressure to make something that is a quality product, like, I already had that pressure on myself to put something out there that I'm proud of. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>03:44</p><p>Yeah.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>03:46</p><p>Now I have all these other people who are expecting that, and not that anyone has emailed me and said anything to that effect, but that's how I feel. And I was thinking about this earlier. And I was like, man, like, writing and selling this book has like, brought out all of these, like, vulnerabilities and, and self-doubt and everything, like all of this stuff that I like, thought I had dealt with and then it's, like, sort of like bursting out of the cabinet, being like, hey, I'm still here. So it's, you know, I mean, I have tools to, like, deal with that, but it's been like, oh my gosh, like, I thought I had dealt with, like, I never feel this way about anything about Geocodio, like, so. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>04:33</p><p>So, this is interesting, because I, when I was feeling a similar way, many months ago, I don't actually know if I talked about it on the podcast, but I had a very high value client that I had a great relationship with that needed a file uploader, and mine wasn't quite done, and I had this moment of terror, panic, I don't know, where I was like, I shouldn't use mine because, because if I put it on my client's site, like, it has to work, right? There's no get out of jail free card, Kind of like, you've now sold this book. Like, you have to finish it. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>05:07</p><p>Right. It's not just like, throwing it in a PDF and then like. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>05:09</p><p>Yeah. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>05:10</p><p>Oh, whatever, nobody paid for it. Like, it's not a big deal. Like, it's like, no, this is, like, this is serious now. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>05:17</p><p>Yeah. And I think something that, that I'm thinking of as you're talking about this, I remember at the time, Alex Hillman had a really great tweet thread about you're not scared of failure, maybe you're secretly scared of success. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>05:32</p><p>Mm hmm. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>05:33</p><p>It was really interesting. Like, just when you think about, like, the psychology and all of these new insecurities coming to light for you, like, maybe you're scared of success. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>05:42</p><p>You know, and it's so I feel like we should have them on the podcast more, because I feel like they are, like, Amy and Alex in some way are like characters on this podcast, they're just not actually on the podcast. But like, the amount we talk about, you know, 30x500 and everything. She had, I think, I think it was her, or maybe, no, or maybe it was Dani Donovan, the woman who does the ADHD comics. But I think it was Amy, had a thread, like, couple months ago that was like, you know, people with, or maybe, I don't know if she has ADHD, so I don't know if this was her. Okay. Somebody had a thread that was like, you know, people with ADHD, like, you don't ever feel accomplished when you finish something. It's just over. And then you're on to the next thing. And it was like, yes, like, I expected to feel something when I finally got that out there, and now it instead feels like, oh, now I have to put in the graphics. Now I have to do the cover art. Like now I have to like, like, it just, it didn't, there was never this, like, moment of, like, feeling accomplished or anything like that. It just, it just rolled into the next thing.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>06:58</p><p>Interesting. I don't, I don't have that problem. Like, that doesn't happen to me. I mean, but it's interesting, I find that interesting because one of the things, for me, is when I accomplish something, even if, I feel like if I'd been in your position and I got the presales out there, I do feel that, like, internal satisfaction of hitting that goal, and that's what keeps me motivated. So, if you don't get that same kind of dopamine hit, doesn't that make the whole process kind of painful? It doesn't sound fun. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>07:28</p><p>Well, what I do get that from is people, like, you know, positive reinforcement from other people. Like, so I've been asking people for testimonials to put at the front of the book. And on the one hand, that terrifies me, and, and then on the other hand, when they do come in, and people are talking about how the, the book and also sort of newsletter and like, like, all this, all this stuff is all sort of meshing together, has helped them, and what it has helped them do, and how they wish they'd had it sooner and everything. Like, that makes me feel good. That makes me feel like I am delivering the, like, a product that is worth somebody paying for, and that I can be proud of seeing how it's impacted other people. But I like I, I don't really get satisfaction out of achieving things, which is really ironic, because I think about younger versions of myself and I've like, you know, I describe me in high school as an achievement robot, like.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>08:39</p><p>An achievement robot. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>08:41</p><p>Yeah, you know, you're, like, just taking as many AP's as you can and your life is over if you don't get in a top college. You know, that whole, that whole song and dance that turned out to be a lie, because now I work for myself. Not at all bitter about that. Anyway, um, yeah, it's but, this, so that is really, like, keeping me going or like, people tweeting out you like, hey, like, what is the book coming out? And part of me is like, oh, my God, am I gonna get them by then? But like, I've been getting a lot of really good reinforcement from people, and that, and I think that's, for me, that's been one of the really big benefits of building in public is not, not necessarily knowing that, exactly that people are going to pay for it and how much they're going to pay and having that money up front, but knowing that I'm creating something that is useful for people. Like, that is what keeps me going.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>09:31</p><p>That sounds great, too. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>09:33</p><p>But now I got to finish the damn thing, so. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>09:35</p><p>Yeah. Now you gotta finish it. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>09:37</p><p>I was saying that the release date would be June 24. I actually just had to push that back to July 2, because I just, I don't think I have enough time. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>09:44</p><p>Yeah.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>09:45</p><p>I do have an idea for the cover. Like, I want it to be like a terminal printout that's like, basically like installing, like, you know, like installing like empathy and like, loading scripts.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>10:00</p><p>That'll be cute. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>10:01</p><p>Like, sort of corny. Developers aren't the only audience for it. But I also want them to know that this is a resource that is, like, accessible to them. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>10:14</p><p>Yeah.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>10:15</p><p>I don't know. I have zero artistic abilities, like, I can't even, like, think visually, like, so I have so many people who are reviewing the draft right now, which is pretty amazing. Some of them are, like, super close friends of mine who are harsh editors, and I'm super grateful for that. And others are, like, people I have never even met who are so, I guess, so taken with, with the idea of the book that they're, like, helping me edit it, and I have never met them before, which is just so moving. But anyway, so someone has been giving me a lot of feedback on like, oh, like, this should be a graphic and like, this should be a graphic. And I'm like, I'm so glad you're saying that because it would have never occurred to me that that could be a graphic because I communicate in speech, and in text, and there's - </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>11:01</p><p>Yeah.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>11:01</p><p>Not a whole lot of pictures going on. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>11:03</p><p>Yeah.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>11:04</p><p>So, so, yeah, I gotta kind of get all of, all that together in the next couple weeks. And like, hopefully release the, like, the print-on-demand version at the same time, but it's unclear. And then after that, I get to do the audio book, which, honestly, I'm really looking forward to, because then I just have to read the book out loud and as a podcaster, I'm like, I got that. Like, this does not involve any pictures. Like, I am good.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>11:32</p><p>No pictures required. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>11:33</p><p>No art skills required.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>11:36</p><p>Are you gonna hire someone to do the graphics? Have you figured that out yet? </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>11:39</p><p>No, I've been making them in PowerPoint. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>11:42</p><p>Okay. I'm just saying there's -</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>11:45</p><p>Really simple. Like, there's not going to be like, pictures-pictures, like.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>11:47</p><p>Okay.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>11:48</p><p>If it turns out this book is a huge hit and I need to do a version that actually has pictures and like, somebody doing, like, professionally doing the layout then like, yeah, I'll, I'll do that, but. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>11:59</p><p>Yeah, so.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>11:59</p><p>I mean, so like, more like flowcharts if anything, or like, putting something in a box so that it's, like, called out like even that kind of stuff. My brain is like, doesn't. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>12:09</p><p>Have you ever seen, there's a couple of people I've met at conferences that are developers, but they're also visual thinkers. And so they'll like, make sketch notes of someone's conference talk. Have you ever seen these? I'm going to send you some after the podcast. They're so cool. I mean, for your, for, you know, especially to hit, like, the developer audience, that would be, and that might be like version two of the book, but like, like sketch notes, or something would be super cool. Like, I could see a lot of cool opportunities here. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>12:37</p><p>Yeah, I tried to use something called Excalidraw, and I think my problem is like, I just don't think visually. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>12:47</p><p>Yeah.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>12:47</p><p>Like, I never graduated beyond stick figures. My, my efforts that were beyond stick figures are hilarious. Like actually, like, yeah. Um, so I probably should, like, should bring that in, you know. But again, I mean, the book has only made, you know, just under $1,000. So I'm not, I'm not, I don't really want to, like, go out and hire an artist for a couple $1,000 for it. Like, I don't feel like that's a reasonable-</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>13:21</p><p>Not yet. Not yet. Right. I mean, that might be in the future. Yeah. I feel like that's not yet. I totally get that. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>13:27</p><p>Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So, so that's- </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>13:34</p><p>It's exciting. I'm glad we gave you that push. I mean, I kind of felt like I gave you that push when I was basically like, you're gonna have this up by the time we launch this podcast, right. I'm happy. I hope it wasn't too stressful. But I'm happy you got there. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>13:49</p><p>I think I needed the external deadline because-</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>13:52</p><p>Yeah. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>13:52</p><p>And again, this is kind of one of those, for me, ADHD things. Like, I need an external deadline because if it's a deadline I've come up with then it's not happening. But like, the reason why the book was, is gonna be out by July 2 is because, like, our, well, it was gonna be June 23 because our daughter finishes school for the year on June 25. So I was like, it has to be out before she gets out of school. But then I remember that she has a week of summer camp. So I'm like, okay, I have another week. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>14:16</p><p>You have one more week.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>14:18</p><p>No, it has to be done before she gets out of camp because otherwise then I, you know, I won't have as much time, so. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>14:25</p><p>Yeah.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>14:25</p><p>External deadline. Super helpful. Yeah. How's, how's stuff in Simple File Upload world?</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>14:33</p><p>So, things are good. I, you know, signups have still been consistent, but because I lost that big customer, I'm just below 1k MRR. So I haven't really seen that reflected in- </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>14:48</p><p>Is the big customer the one that, like, wasn't using it and you couldn't get in touch with them? </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>14:53</p><p>No, that person's still there, but like, I lost one person that was, like, a tier below that, which is, because I have three tiers. And so things are fine. I mean, I'm not seeing a big increase, or really any movement on the revenue because of the churn at that level, at that more expensive level. But I'm pretty excited about some of the things I'm going to be trying to do in the next couple months. My summer is crazy. So I had at first resigned myself to just not really working on Simple File Upload for a couple months. I was like, I'm just gonna let it sit. It's doing great. It requires almost no customer support. But then, </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>15:32</p><p>I mean, a thousand dollars a month, and then it recurs is like. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>15:35</p><p>Right! It's like, I mean, okay, can we talk about how awesome this is? By the way, this is awesome. Like, after fees and stuff, after I pay my hosting fees, and my storage fees and my Heroku fees, I clear like 606, 650. Like, that's like, pretty cool. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>15:52</p><p>Yeah.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>15:53</p><p>It's like, I'm not so much. So I wasn't upset about this. But like, I just needed to see kind of where my life was and what I was doing. And I was like, I might just have to sit on this for a couple months because I don't have the time. But then I got an idea. So I am going to take, really what happened is I was really inspired talking to Sean last week about 30x500. I have never taken that course. But I read, like, everything Amy Hoy writes on the internet, and so I kind of feel like I get the idea behind Sales Safari, the idea being find where your customers hang out and find out what their problems are. Conceptually, it seems easy. I just haven't had time to do that. And him, he said last week that he spent 80 hours. Think about that. So he was trolling Reddit forums for 80 hours. That is a lot. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>16:45</p><p>I mean, I probably already do that, and there's no business purpose behind it.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>16:49</p><p>It's just no focus to it, right? So, so that's, so I really think I'm at this inflection point where what I have is working. It's doing great. I don't need to build new, more features until I know what features people need. And as we talked about, I think two weeks ago, different audiences want different features. As a solo founder, I do, with a job, I don't have the bandwidth to build all the features for everybody. Like, I'm not trying to take on CloudFlare, right. I really want to niche down and find my people and build for my people. I can't do that until I know who my people are, and I still don't really know. So, I am going to hire someone to do some of the Sales Safari research for me since I don't have time. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>17:42</p><p>Oh.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>17:43</p><p>Yeah. So I'm kind of pumped. And by someone I mean, my sister. She, yeah, so it's like, you talk about how, like, you love having a business with Mathias.  I would love to have a business with my sister. Like, I would love for her to be able to work for me, for this to become a real company, and, you know, for us to do this together. So she is just coming off her maternity leave. She has decided not to go back to her job. So she has only a little bit of time because she doesn't have a lot of childcare, so she has, like, one day a week that she's going to work for me doing marketing research and Sales Safari, and I was to kind of trying to teach her, like, what I think is useful. We're both kind of learning as we go, neither of us really knows we're just making it up. And we're gonna do that for the summer and kind of see where it takes us. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>17:55</p><p>Yeah. Wow, wait, so what is her background in? </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>18:35</p><p>She's an environmental consultant.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>18:37</p><p>Oh.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>18:40</p><p>So she actually, it's in no way relevant. But she's, so really the deal is she's a writer. So in her job as a consultant, what they do is they, they have to write these, like, epic report. So her background is really in writing. So originally, she was gonna write content for me, and she wrote me a couple pieces, but it's really hard to come in, since she doesn't have the technical background, it's, I, and my, my audience is developers, like, I need really technical content. So I don't think she's going to fit as a technical writer. But she's going to do, she's taking a class in SEO. So she's going to do, like, keyword research, and she's going to jump into the forums and Reddit and try and like, find out what people's pain points are surrounding file uploads.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>19:24</p><p>You know, it sounds like you guys have a good working relationship together.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>19:31</p><p>Oh, yeah, for sure. I mean, all problems, this stuff that I was thinking about. All problems are people problems, right? So, if you want to control your business, and I'm just hypothesizing here, the number one most important people, but the number one most important thing is the people you work with, and I can't think of anyone else I'd rather work with. So, I think she'll figure it out, or she'll hate it and if she hates it, then she won't do it anymore. I'll find someone else. But that's kind of our plan. I'm pretty excited. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>20:02</p><p>Like, yeah, you, if you have someone that you work well with, and you believe that they're capable of learning what you would need them to learn, then, you know, like, you trust them. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>20:17</p><p>Yes.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>20:17</p><p>And that matters. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>20:18</p><p>Yes. Yes. So yeah. So this summer, for me, is really for, for Simple File Upload, I think, is really going to be a focus on figuring out what niche to serve. I was talking to another friend, and he just got a new job, and he works for a big event management company. And he pointed out, you know, he was, he actually mentioned you, because he listened to the podcast, and he was like, these huge companies, they don't care about the little guys who are making a million dollars a year. And his point was, they don't care. So he's like, if you can carve out a niche in one of these huge industries, like, you can be incredibly successful, and like, these big guys, they don't care. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>20:58</p><p>No. And you know, on your sister, it might be really interesting to have her do interviews with people because she will be completely coming in with a beginner's mindset. Like, I find this is something that is difficult for people to adjust to like, like, we've talked about when, when someone says like, oh, like, could I do this? And you start thinking through, like, whether they could and how you would implement it, or you know- </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>21:23</p><p>Right. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>21:24</p><p>Talk about what they wanted to do, and you just like, oh, of course, you wanted to do this because of this, and like, you don't even question it. But she, but she would be like, well, why do you want to upload a file in the first place? Like,</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>21:33</p><p>Right. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>21:33</p><p>Well, how is that, how does that work? Because she's genuinely beginner. Like, I feel like, in some ways, the fact that I don't have a geography background has been an advantage for-</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>21:45</p><p>Yeah.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>21:46</p><p>You know, for this because like, I don't come in, you know, with it, with all of these preconceived notions about why someone would want to do this. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>21:56</p><p>Yeah.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>21:56</p><p>So I think that can be really interesting when she gets her feet wet, and kind of a sense of what's going on, to try to talk to the customers. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>22:05</p><p>I think that's a great idea. I hope we can grow into that. I definitely think there's opportunity there. I think of her as like you, and I'm like Mathias in the power couple building of a company. So we'll see. I mean, she wants to get into mark, we kind of are going down this route, because I don't have enough time. I want to do it, I need to do it, and she wants to, really she wants to transition into a remote career that's flexible, like most parents, and she's really interested in SEO and marketing. So, I think it's gonna be a fun little adventure. I'm excited to see what she finds out. Part of this was also, I think we've talked a lot about, I have an interest in no-code. So I had a call with the Jetboost IO founder, Chris.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>22:51</p><p>Yeah, Chris.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>22:52</p><p>Who, I believe, you know, as well, because you're a mentor and he-</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>22:55</p><p>Yeah, I mentor him through Earnest Capital. I literally just had a call with him the other day.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>23:02</p><p>So I had a call with him, independent of your call with him. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>23:06</p><p>Which we didn't know about.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>23:07</p><p>Which we did not plan, to talk about opportunities in the webflow space. And, so I think one of the first things I'm going to have my sister, well, not the first, but one of the things my sister is going to try and do this month is really see if there's a need in Webflow. The thing about Webflow is, in 2018, Webflow introduced their own file uploader. So before that, there was a huge need for it. Now, they have their own file uploader. So it might be that what I provide is no longer, you know, something people need or want. So before I go and build an integration with Webflow, I'm going to have her do some Sales Safari research. They have really active forums to kind of see what people are looking forward to see if there's opportunity there. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>23:54</p><p>Yeah, Chris was telling me that they have a, like, feature upload, like a feature up vote thing where people go in and request features.  It's exciting.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>24:03</p><p>Yeah, I think it's gonna be great. I think, I think it'll be fun. It'll be good to have someone actually dedicated to reading Reddit and Webflow forums and Heroku forums and whatever, to try to identify, you know, the need there and in the file uploading space. And then with the SEO research, you know, I can then either write the content myself or hire someone to write technical content, depending on my time commitments, my time, you know, what I can do, so. Yeah. Yeah, I saw that. I think, you know, the interesting thing about file uploading and Webflow is they have a maximum size of 10 megs, and I, you can't do multiple file uploads at the same time. So the question is, how many people really care? Like, who really, did, are there enough people that are uploading large files, or want to do maximum, or, I'm sorry, want to do multiple file uploads at a time that it would be worth it for me to make an integration into that space. So, so, you know, she's going to kind of dive into that and see what we can find out and like, this is just gonna be a fun marketing learning time because I built this thing because I wanted to build something, as you know, and I'm really happy that I built something to scratch my own need because it's worked out really well. But I still haven't really honed in on who I can serve best, and there's lots of opportunities out there, so.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>25:42</p><p>There's a lot to be, I think, sort of learned and discovered here, and, and also that SEO work you can do, that, like, that can also inform the kind of feature development that you do, too, like, because there, I mean, this just happened to us the other day, like there was something that I noticed we had a couple of customers ask us how to do, and so I wrote up an article about how to do it, and then, but like, to basically do it manually. And then I just saw this morning that it's, like, our top performing growing piece of content and has like a 400% increase in clicks, and-  Wow. And looking into like, oh, how might we add that? And it's like, okay, maybe we should like there's, you know, SEO isn't just for bringing in customers, but also for figuring out what, what people might want as well. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>26:38</p><p>Yeah, and you've said before, I think that SEO is your number one channel? Activation channel?</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>26:44</p><p>Yeah. We, we don't run paid ads. We don't do any outbound sales. Like, we occasionally sponsor conferences, but that's mostly because, like, our friends run them, and it's just like, kind of- </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>27:00</p><p>Yeah.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>27:00</p><p>To support our friends, like we're a sponsor of Longhorn PHP, the Texas PHP conference. But like, that's just because our friend runs it. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>27:12</p><p>Okay. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>27:13</p><p>It's not very, like, organized or intentional. It's just like, sure, like, we'll help you out. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>27:18</p><p>Now, when you do SEO, do you do, like, now you just said, like, you were talking to a customer and then you got this idea of a good page, but do you do traditional keyword research as well?</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>27:34</p><p>Maybe? Like, we use Ahrefs. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>27:36</p><p>Yeah, I don't, okay.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>27:39</p><p>I don't know, I still don't know how to pronounce the name of that company. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>27:42</p><p>I know, yeah, I don't either. </p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>27:43</p><p>But yeah, Ahrefs, we use that. We used Google Search Console for a long time, which is honestly a really good tool, and it's free, because Ahrefs is, is pretty expensive. But yeah, you can do keyword research and rankings and referrers and all that kind of stuff. I don't keep a super close eye on it. Um, but yeah, whenever we're, you know, we, every so often, like every couple weeks or so we go in and look at what content is performing and what else we might need and whatnot.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>28:19</p><p>Cool. Yeah, I don't know. I really haven't done, I've done absolutely zero keyword research. So I think it's probably worth our time to put a little bit of effort into that to see what people are searching for to get a better idea of how to use those tools.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>28:36</p><p>Yeah, I mean, our approach is, you know, find those keywords and then write stuff that people might be searching for and show them how to do it with Geocodio, and I think I like that because I, and I think we talked about this is kind of something that I have struggled with with the book, is, like, I struggle with sounding salesy, like and writing, like conversion copy, like, it's just really something that I feel like I sound way too infomercial-y when I tried to write it. Like, you know, there are people who are really good at writing conversion copy and sounding like a natural human being when they write it, like, I mean, you know, Amy Hoy is one of those people. But I, you know, I might as well you know, be like, hocking something on the Home Shopping Network when I try to write it. So, so like writing be like, oh, you're searching for geocoding? Hello, we do geocoding. Here is how you can do it in like, like, all of these different ways you can do it and rephrasing all of those different things. And then here's where you can try it. And then here's where you can do it. And it's very, like, straightforward. That's like, maybe you need it. Maybe you don't. All of those options are fine. Not, like, buy this now or you will die.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>29:56</p><p>Yeah, I'm hoping with our keyword research and kind of, like, since I haven't done this at all, you know, with what, the marketing research she does, as you've talked about, I think a lot of that is going to inform my content and building out future landing pages. So, that's really going to be a focus for me is like, trying to get content and you know, pages out there that appeal to people.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>30:24</p><p>Well, I'm going to be spending the next week working on the book and you're going to be onboarding your sister and getting this research going. Sounds like we got our work cut out for us.  </p><p><br></p><p><strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>30:34</p><p>It's gonna be a good week.  </p><p><br></p><p><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>30:37</p><p>All right. Well, I guess that'll wrap us up for now. Thank you so much for listening, and we'll talk to you next week.</p><p><br></p>

Run With It

Window Washing Drones with Neel Parekh

Jun 3rd — <p>If you like the show, please <a href="https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/run-with-it/id1477133536">leave a review on Apple Podcasts</a>!</p><p><b><strong>Nuggets:</strong></b></p><ul> <li>You can often dominate a local business niche by implementing current marketing and technology (e.g. residential cleaning)</li> <li>People often get excited about new tech (drones, 3D printing, etc…) but their enthusiasm wavers before the breakthrough tech makes a sizable impact on the real world. There’s plenty of opportunity implementing tech from five years ago.</li> </ul><p><b><strong>Action Steps:</strong></b></p><ol> <li>Contact Lucid Drones and get pricing for leasing one of their cleaning drones</li> <li>Investigate permitting in your local city</li> <li>Pre-sell window cleanings to several property managers (they often sign yearly contracts)</li> <li>Your selling point is that your clients will never have to talk to you again after signing up. You take window cleaning off their plate so they can focus on other things.</li> </ol><p><b><strong>Links:</strong></b></p><ul> <li><a href="https://www.maidthis.com/">MaidThis</a></li> <li><a href="https://maidthisfranchise.com/">MaidThis Franchise</a></li> <li><a href="https://myaurum.com/">Aurum property management is implementing drone window cleaning</a></li> <li><a href="http://timbyrnealmostlive.com">Tim Byrne Almost Live Podcast</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2013-06-13/don-t-forget-window-washing-is-a-lot-safer-than-driving-a-taxi">Don't Forget, Window Washing Is a Lot Safer Than Driving a Taxi</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.cleandrone.com/">Cleandrone</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.intercleanshow.com/news/robotics/window-cleaning-drones-are-here/">How will drone window cleaning change your business? | INTERCLEAN</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.luciddronetech.com/">Lucid Drone Tech – We build drones</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/av/business-46292361">Window washing drone takes flight</a></li> </ul><p><br></p><p><em>Neel Parekh founded MaidThis, which helps short-term rental owners and homeowners meet their cleaning needs quickly, easily and affordably. He also founded MaidThis Franchise, which helps remote owners achieve financial independence via MaidThis.<br></em><br></p><p><strong>Love a part of the show? Did we get something completely wrong? Let us know at [email protected]</strong></p><p><br></p>

Indie Hackers

#210 – How to Take On Huge Incumbents as a Solo Founder with Derrick Reimer of SavvyCal

Jun 2nd — Derrick Reimer has been following a playbook that involves taking on big players in a market by drafting on their tailwind. It's gotten him to six-figure revenue with SavvyCal but it wasn't a strategy that always worked. In this episode, we'll talk about how he failed when trying to take on Slack and how he eventually bounced back with SavvyCal. <ul> <li>Follow Derrick on Twitter: https://twitter.com/derrickreimer</li> <li>Get your first month free with Promo Code "IndieHackers" at SavvyCal: https://savvycal.com/</li> </ul>

Startup to Last

What does a $100k/year support person look like?

Jun 1st — Topics this week:<ul> <li>Tyler asks Rick how he configured the call-to-action for his newsletter on his blog.</li> <li>Tyler is adding a curated list of links to his newsletter.</li> <li>Tyler overcame writers block and wrote his first support-focused blog post.</li> <li>Rick is curious what a highly-compensated support rep might look like at LegUp Health.</li> <li>Rick started paying for Notion.</li> <li>Tyler gives a shout-out to <a href="https://savvycal.com/">SavvyCal</a>.</li> <li>We take a listener question about how to reach customers who don't have online communities.</li> </ul>

Software Social

Marketing an eBook

Jun 1st — <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>00:00Welcome back to Software Social. This episode is sponsored by the website monitoring tool, <a href="https://ohdear.app/">Oh Dear</a>. We use <a href="https://ohdear.app/">Oh Dear</a> to keep track of SSL certificates. If an SSL certificate is about to expire, we get an alert beforehand. We have automated processes to renew them, so we use <a href="https://ohdear.app/">Oh Dear</a> as an extra level of peace of mind. You can sign up for a ten day free trial with no credit card required at <a href="https://ohdear.app/">OhDear.app</a>. <br><strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>00:28Hey, welcome back to Software Social. So today we're doing something kind of fun. We're leaning on the social part of Software Social, and we have invited our friend, Sean Fioritto, to join us today.<br><strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>00:44Hey guys. Thanks for having me.  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>00:47Hi Sean. Thanks for being here. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>00:48So, and the reason why we asked Sean, in addition to being a great person, is that Sean wrote a book called <a href="https://www.sketchingwithcss.com/">Sketching With CSS</a>, and as you all know, I am writing a book and figuring it out. And there is a lot of stuff I haven't figured out, especially when it comes to, like, actually selling the book. Like, I feel like that, I feel like the, writing the book is, like, I feel like I kind of got a handle on that. The whole selling the book thing, like, not so much. Um, so we thought it would be kind of helpful to have Sean come on, since like, he's done this successfully. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>021:36So Sean, I would love to start with a little bit of your background with the book. What inspired you to write it? How did you get started? Where did that idea come from?  <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>01:50Yeah, so I wanted to quit my job.  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>01:53Don't we all? <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>01:55Honest goal. <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>01:56I always wanted to go on my own, be independent, run my own business. That's been a goal for a very long time. So, I tried various things, you know, in my spare time, with limited to no success for years and years before that, and I was just getting sick of, the plan was, you know, I'm like, okay, I have this job. And in my spare time, I'm gonna get something going and then, and that just wasn't working. So I was getting impatient. Anyway, I ended up signing up with Amy Hoy's 30x500 class. This was seven or eight years ago. So, I signed up for that class. Actually, wait, I'm getting my timeline a little mixed up. So, I started reading stuff by Amy Hoy. It's funny, I'd actually bought another book that she wrote, and she used her sort of process for that book. And I bought that for my, for my job earlier. And I was like, oh, this Amy Hoy person is interesting. And so I started reading her blog, and then she has these things she writes called ebombs. You guys are probably familiar with that term. But they're basically content that, it's educational content directed at her target, you know, customer, which she would call her audience. So I was just, she, at that point, she had started 30x500. I think it was actually called a Year of Hustle at that point. And so she had all this content, and I was just devouring it, because I was like, she gets me. She knows my problem, and this is awesome. So I was just reading everything that she could write, that she wrote, and, you know, finding any resource that she'd ever written about, like, what's her process, because she was talking about this mysterious process that she has, she, she would talk about it. And I was able to sort of reverse engineer part of her course, the main thing called Sales Safari. So I'm not, I'm at my job, coasting, doing a half-assed job, spending a lot of time doing Sales Safari, trying to figure out what, what product I should do. Not product, but that's not the way to think about it with Sales Safari, but trying to figure out like, what, who, what audience should I focus on? And what problems do they have, and what's the juiciest problem that makes sense for me to tackle? And then, and she would call them pains, by the way, not, not problems. So what's the juiciest pain that they have, for me, that was like, be the easiest for me to peel off, and, and work on. So I started digging, and it was like, alright, well, what audience makes sense for me? This is kind of the process, and it was like, you know, like web designers, web developers, because I was a web developer. And so like, what are the, you know, audiences that are close to audiences that I'm in is kind of ideal. So I started there, and then I just read and read and read. I probably put like, 80 hours of research time into that process.  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>05:05Wow. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>05:06That's a lot. <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>05:06Of just reading and reading and reading and reading, and taking notes. And really understanding and whittling down and figuring out my audience, and figuring out, so the thinking, the benefit of that amount of time spent deliberately going through a process like that is that at some point, I became so in-tune with the audience that I could identify, and this is gonna pay off for you, Michele, this, this little story, because this feeds into like, how do you sell it. At some point, it meant that I could tell when a thing that I was, like a piece of content marketing that I was working on, was going to resonate very strongly with my audience and be worth the effort, if that makes sense. And it didn't really take much. Like, after I got done with that much amount of research, it was sort of, like, pretty trivial for me to come up with ideas for content that I could write that I knew people were gonna just eat up. And so that's, that's how I started building my, building my mailing list. And then that's how I eventually, Colleen, to your question, I came up with Sketching With CSS, which it was a solution to a pain point that I'd identified in my audience, which at that point was web designers. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>06:37How big did your mailing list grow? <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>06:39I have 20,000 people on my mail list. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>06:4120,000? <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>06:42Holy guacamole.  <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>06:46Yeah. So like I said, I got really good. No, no, no. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>06:51I've got like, 200 people on my mailing list, or like, 220. And like, for context, that's like, 200 more people than I ever expected to have on the mailing list, and hearing, like, 20,000 feels very far from, from 200. <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>07:10Yeah, well, let me say something that will hopefully be more reassuring. The, Amy and Alex, for example, they've been running 30x500, for years, and I think their mailing list is just now approximating, like 20,000 or so. And like, the, they have been making so much money with that course with a significantly smaller mailing list. And that's a really, like, high value product, too. So anyway, if it makes you feel any better, I really think they only have like, a couple 1000 people on their mailing list for a long time. And then, for me, I launched pre-sales of my book, at that point, my, I think I only had, boy, I used to, I used to have this memorized. But like, it's been so long now. But I think I only had like, it was less than 2000 I think. I think. So, and even then, I don't think you need that. I know people that have launched with much smaller lists than that, and, and it was fine. Because the people that are on your list now guarantee it, your, will be very interested in, in buying the book. You know, that'd be like a low, low barrier to entry, assuming like, your mailing list is one of the ways that you're thinking of selling the book. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>08:26Yeah, I guess. That's not a good answer. But like, I, I, I actually, I admit, I'm a little bit like, wary to kind of hit it too hard. Like, I would probably send out like, like, if I did a pre-sale, which I guess I should. Actually, I had someone a couple days ago, who has been reading the drafts, who actually I think is also a 30x500 student in the past, say that they wanted to, like, pre-buy the book and asked me how to do it. And I was like, that's a great question. I will figure that out. And like, so maybe do that, and then maybe one more when, like, the book comes out? Um, yeah, cuz, so I've been thinking about the newsletter as a way to draft the book because I find writing an email to be a lot easier than, like, staring at a blank cursor just, you know, blinking at me. And I guess I haven't really, like, and like, people signed up for it to read the draft of the book, so I guess I almost feel bad like, using it for sales too much. Like you know, I want to let people know that the book exists, but like, I don't want to. I don't know, does that. <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>09:45So, it's very considerate of you to think about that. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>09:52Another way of saying that another, also a way to not make any money off of this. <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>09:57Well, yeah, that, but also, it's kind of inconsiderate of you to not be thinking about all the people that really, really, really want to buy it and also would like to read anything that you're writing right now. Like, you're just completely leaving them out there to dry. And there are definitely people like that on your mailing list. So, they're like, there's like, some people on your mailing list are not going to be interested in your content if you're sending it too much, or, or just in general, really lightly interested in what you're writing about, or mistakenly signed up for your mailing list, which at this point, you probably don't have that problem. So like, to some extent, that's always the case, and it used to bother me a lot. I would send an email, and sales emails especially would result in bigger unsubscribes after every email, because you know, your little email tool tells you like, can, you know, so nice of it to tell you like, this many people unsubscribed after you sent this email. And it's always a big jump after like, a sales email. That used to bother me a lot. But then I started, kind of watching even my own behavior, and you probably do the same, and you probably like, look forward to some emails from some people that hit your inbox from some newsletters that you're looking forward to, and you'd very much like them to send you more. And then there's other people where you're like, well, I signed up for that, like, a couple years ago, and I just am not thinking about that anymore. And I need, like, to like, whittle down my content. So you unsubscribe. So then you become that unsubscribe number on the other end of the person sending the email, but like, you weren't annoyed, you didn't mind. It was just like, time to move on. And that's usually the case. So I think people can just unsubscribe as long as it's easy. I would literally put it at the top of my emails. So like, because I would send emails very infrequently. I was not disciplined about that. And I still don't think that that's a problem. But the, but because I sent them infrequently I put at the top like, hey, you know, you signed up for this, because you probably read this thing I wrote. You weren't interested in the book, whatever, if this is not for you anymore, just unsubscribe, like, first thing. So that always made me feel better about sending emails. And also, I don't know, I think that's the right thing to do so people just know, like upfront, that you know, oh, okay, there's the easy to find unsubscribe button when they're done. And then that's fine. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>12:26We did that for Geocodio once, like, I want to say it was like a year or two ago, and our lists had been like, super disorganized. And like I think we had, we were sending stuff like, we send like one or two marketing emails a year from MailChimp. And then we also had Intercom, and those things didn't sync up. And so like, sometimes people would unsubscribe in intercom and then like, not be unsubscribed in MailChimp, or like vice versa. And then, since we didn't send a lot of email, we used MailChimp's pay as you go. And then they just like, shut down their page and go option a couple of years ago, even though we had a ton of credit, which was a little annoying. And, and then, so like, the next time, and I think we migrated over to Mailcoach. And so the next time we send out an email, we actually like for some reason, we were like, there's probably a lot of people on this who have meant to unsubscribe. And so at the very top of the next email, we put an unsubscribe link and we also put a link to delete their account. And like, a bunch of people did it, but then our number of people who were unsubscribing later on like, went like, way down. So it was like, ripping off the band aid basically. <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>13:36Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And I think like, I don't know, when people unsubscribe from Geocodio, at this point, it doesn't like, break your heart anymore, I'm guessing. Right?  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>13:45No, I mean, we're like, we're kind of like jumping into something that has been very much on my mind, but I hadn't been wanting to admit that it was there and just trying to like, pretend that it's not there, which is all the dealing with rejection around either, you know, people being mad that they were being sold to or negative reviews. And I like, you know, it sounds like you kind of have a process for, like, accepting those feelings.  <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>14:19It used to bother me a lot.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>14:22Like, yeah. <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>14:24Yeah, it used to bother me a lot. There are two things that I hated. I hated frontpage Hacker News, and I hated getting angry emails.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>14:33Oh.  <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>14:35I also got creepy, tons of creepy emails. Once you get, like, past a certain threshold and the number of subscribers you have, the creepiness factor increases. Yeah. Yeah. But the, but I got used to all of that. I just realized, like, there's just some percentage of people that are just angry right now or whatever, like, whatever they're going through. And I know that, like, I am very carefully crafting things such that the most, most of my content is not self-serving, most of it is directly a result of research that tells me that this is a problem that people are having, and now I'm helping you. So I'm like, I never feel bad about those, and then even the sales emails, I started to not feel bad about those, too, because I'm like, this is also a thing that's helping you. But that took a while to get to. I mean, honestly, it did. And it got worse when it became my only source of income, which added extra, extra feelings. But yeah, there's a lot of feelings to like, get through. And now I have just developed more of a thick skin, you know. Like, I'm not terrified of having a super popular article anymore, or, you know, stuff like that. That doesn't, that doesn't bother me anymore. I think it just came with time, just like with you and Geocodio. I mean, I'm sure you are used to like, some fluctuations of revenue, which probably bothered you a lot at the beginning, but now, not so much. I mean, I'm just, I'm guessing, but that seems, you know, I'm sure there's some things they're that you've got a thick skin about now. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>16:12Oh, my gosh. I mean, for years, every time a plan downgrade came through, like every time it was like a punch in the gut. Like, and yeah, I think now that I, I guess I trust the revenue more, I'm not as impacted by it. It's more like, oh, I wonder, like, why that was. Like, did their project end, or like, you know, like, what happened? But yeah, in the beginning, especially when it was first our like, when it, when it became my, like, full time income. I mean, as, as you said, like, that is really painful. Like, I'm curious, like, so you,  so like, when did you start writing the book? <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>1705Let me think, like, like the year, or a timing, like, in terms of the timeline?  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>17:12Whichever one you want to go with.  <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>17:15Yeah, I can't remember the year cuz it was a while ago. It was like, eight years ago.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>17:19Oh, wow. Okay. So you started, <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>17:22I think it was 2013 is when I started. Yeah. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>17:24You did the, sounds like you did 30x500 first, right? <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>17:30Yeah, I had the, I had started writing the book before 30x500. But like I said, I was ,I was following her process already at sort of reverse engineered it. And then I felt like I just owed her the money for the, for the course. So, plus I wanted to meet her, so. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>17:44Yeah, so you started like, the research process basically, like, like 30x500 like, was only one part of your, like, research. Like, cuz you said you had sort of, you had figured out what her process was based on the blog posts and whatnot before you took the course. Yeah. <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>18:00Yeah.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>18:01Okay. <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>18:02Yeah, and at that point, I had already generated the research I needed to see, to choose Sketching With CSS as a, as a product. I pretty much had, I think I had a landing page. I hadn't done pre-sales yet, but I was, I was gearing up for that. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>18:17You are so organized. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>18:19Michele, do you have a landing page?  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>18:22There is a website.  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>18:24Okay, I didn't know. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>18:26I haven't told anyone about it because I talk about,  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>18:29Your secret website. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>18:30I actually have two. I thought of the domain name, or like, the name for it in the shower, and then I like, immediately like, ran for the computer to see if it was available. And I actually bought two, and then I think we put, like, a book, oh my god, I just typed it wrong. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>18:55This is the part where you tell us what it is.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>18:57There's nothing on it, and actually, if I say it now then we have to have something on it by, <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>19:01Well, there's no way to pressurize a situation than to tell us right now. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>19:06So okay, it is DeployEmpathy.com. Okay, okay, crap, now I have it out. I don't even know how I'm going to sell it. Okay. So um, and I think I have another one, too. But yeah, we have like, a very basic like, WordPress template on it. Like, it's not, it's not, okay. While I was trying to figure it, so like, people keep asking me like, oh, like, when's your book coming out? And I'm like, I have no idea. I have never done this before. I don't know what steps are ahead of me. So, okay, so you started writing the book while you were doing research concurrently, and then how, and you were also, <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>19:48Oh, sorry, there's two types of research.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>19:50Okay. <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>19:51So, we could clarify that. There was my audience research and understanding the pain that I was solving, and then there's the research about the book. I didn't have to do as much research about the book. I mean, I already, like, the type of book I ended up writing, I already had, you know, the expertise I needed to write that book. So yeah, I was, audience research was already done by the time I was writing Sketching With CSS. So I wasn't doing research like that while writing the book. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>20:16Okay. And then you also had the landing page up, and you started building your list while you were doing this research and writing phase. Okay, so how long did it take you from, like, the time that you had the idea for the book to when people could, like, buy and download the book, like, just like, the big picture? Like, how long did that process take you? <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>20:45Well, I mean, keep in mind, that ton of the work was while I was still full time working, in theory. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>20:56I mean, I guess I am, too, right? Like, this is not my full time thing. <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>21:00Yeah, but I think like, from, from, from research to launch, like, book is done, it was like, in the four to six month range. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>21:14Okay. Okay. So I think I started at like, the end of February with the newsletter, and it's May, so that's like, yeah. I do feel like I'm doing a little bit of, I think what we have termed Colleen does, of putzing in the code garden, rather than selling things or doing marketing or whatnot. And I am totally doing that with my manuscript, I guess you could call it. Sounds so fancy. And just like, moving commas around and like, totally procrastinating on making images for it, like totally, totally procrastinating on that. Okay, so it took you like, four to six months to get to that point.  <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>21:59Yeah, there was a, there was a launch in between there. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>22:02So when was the like, so was your pre-sale your launch? Or like, how does that work?  <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>22:08You could do lots of launches.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>22:11This is like, the part that is like, just sort of like, you know, in my head, it's like step one, write book, like, step two of question, question question, and step three, profit. Like that's sort of where I am right now. <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>22:24I feel like you're already doing most of the things that I would do. The, the one thing, so alright. So you're, you're working in public, so you're getting interest via Twitter. You're writing to your mailing list. You're doing the right thing, which is writing content for your book that, you know, is also useful to your mailing list, like, independently. Like, like getting double bang for your buck is smart when you're doing this kind of business. So you're keeping your list warm enough. People are, you're building anticipation, people are telling you you're building anticipation, because they're like, hey, when do I get to buy this book? So, you know, you're basically doing all the things. As, you know, from from my perspective, looking in, it seems like you're just accidentally or intuitively doing the right, doing the right stuff. The thing that's missing between like, what you are doing and what I did is probably, I would press pause on book writing and do specific content marketing things just to build my mailing list. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>23:37But I love putzing in the code garden.  <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>23:39And I'm not, I'm not, sorry, I didn't mean to say that as like, you should do that. That's what I would, as in like, I was doing that. And I don't know, <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>23:48And you wrote, like, a successful book and sold it, and it was your full time job for a period of time. So you're kind of here because you're good at this and because I need to be told these things. <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>23:59Right. Well, I'm just saying what I did. But it's, it's really ultimately you get to pick and choose what you do. The, you know, I actually happen to very much enjoy the process of coming up with content that I knew would be popular and writing it and sharing it everywhere and doing all that stuff. And also, I knew I needed to because I was going to try and make this my full time living, so I'm like, I need more people on my mailing list. So that was pretty important to me based on the goals I was trying to achieve. The, the other thing is though, like, even with a small mailing list, your book as the, a lot of book sales are gonna come from word of mouth. Like, I sort of forced the book onto the scene. But like, it's not a, the Sketching With CSS is not like a, while the marketing theme is, like, the marketing message at the time, it doesn't connect anymore because  the world has moved on from that phase of web development. But like, while people could read the marketing, the landing page and connect really strongly, and, you know, be interested in the book, the book didn't really lend itself well to word of mouth, because it's not like, it was not like a, oh, you should read this, like, it's this lightweight, like reading recommendation. It's got to be, you've got to be like, ready to commit to learning a bunch of code. So it's like, there's like, a smaller group of people at any given time that are like, at that point, does that make sense? Versus your book, it's, it seems like, it's like a higher level of value, like, it's a more abstract, then like, here are the, learn this code. Here's how to type in Git commands, here's how to do that. You know, like, I was really like, down at the, like, here's what you're gonna be doing day to day in your job. And you're giving them the same message, but like, in a way that can be, that is at like, a higher level, it's maybe easier to read, you know, in your spare time. It's like a business book, has the same qualities of, like, successful business books. So, I think that you may not have to do any of the content marketing stuff that I was doing is what I'm getting at, because, like, I can already tell, I'm ready to read your book, and I'm ready to recommend it to people, because it does it solve, like, a question that people have all the time, and a problem people have, and they're like, oh, I wish I knew how to, you know, talk to my customers more effectively, or understand, you know, the types of customers that are gonna be interested my products, or what problems they're having, etc, etc, right? Customer research, that kind of thing. That is a topic of conversation that comes up a lot in my communities that I hang out in, and so, you know, your book’s gonna be like, at-hand for me to recommend. That's, that's what I suspect. That's my, that's my theory for your book. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>27:00Yeah, I guess, I mean, there's parts of it, definitely.  <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>27:02It's also got a catchy name.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>27:04Hey, I thought of it in the shower, and then I ran to register the domain, which is exactly what you are supposed to do when you have a good idea for something right? Like, this is the process. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>27:13Definitely. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>27:13Like,  <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>27:14You already had a book though, so it's different. You're like, I'm gonna write this book called Deploying Empathy. And you already, like, wrote it. So I think you're good to go. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>27:20Yeah, actually I didn't have a name for a while. Okay, so, so something else I have, like, a question on, which you kind of just sort of touched on with that about, like, super practical elements. So some, some of it is you can, you can definitely sit down and, and you could probably read it in a sitting or two. But then there's, there's the stuff that's more like a toolbox with all of the different scripts, which, by the way earlier, when you were saying like finding the type of content that people are really hungry for like, that, like, those scripts are the thing that people are the most excited about. The problem is, there's only like, so many sort of general scenarios. So I've basically written the main ones, but, so something I noticed with your site, which is SketchingWithCSS.com, just for everybody's reference, so you have the book plus code, which is like, your basic option for $39. And then you have one with the video package for 99. And then you have another one with more stuff for 249. And then there's one with like, all the things for your team for 499. And so, something that people have asked me for is like, like, there's the book piece, and then there's also, people want to be able to easily replicate the scripts so that they can then like, use them to build their own scripts off of it, and like, modify them and whatnot. So people have said, like, well, that could be like a Notion Template, like, bundle that it's sold with, or Google Docs or, or whatever. And so I've been like, kind of like, how do you sell the book with this like, other bundle? And like, can you also do that, like if you sell like a physical book to like, if I did it through Amazon, like, could I also sell a Notion Template bundle or something? Like, I just, I'm kind of, that sort of like, something that's on my mind is like, I'm not really sure how to approach that. And I'm wondering if you could kind of like, talk through your approach to creating like, different tiers, and what you provided at those different tears.  <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>29:33Mm hmm. Right. So, at the time, I know, I have a more sophisticated thought process about it now, but the, when I did the initial set of tiers, it was because Nathan Barry told me that I should have three tears because it tripled his revenue. So I was like, oh, okay.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>29:53I mean, that's a good reason.  <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>29:55Like, we just happened to be at the bacon biz. That was the other person that I was, I bought his book. So here's the thing I always do, I would buy people's books that way I could email them. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>30:08Is that a thing? Like, if you buy someone's book, like, do you have a license to email them? <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>30:13Well, you get one. You get one email. And as long as it's, you know, not creepy. That's, that's the main thing. But yeah. So we had a bake in this conference in real life, and then, yeah, that's what he, that's what, he told me that I was like, oh, yeah. Okay. I think Patrick McKenzie was there, too, and he said something similar. So I was like, oh, because they did a landing page tear down for me at that conference. That's right.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>30:36Wow. Nice. <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>30:37Yeah. So anyway, so I did the, I did that, because somebody told me to. And in fact, it's true. Like, if I hadn't done that, you could just see like, the way the purchases ended up that like, that absolutely almost tripled my revenue. So,  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>30:53Oh, wow. Yeah. <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>30:54Which is a big deal for books, because it's not like, yeah, anyway. The, the, the way, the way you were talking about it, though, because there's another way to think about it. I was thinking about in tiers with the book, but another way to think about it is in terms of a product funnel. So your, your book could be super cheap, and it is the entry point into your product, your little product universe. Because like, you're, what you're doing is naturally, because you're literally writing a book about this, listening to your customers and understanding that they have other like, you're really understanding what their, their pain is, and you see that there's different ways that you could solve it for them, right? Those things as a product. So you could bundle that stuff into your book, you could create tiers, like I did. And maybe it does make sense, we talk about this more, but like there's, there's, there's different ways to do tiers with books that, that makes sense, that aren't exactly what I did. But also, like what you're describing is basically different courses. So let's, so, like, people that run these info product businesses, like, what you end up with is like, you've got this world of courses, and you've got this world of content. And people come in from like, search, you know, or whatever channel that you've worked on, usually it's like an SEO channel, like through your content. And then they enter your automated marketing system. And then the first thing they do is buy probably your cheapest thing, your book, and then you're moving them on to the next level into your email marketing system to get them to start looking at, you know, your course, which is like a more in-depth version of the book, or whatever. So anyway, I'm just sort of sketching out, like how, how these content marketing businesses tend to work. So you kind of end up in their little universe and then you just get bounced around all their various email automation. If you've been in anybody's like, any internet famous person's little, like, email world, you'd probably notice eventually, if you're there for long enough, like, I already got that email. And so anyway, so let's there's like a different way of looking at it. You don't have to do tiers. You could just sell your book, you know, digital version, here's the hardback version, you make it cheap, and then, you know, lots of people, lots of people read it. And then you, turns out that this is still really interesting to you, you still like solving people's problems and you're like, you know what, like, I should release like, some recordings of customer interviews as like, examples or whatever, you know, and then you peel that off into a different product and you sell that, and slowly you build up this machine, basically. Also the guy to talk to would be Keith Perhac, who's in our group, too. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>33:51Oh, yeah, I should totally talk to Keith.  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>33:53Did he write a book? <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>33:55Yeah, he did but also his, his job before running SegMetrics was with the internet famous person that you guys know of that ran these huge content marketing programs and had this whole product funnel thing and all this stuff that I was talking about. So Keith is like, expert on that topic. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>34:15I guess I don't know if I want to go that direction just now because I do, you know, I do have a job. Um, so I'm, yeah.  <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>34:28You could just be like Amy.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>34:33So, I, yeah, so I guess I have to think about that, and thinking about like, like, where to price it and those bundles and whatnot. Actually, I have another super like, mechanical question. So, between the time you announced the pre-order, and when you, like, people could actually like, to like, first of all, like, what was the incentive for somebody to pre-order? And then, what was the time from like, when you announced the pre-order to when you like, people could actually get it? Like, how far in advance do you do a pre-order? And what do you like, do you have to give people something? <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>35:10Yeah, I can't, I actually can't remember. I can't remember, what did I do? I did a pre-order. I can't even remember if I gave him the book or not. I don't think you have to. Some people just buy it ready to go. I think I, I probably did give ‘em like, here's everything I got so far, and it's gonna change, but, you know, here's that. Here's what I've got. And, you know, whatever version, like, people don't care if it's like, not even formatted or, you know, give me everything you got. Because the people that are going to do that are ready to just devour it. And then also, some of them might be like, I'm not wanting to, I don't want it right now, but I had a discount, right? So there's like, the pre-order, it's like a little bit cheaper to buy it now. Because I knew I was going to be selling it at like, as, like, a $40 product. So the discount, I think I sold it initially for pre-orders for like, 29 bucks, or maybe less even. Yeah, maybe like 20 bucks or something like that. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>36:08Okay, and it's 30 now. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>36:11Yeah, it probably makes sense for you, as someone who, I'm using it and referencing it, even though it's not done, because those scripts, like you were saying, are so valuable to people.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>36:20Yeah, I mean, I guess, I guess I sort of like, feel like everybody already has everything. I mean, reality like, they, they don't because everything has been changed so much. But I guess I need to like, set it up, too. Like, I need to decide on a platform to use to actually sell it.  <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>36:42Oh, I didn't do that at first.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>36:45Okay. So did you just use Stripe? <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>36:47I think I used PayPal. I was literally like, here's my email, send PayPal money there. And then I sent it to ‘em. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>36:55How did you deal with that and sales tax and stuff?  <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>36:57I don't think that existed. But also I would have just ignored it. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>37:03Okay, yeah, I guess I'm in the EU, so I kind of can't. <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>37:08It's the wild west out here. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>37:12'Murica. <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>37:15No, I had a really bad tax bill the first year because I ignored all of that stuff.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>37:19Oh, okay, so you're not advising. This is not financial advice.  <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>37:26I'm just saying what I did. I'm not saying you should do that.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>37:30This may or may not be good advice, what you are hearing, just so you know. All of this may be bad advice. Okay, so I basically, <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>37:39I got audited, too, actually. I forgot about that. So don't, yeah, definitely don't do that. Being audited is not as bad as it sounds, it turns out but that's, anyway, that's a different story. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>38:55I was, I feel like I should do a, like a talk hear, hear, and be like, well, on that massive disappointment, thank you and good evening. Um, so okay. So you know, I feel, see, I feel like I look at you and you're like, you, like, have your stuff together about selling a book. And the fact that you had all like, you had these fears about, like, getting rejected by it, and like, put all this into it, and you did it without having done it before. And, you know, made mistakes, looking back, that you are now helping me not replicate. Um, I feel, I feel a little, I feel a little better about this. And also, I guess I have a deadline now, which is five days from now to have the website functional. So, that's fun.  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>38:51You're welcome. I'm here for you, Michele. Just push you over the cliff. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>38:56Like, copy paste content into it, right? Um, I noticed actually that Sean, like, your site has a ton of testimonials, and that's something I have been sort of tepidly starting to collect. Like, I guess I'm a little bit afraid to, like, ask people for testimonials. But I've gotten a couple. <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>39:17So what you do is you write them the testimonial, then you email them and you say can I use this as your testimonial? And then they say yes, and then you put it on your page. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>39:25That's lower friction than what I've been asking for. Um, but, but that makes sense. <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>39:32I mean, I would also peel out, so they said something good in an email and I'd copy it and then change it so it sounded better, and then, can I use this as a testimonial?  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>39:39Yeah. Yeah.  <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>39:42I mean, when I say sounds better, I mean, just like copy edit, right? <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>39:45I mean, I guess, like, we do that with Geocodio. And I think, like, Colleen and I have talked about this how, I guess I've like, gotten over all of these fears with Geocodio, and I'm so much more confident with it. And maybe it's because it doesn't have my name, like, directly on it, or it's just been around for like seven and a half years now. Versus this, I'm like, I'm so much more unsure. Like,  <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>40:07You haven't done this in a long time.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>40:08I never have written a book. <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>40:12Well, whatever. Like, you haven't done a launch. Because you can launch anything. You could have launched Geocodio. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>40:18Yeah. <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>40:18You could've launched it this way, too. But you just haven't done that before. And it's weird, launch is weird because launch is like, everybody, pay attention to me now.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>40:29Yeah, I'm just super uncomfortable with that.  <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>40:33Yeah. Yeah, that's, that's what it feels like. But then when I realized it was, if you're doing it, right, it's not that. It feels like it, but you're not actually making it about you. It's about them. And then for like, a couple days, you know, you gotta be like, here's the product, you can buy it, and you got to be like sending more emails than you normally. Lots of people will unsubscribe. But like I said, those people are not subscribing. Some of them probably hate you, but you know, most of them are probably just unsubscribing because like, they're, turns out, they weren't interested now that they actually see what it is. They're like, oh, no, that's not what I was thinking it was, or whatever. You get used to it, like, you definitely get used to it. I did it for a couple products. And over time, I just didn't care anymore. Like, I absolutely felt like I was doing a good for people. And I know that I was because I didn't get nearly as much. I think that some of my friends who were in that space would tell me that I needed to go harder, you know, like a little more salesy than I was. But anyway, the point is, <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>41:39The thing is, like, I'm not like, I'm not averse to marketing, I think, I mean, this is something that like, we were actually talking about the other day, like people, like technical people being averse to like, sales and marketing and like, like, I have written the book with this in mind that like, hopefully, like, people will recommend it, like, like an audience of the book is like product leaders and marketing leaders who need to teach their teams how to do this. And so like, that's an audience I'm writing for because if they then they have like, buy the book for like five people, and then if they get a new job, or promotion, or whatever, in two years, and they need to teach the team like their new team how to do it again. Um, and so like, that is like, comfortable for me. But yeah, I guess as you were saying, like, hitting the sales hard is, is a little bit uncomfortable. And I guess I will just have to deal with a couple of days of like, that being awkward and like, doing the whole, like, you know, I don't know, like home shopping network style, like, and here's this book, and you can have it for the low, low price of $29. Plus, all of these bundles. Like, <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>42:43So, the thing that, okay, maybe this will help you, but they would help, it helped me, is I just focus on, on the, on the people that are, on your audience, and like your copy and everything is about them. It's about you. You're using, I know you're doing this, right, so you're gonna use the word you in your copy. Like, you never use the word I in your copy, right? So everything is about them. You've done all this research, you know, them, you know, you know, the problems they're facing, you know the pains they're having. And so you could just keep talking about that, talking about that. Launch, then, is then just like, more of those types of emails, like, a higher cadence than you're used to, which is still just about them. And then you're hitting them with like, okay, and now it's here. Like, you're, the whole time you're telling them it's coming, it's coming, it's coming. And then now it's here, here's what's in it, and you're gonna have these emails that just say, here's everything that's in it, and then here's questions that people might have, email that follows up, and then hey, this is gonna end in like a certain amount of time, follow up and then you got one hour left, you know, email. So you do these, you do this sequence of emails, but like, you have to remember when you're sending those that are the most uncomfortable that some people are really, really excited, and if you don't send them that stuff, they won't buy it and they'll, they'll regret it. Like, there's some people that genuinely are very excited and super thrilled to get those emails. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>44:03Can I run a, I have like, a tagline, or not like, a headline I have been throwing around in my head. Can I run it past you?  <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>44:12Yeah. For an article?  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>44:13No, for the book, but like, so like, this would be the like, main headline on the site. <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>44:18Yeah, yeah.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>44:21Your time is too valuable to spend it building things people don't want.  <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>44:27Perfect. I mean, it's a little wordy, but yeah, like, the concept is perfect. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>44:32I will work on the wordiness. <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>44:36I mean, it's really, it's good, though. That's perfect.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>44:38It's good. I guess it's good enough, right? It's good enough for me to slap a site together in the next, checks watch, five days, and, and get that going. <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>44:50Yeah, yeah, for sure. Like, you could roll with that as an H2 on a landing page. Easy. Yeah. That would be fine the way it is. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>44:57Cool. Second image of the book. All right. There's all this stuff I'll have to do, but I guess I'll just be working away at this. <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>45:04You know what would be fun for you? I have an archived version of like, my old initial website, if you go to, oh, it doesn't work anymore. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>45:15Can I look it up on Internet Archive? Or it's like, <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>45:19Probably you can, yeah. Yeah, it doesn't. I used to have it just up so that I could, you could go to the URL. But yeah, so you'd have to go through the Internet Archive. But I had, and I did a, I did a write up on the landing page tear down and discussed screenshots from the, from the old version. It was truly, truly awful. But I sold $7,000 worth of book through it. So, <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>45:40Can I ask you how much you sold overall? Do you reveal that? <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>45:44Yeah, yeah, of course. So it's actually hard to know because the, well, because as I've revealed I'm not fantastic about keeping track of my finances, or I wasn't then, but the, the book, through its lifespan, has made about $150,000.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>46:06Whoa.  <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>46:07And most of that was the first two years because I was really, really actively pushing it. And then it just sort of, like, continued to make sales in dribs and drabs, and now it makes, probably, I don't know, I think I sold $1,000 worth of it last year, which makes sense, because it's pretty out of date at this point. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>46:28That'd be interesting to know why people are still buying it. <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>46:32Well, because the concept of designing in a browser is still something that people, you know, talk about from time to time. Should designers write code, or should they be using Figma, or at the time, you know, Sketch or Photoshop, I think all my copy is about Photoshop. So, you know, so like, I think that that concept is still valid. My copy is a little dated, the, the tech inside the book is a little, little dated at this point, though, still useful. So yeah, I think that is just the, so that was one of the things that I learned for content marketing was the, so if you want something to be really like, a really big hit, and to sort of like, make the rounds on the internet, you know, just those articles, it's sometimes just like, everybody's reading. The key to those is there has to be, well, there's like three rules. But like, one of the rules is, it has to be something everybody's talking about right now. And so at the time, everyone was talking about should we design in the browser? That was a big point of conversation. I would say now, like a similar level of conversation would be people talking about how much they hate single page apps, like in the Ruby on Rails community and trying to like, get off of that, right. So like, if you wrote a book about building single page app equivalents in Hotwire or something like that, that would probably resonate really, really well with that community right now. And you'd get a lot of free buzz when it's, people are already talking about it. So that's the problem. I think that that's why, like, hardly anybody's buying it now. But still, people are talking about that. So you get like, a little bit. And then also, I have all these marketing automated things that are still running. So like, I have some content that I accidentally wrote that has a lot of Google traffic, right? Like, I didn't accidentally write it, but I accidentally, like, did some search engine optimization on it. And so I get quite a bit of traffic from those pages, and then they end up signing up for, like, my tutorial things. And then they're in my little email automation thing that I set up, and eventually they get a pitch and then they, and then they buy. So there's some trickle down of that. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>48:50That makes sense. So, I guess, and this will be my last question. Um, is there anything else I should know about selling a book? <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>49:02Yeah, you don't have to do any of the things that I said, like. Like, well I think, I think you're already like doing all the right things. I was pushing really hard to make it my business. And so that, and frankly, once it got to the point where it was my business, that was a distraction for me. It made it hard, harder for me to stay relaxed and focused on doing the things that were the best for my customers, like, once money became this, like concern. So to me, you have this advantage of like, you don't have to, you don't have to worry about that. Like, each one of the things that I did, like it feels like you should bone up a little bit on how to do a launch, though that's not too difficult. You don't have to do like, the greatest job ever, and you maybe even already know how to do that to some extent. But other than that, I don't know, like 200 people on the mailing list, probably enough already. And you'll get more as people are more and more interested. And, you know, do you have an email subscribe on any of your content at all that you've written? <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>50:16So it's all in review, so I think it all has a subscribe link at the bottom.  <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>50:22Perfect. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>50:23I think I have one on Twitter, like, on my pinned tweet is a subscription to the newsletter. <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>50:30Yeah, yeah. Cuz like, by the time I was doing it full time, I mean, the number of, I was doing so many other things that we didn't even talk about, for marketing, which it's like, we don't, we don't even need to go there. Because you don't, you don't need to do any of that stuff. I think you're doing everything right. And I would think carefully about, like, what your goals are with the book, and, for both you, you and for your customers, and then kind of size it right size it accordingly. And don't feel guilty about not doing all the right marketing things, because the right marketing things, just as long as you're focused on your audience and the people that are going to be reading your book, you're doing the right thing. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>51:13Hmm. Well, thank you for that, like, boost of encouragement.  <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>51:19You're welcome.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>51:21I guess to wrap up, we should mention, by the way, that you have your own show. And you're actually getting something off the ground right now. Do you want to talk about that for a second? <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>51:34Yeah. So my friend Aaron Francis and I, we have a company called Hammerstone, that's at <a href="https://hammerstone.dev/">Hammerstone.dev</a>. Our podcast is, is linked to there on the home page. We have, like you guys, it's kind of like a ride along podcast, and we just do our weekly check in we record it as a, as a podcast. And what we're working on is a drop in component for Laravel. The component allows you, allows your users to build, dynamically build queries, which they can, you could then use to display reports, etc. to them. Yeah, so that's, that's our new thing that we're working on. That's a new thing for me. I should probably have a whole other podcast and invite you on, ask you about how I should be marketing my software business. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>52:30So by the way, so, the podcast is really good. We finished it on a road trip a couple of months ago, and you should totally start at the beginning because, like so, so yes, like, the software part is interesting. But there's this whole other element that Aaron's wife is pregnant with multiples. And the podcast started in like, December, right?  <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>52:52Yeah.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>52:53So, and she was due in April. And so there's this like, whole, like, tension of it of like, oh, my god, like, are they gonna get to launch stuff before, like, Aaron goes from being not a parent to the parent of multiple children overnight? Like, is it like, is it gonna happen? And I found myself as I was listening, I was like, oh, my god, like, like, it really added this element of suspense that I have not felt while listening to another podcast, and it made it very enjoyable. <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>53:24You know what's frustrating. I just realized your audience actually overlaps with the audience of my product. And I just did a horrible job of pitching it. I was like, I could just sort of half-ass explain it here. But, <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>53:34All you Laravel people, like, just check it out.  <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>53:37Yeah, that's good.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>53:40Just take my word for it. This has been really fun, Sean. Thank you so much for coming on.  <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>53:50You're welcome.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>53:51I really appreciate all of your advice. And I, I don't know what you call the, the anti-advice. You know, don't ignore taxes. And encouragement and perspective, that really means a lot to me.  <strong>Sean Fioritto  </strong>54:08You're welcome. Thanks for having me on.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>54:11This is awesome. So if you guys liked this episode, please leave us a review on iTunes. Or let us know that you listened on Twitter, and we'll talk to you next week.<br>

Indie Hackers

#209 – Business Books, Coaches, and "Getting Rich" with John Doherty of Credo

May 28th — Since John Doherty (@dohertyjf) was on the podcast three years ago, he's completely changed the business model of his company. In this interview, we'll talk about the moment his customers told him "his baby was ugly" and what happened next. <ul> <li>Follow John on Twitter: https://twitter.com/dohertyjf</li> <li>Find an agency on Credo: https://www.getcredo.com/</li> <li>Get unlimited copyediting on EditorNinja: https://editorninja.com/</li> </ul>

Run With It

The Free School for Next Gen Entrepreneurs with John Vitti

May 27th — If you like the show, please <a href="https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/run-with-it/id1477133536">leave a review on Apple Podcasts</a>!<h1><strong>Nuggets:</strong></h1><ul><li>Plant a lot of seeds in the early stages of your business and see what grows. You may be surprised by the results.</li></ul><h1><strong>Action Steps:</strong></h1><ol> <li>Sell the vision to large companies (think IBM, Google, Amazon) in order to get a sponsorship</li> <li>Ask school teachers in your area to send you students that that are selling things to their classmates</li> <li>Recruit entrepreneurs to mentor students, both for pay and as volunteers to test which works best.</li> <li>Setup opportunities for students to start businesses and learn key lessons, like the nuances of how to fail toward success and how to build a support network of other entrepreneurs.</li> </ol><br><strong>Links:</strong><ul> <li><a href="https://about.versusgame.com/">Versus Game</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.wired.com/story/vcs-are-pouring-money-into-the-wrong-education-startups/">VCs Are Pouring Money Into the Wrong Education Startups</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.thielfellowship.org/">The Thiel Fellowship</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.runwithit.fm/66">Smart Face Masks - Way Beyond Air Quality</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/best-countries-for-education">Best Countries for Education | US News Best Countries</a></li> </ul><br><em>John Viti is the CEO of VersusGame, a pop-culture gaming app that lets users bet on trending topics. They've granted over 16 million in cash prizes to over 7 million players. VersusGame is a global entertainment pop culture gaming app where users can put money on trending topics about celebrities, pop culture, sports, entertainment, food, and more. This app is the first of its kind to bring power to the masses and allow consumers to capitalize on their knowledge of mainstream culture. Since its launch in 2019, VersusGame has grown significantly, with over $16 Million in cash prizes ($4 Million of that during the “COVID-19 Era”) to more than 7 million players.</em><br><strong>Love a part of the show? Did we get something completely wrong? Let us know at [email protected]</strong><br>

Startup to Last

Can a course business succeed even if no one finishes them?

May 25th — Topics in this episode:<ul> <li>Apparently online courses have a very low completion rate, but maybe that's ok?</li> <li>Rick is learning more about javascript and has a few questions.</li> <li>Rick is taking a vacation where he'll fully unplug.</li> <li>Tyler gives some learnings from the recent enterprise deal that LACRM closed.</li> <li>Tyler has the interview process figured out for LACRM's next hire.</li> </ul>

Newsletter Crew

When should you file an LLC for your newsletter business?

May 25th — As you start to develop a monetization strategy for your newsletter, a question arises: What should you do with the money? <br><br>Once your newsletter generates revenue, you have a few options. You can file taxes on that income as a sole proprietor, or you can decide to file an LLC and create a business. This week, I asked <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/ryanpitylak/">Ryan Pitylak</a>, the CMO of <a href="https://www.zenbusiness.com/">ZenBusiness</a>, to answer questions about the paperwork behind the scenes of starting a newsletter business. 

Indie Hackers

#208 – How this Indie Hacker Blew Past $10K MRR with Jon Yongfook of Bannerbear

May 25th — Joining me is an indie hacker whose broetry post about how he hit $10K MRR went viral. I invited him here to walk me through how he got to that milestone and what his new challenges are as he grows his company Bannerbear toward the $1M ARR mark. <ul> <li>Follow Jon on Twitter: https://twitter.com/yongfook</li> <li>Check out Bannerbear: https://www.bannerbear.com/</li> <li>Subscribe to Jon's newsletter: https://www.bannerbear.com/open</li> </ul>

Software Social

The Real Life Episode

May 25th — <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>00:00Welcome back to Software Social. This episode is sponsored by the website monitoring tool, Oh Dear. We recently refreshed the Geocodio website, and it was really helpful how Oh Dear alerted us to broken links and made it clear what we needed to fix. Broken links are bad for SEO, and so I really appreciate those alerts from Oh Dear. You can sign up for a 10 day free trial with no credit card required at OhDear.app. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>00:28Good morning, Michele. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>00:30Hey, how are you? <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>00:32Good. How are things in Denmark today? <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>00:36Well, this week was kind of a challenge, um, because on, I had a super productive writing day on Monday. So I read <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Badass-Making-Awesome-Kathy-Sierra/dp/1491919019">Kathy Sierra's Badass</a> over the weekend. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>00:52Oh yeah, I've heard of that book. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>00:53I don't know, have you read that?  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>00:54I have not. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>00:54Okay, you've read that. Oh, you have not read that.  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>00:56I've not read that.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>00:57It's really good. So in so many ways, it's, I think of it as, like, jobs to be done for people who don't know what Jobs To Be Done is and have never heard of that. Like, it's basically like figuring out like, you're not just building a thing for the sake of it. You're building it because somebody wants to do something, and they don't buy it for the sake of it. Like, they want to do something better. And so it's, it's kind of aligned with StoryBrand in that regard. It's like, you know, your user is the hero, not the product. But it's a little bit more, um, it's, I think it's just a different perspective than StoreBrand. It's very, very practical. And it, the whole thing is kind of written like a PowerPoint. There's like, lots of like pictures and comics. Actually my seven year old, like, while I was reading it, she came over and she was like, oh, what are you reading? Like, pictures. So, you know, she wants to learn how to make a product. I'll leave that one laying around. Um, it's really good. Um, but, so I was reading it because some people had mentioned it in the interviews I did as a book that they liked.  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>02:05Okay, great.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>02:06And yeah, and, and so I read it just sort of as like, reference material. Um, but actually, it ended up like, helping me kind of have a breakthrough with the book on Monday. Um, and so I spent like, the whole day. Uh, yeah, no, all day Tuesday, actually. I spent the whole day Tuesday writing. I didn't get any writing time on Monday, really. And then Tuesday, at like, four o'clock, I was, um, like, signing on to a Zoom, and then my computer crashed.  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>02:35Oh, no. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>02:36Like, died, and crashed and like, gone to join the choir invisible like, is <a href="https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2hwqnp">now an ex-laptop</a>, like, just totally got like, it was just restarting itself for like, three days. And,  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>02:51Oh. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>02:51So, it is now embarking on a lovely journey to the Czech Republic to be repaired, um, and I did not get a lot done the rest of the week, because it was like, trying to figure stuff out with using the, like, the iPad. Like, it was just, yeah. So, you know, but that's real life, right? <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>03:15Yes, that is real life. So true. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>03:19Oh, so how's it, how's it going for you? <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>03:23So I got a lot of time, I blocked out a lot of time this week to work on Simple File Upload, and it gave me great joy. Like, I have to say, you know, it's funny because people are always talking about self-care, and in the mom space, like you always see things like go get a pedicure, and I'm like, my self care is like, six hours alone with my laptop with no one to bother me. Is that weird?  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>03:44Heck yes. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>03:45Like, I love that. So like, on Monday, such a weirdo.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>03:50It's so true. Like, it's so true. Like, so much of self-care is like, people just wanting to sell you stuff, and like, reality is it's sometimes it's just leave me alone. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>04:01Right? Just leave me alone. So it was, I really had a great week. I got to spend a good chunk of time implementing this feature request, which was something that I thought would be easy, and ended up taking way longer than I thought. So basically, my uploader uses the default styling that comes with drop zone, DropzoneJS, and so I got a request to allow it to be smaller, like 50 pixels by 50 pixels, which I thought would be no big deal. But it turns out once I started digging into the source, the styles are all pinned to 120 pixels by 120 pixels. So it was like, a huge thing to change this because I basically had to rip out all of the static, you know, statically defined CSS and put in, um, flexible CSS, and it was fun. I mean, it was, it was so cool because it was something I enjoy doing, um, something I don't do a lot. I think one of the huge benefits to building your own product is you get exposed to things you wouldn't do in your day job. Like, every job I've had, I have a front end guy, and I have a CSS guy, and I don't really do that very much. Um, it's not a core skill set of mind. So it was kind of fun to get to dive into it and like, learn some new stuff and, and uh, and to ship it. So that made me happy. That brought me great joy. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>05:27It sounds like it did, despite the, the frustration. I'm curious, why did the person need it to be 50 by 50?  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>05:35Avatars. So, so many people are using it as avatars, and using it for avatars, and it's pinned to 140 by one, or 120 by 120, which is big. I mean, you look at it, and you're like uh, it's kind of big for a, um, um, a form factor. So, yeah, that's what that was for <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>05:56So are we talking about when someone uploads a file, it's turned into that size, or the actual size of the upload, or when they put it on their site? <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>06:05The actual size of the uploader to fit into, so he actually sent me his form, like, sent me a video of his form, which is really cool. So I could see exactly what he was doing. But his product, um, uses like, avatars, and so he has a small little square where he wants, he wants to enable his users to drop in an avatar, and his form was designed in such a way that that had to be a small square, and the styles I had at the time, like, couldn't support that. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>06:32Oh, so he wanted the uploader to be the actual size of the sort of finished image that would go up. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>06:40Yeah, a little bit more like that. Okay. Yeah, so it would, it would be more seamless.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>06:45Right, so it implies to his user that the image going there should be 50 by 50, because if he had a huge box, they might think that they could upload a huge image.  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>06:54Yeah. So that was fun.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>06:56Gotcha.  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>06:56I enjoyed that. I also, like, came to this epiphany, as I've been talking to people, and when I say it, everyone is gonna be like, that's so obvious. But it just occurred to me yesterday, actually, and I've been a little bit frustrated when I've been talking to people because the things people are looking for, and one are all over the map. I mean, it's, it's completely inconsistent.I haven't been able to find a lot of consistency. But what I realized is, front end developers want all of the direct uploading, and the AWS integration, and all of the magic on the back end. Backend developers do AWS all the time, so they don't really care, but they hate doing design. I don't wanna say hate, that's a strong word, but they don't really like design. So they want the pixel-perfect UI on the front end, which makes sense now why front end developers are asking me like, oh, are you gonna make a headless component? And, you know, am I gonna get my images sized perfectly? And then the backend developers are asking me for theming and things like that. So it's two different, like, it makes sense, but like, for some reason this just clicked. So I kind of need to decide, I think, like, which direction I want to go, because it seems like, like I said, the feature set is not the same, and I'm, there's only one of me, so I can't, I, yeah, of course, I'd like to build out all of these things, but I can't do that right now. Um, so I kind of need to decide which direction I want to go as I continue to build out this feature set. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>08:33Yeah, so I'm, I'm curious. It, it sounds like you've heard a lot of different things, uh, from people, which by the way, is like, is totally normal, especially at this point where your reach is, is pretty broad, and you don't you don't have a defined focus. It's, it's normal that you would hear a lot of different things. It doesn't mean you're doing something wrong, like, that's, that's totally expected. But it sounds like if you know you have these two broad categories with different sets of needs, have you like, like, I'm wondering how you might categorize the feedback and suggestions and, and processes you've heard about so far, into those different user types. And then, and then it would be interesting to see if, if one of those groups has a higher propensity to pay versus another or like, I mean, and it might be too broad of a group, like, like, front, like, frontend developers and backend, like, those are those are pretty broad groups, right? Um, but it might, like, like, it might be interesting, or just to think about like, whose needs do you currently serve better? <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>09:44Yeah. Yeah, that's definitely, yeah, I definitely have to dive more into this, um, and think about it. I like the idea of kind of trying to, uh, kind of box the feature set based on the skill set of the user because I really liked the idea of, of who is more likely to pay for it. I mean, that seems relevant for sure, right? That's why I'm here. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>10:07It's always a good thing to know, right?  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>10:08It's a good thing to know. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>10:14Did you ever get in touch with that, uh, the customer we, I think we have called the whale? The, uh, the one that was like, what was it, like, two or three hundred. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>10:22This guy is paying me 250 bucks a month, or person, I don't know, I don't want to, but um, this person is paying me 250 bucks a month, and this person has still not cancelled and it's still not using it. I don't, like, I don't know what to expect here.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>10:36Alright. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>10:38I keep expecting a nasty email like, I didn't know I was paying that money. But it's been like, almost six weeks now, I think. So this person has paid that bill at least once. So yeah, no idea. I got nothing. But what I have noticed, so something else we talked about last week was changing my onboarding flow. So I did change the onboarding flow. And, um, <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>11:00Oh, you had all those people who were like, it like, wasn't clear to them that they would have to pay for the free trial, so they were,  Right. Getting through to the email setup, but then bouncing, and it's like, why hold on to their emails if it's not worth anything? <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>11:14Yes, yes. So, I changed that. So, now the signup link dumps you to the pricing page, and then on the pricing page, like, the wording is still kind of rough, but it basically says a credit card is required to sign up for the trial. Um, so that should help me I think get less like, kind of emails I don't need in terms of onboarding. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>11:38Oh, you did change that this week. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>11:40Again, I did that yesterday, so it's too soon to say if, um, what difference that'll make. Like, it might take my signups, but at this point, I mean, it's, it's funny, because like, there's so many things I want to do, and there's just one of me, one of me who has a job. So, um, I, I think I have to let this one go. I have to let the extra email addresses, like, I looked at, this morning before our podcast, and saw all the email addresses of people who bounce at sign up, and I'm like, man, like, someday I might be able to, I realize it's like 15, I mean, just from couple days, it's like 15 people. It's like, I have those email addresses, but I'm just gonna let them go because where I am right now in trying to build this, like, I just don't have the bandwidth to try and hunt down people who might never want to pay me at this point. I need to serve, I think I need to serve the people that are paying me and, like, really focus in, you know, on those, on those folks. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>12:37Hmm. I think we, you know, we've talked about it a couple of times how it is just you, and you are one person with a job, and a family, and everything else going on, and you have so many ideas, and I'm curious how you are keeping track of all of those different things that you want to work on. Because it, because it sounds like that, like, mental load of carrying around all of your own ideas and the feedback you're, like, that, like, that, that is a mental load. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>13:14Yeah, so right now I keep track of all of that in Notion. But you know, I've gone back and forth in Notion. I know, some people love it, and some people hate it, and like, I don't know, like, a couple years ago, maybe a year ago, I really spent a couple days getting a setup I liked and I used it really, really diligently, and then when things get really busy, that's when you should rely on your tasks, you know, on that the most. But yet, I tend to just let it go because you have so many competing priorities. So I do have a list, but do I actually look at that list? No. I mean, I just, I just am like, I should do this thing next. And then I do the thing. But I do have a list so I don't lose like, these ideas. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>13:59I think I, like, it might be helpful to try to like prioritize those. And also I remember when we were talking about this last time, you had to do that was like, you know, improve the landing page. And it was something that was actually like, 10 steps deep and it like, wasn't one task, and I want I wonder if that would help. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>14:21Yeah, being more specific. Um, I do. I do think that would help. I also think,, like, this thing with the, the small styles I mentioned, that ended up taking way longer than I anticipated. So, that's why, like, task management can be challenging, I think because you just, as you know, in software, you just want to have that, you just want to block out like, three days to do whatever you want to do, and it's just sometimes hard to know how long these tasks are going to take. But generally speaking, yeah, breaking them down is, is good. But like, so here's a problem I'm having. Okay, and here's a business idea for anyone listening. You know how Stripe, I know, business idea. Maybe I shouldn't share it, I should just build it. But I don't have time to build anything else. Um, so you know how Stripe provides really cool analytics, like, you log on to Stripe, and I know there's like many, many analytic platforms built on top of Stripe, but even Stripe is nice because you can log on, you can, you know, see what your churn rate is, you can see the lifetime value, you can see all this information about your customers. Heroku has none of that. Like, so I'm not even really tracking people who churn on Heroku. So if you asked me, like, how many people have signed up and then cancelled, I can't even tell you. Like, I mean, if I tried really hard, I could figure it out, but I love how when you sign on to Stripe you, like, get that dashboard right there, like, here's all your information. That would be super cool for Heroku. So, I'm at the point where I'm not even exactly sure because if you churn, I delete your account, so I have to like, go find that information. And of course, of course I say this and every software developer listening is like, yeah, that's so easy to build. Yes, it's so easy to build. So are the other 5000 things I want to do. So to me, like, I know if I was listening to this, I'd be like, well just write that. That's so easy. But um, yeah, I mean, it's such competing priorities. So like, that's something I want to know but not something I have time to build, and what I have, what do I have 20, 20ish, 25ish paying users. With such a low percentage, with such a low number of paying users, it just doesn't seem worth my time right now to really care about that.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>16:38I think you just hit on something really important, which is that sometimes building something is much easier than more marketing it and figuring out who needs it and why and pricing it. And, you know, building is not easy in its own right, but there there is a real, like, you're going through this challenge right now, and I mean, to me, it makes sense where that's where your comfort zone is that now you have something going but there are definitely some frustrations with that. That the prospect of going to build something else is sort of a shiny ball that jumps out at you. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>17:25Oh, totally. And I've given myself a little more permission to do that now that I have paying users, so I know that is a thing. You know, even doing these customer interviews, like, I like people. I like to talk. But before every customer interview, like, I get a little nervous, you know, because it's someone you don't know. You're basically like, cold calling someone asking them for their time and then try not to talk over them. Like, I have just found it to be a really interesting exercise to try and, and do all of those marketing activities. But like I said, this week, when I had my couple days of just coding, like, that's definitely sparks joy. That's my sparks joy place. Like, I love talking to people and meeting people, but I do find that that is harder, and requires a totally different skill set and energy level. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>18:13Absolutely. And, and I notice that you said you, you find yourself nervous beforehand. You said you were nervous, and, but there's different reasons for that, like, you're sort of partly afraid that, you know, they're not going to want to talk to you, sort of like a cold calling sense, but also that you're going to talk too much. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>18:33Okay, this is my thing. So I think that I'm like, if anyone who has met me in person, like, I think I'm good in-person with a one, one-on-one. Like, I think I'm good with, like, getting to know someone and like, developing a connection with someone. But I do that by echoing what you say and by like, just getting excited about whatever you're saying. And when I'm doing these customer interviews, something you and I've talked about a lot is like, don't get overly excited and be like, oh my gosh, I can't believe that, or oh, you're totally right. But I like to agree. I don't want to say I like to agree with people, but if I agree with you about whatever you're talking with, my natural inclination is to be, is to, uh, fusibly agree with you, right? That forms our bond as friends, as people, and, you know, I agree with you. And um, so what's hard for me is if you're like, oh my gosh, I hate setting up buckets on AWS. That's a good example, because that has happened. I want to be like, I know, it's the worst, like, CORS configuration. Everyone forgets that. But I'm not supposed to do that in a customer interview. So like, me just being like, oh, tell me more about why you hate setting up buckets on AWS or whatever it is, um, is a challenge. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>19:50Yeah, I mean, that makes sense. And, you know, I almost sometimes find myself having double tracks of thinking in my head, like, when someone says something that gets me really excited, like, um, I'll have, I'm like, oh my god, yes. So good. And then you have to be like, can you tell me more about what you find difficult about working with those buckets? Because the thing that you want to find out in the interview is not just that they think it's difficult, but why it's difficult from their perspective, and it's going to be difficult for different reasons from your perspective. And the point is not to build a shared bond over the fact that it's difficult. It's to understand their perspective on it, which may be similar to yours, but is different. But I mean, but it's also, it's normal to get excited, you know, I was, I was listening to an <a href="https://hiddenbrain.org/podcast/why-conversations-go-wrong/">episode of Hidden Brain a couple of weeks ago, where the linguist Deborah Tannen was being interviewed</a>, and she was talking about how people from different regions in the US have different conversation styles. So, people from the Northeast, which includes me, we will talk over other people as a way of showing excitement and engagement with what they're saying. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>21:06Yeah.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>21:06And that is a way of being involved in the conversation, versus somebody from the Midwest or from California, like, they might have to wait and pause naturally before the other person stops speaking in order to share their own perspective on it. And apparently, like, you know, I was, I was talking to someone who sort of studies cross-cultural communication, and they were saying that the way you know, so, so a Californian may interpret that how someone from New York speaks is interrupting. But somebody from Japan may interpret that the way that people from California speak is interrupting.  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>21:43Right. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>21:44So all of these things are relative, but I think that kind of conversation style, like I especially find that, like, that, that took me years to tamp down. And I think for me, like, I didn't start tamping that down when I first started doing interviews. Like, that process happened, you know, once I moved from Boston to DC, and you know, that with people from, from the south and the Midwest more who are, who do not use that sort of excited, um, way of talking over people to show engagement. It's very, very different. Like, having people tell me that I was rude forced me to kind of reevaluate that. But of course, if I, if I talk to somebody from New York or whatever, like we're excited and talking over each other, and it's so fun and chaotic, in a way that I just can't do with someone from, you know, Washington State, for example. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>22:38Yeah, yeah, I definitely think that's true. And I definitely think it's a skill and, you know, I'm working on it and, uh, trying to learn it. But it's definitely different, like, whole different skill set and energy level than working on features, or working on code.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>22:55Yeah. And sometimes I find it helpful to remind myself and other people that I'm trying to teach this to is that it's helpful to try these things out in conversations with people. Like, so you might normally start relating to someone, but to try this out just, just to get used to it, but then you don't have to change your conversation style, like, in a social setting. Like, there's nothing, there's nothing that says that one style is intrinsically more valid than another. Like, just because there might be relative differences doesn't mean that one is any better and that there's anything wrong with the way you talk, but it can be helpful to try this out in a social setting at first, just so it feels a little more natural when you're talking to a customer. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>23:41Yeah, that is a great idea, and I will continue to practice. It's good to practice on your kids, because they talk a lot anyway. So I feel like, at least mine do. I've been practicing on the kids. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>23:56One of my favorite references from my book, actually, is the book, How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and How to Listen So Kids Will Talk, because it's technically a book on parenting, but really, there's so much more to it. And especially for people who find this is really, really counterintuitive and strange to them, I think it's probably because they were spoken to differently as a child, and this kind of way of just, you know, validating what someone is saying and, um, you know, it's, may not come may not come naturally, but, but it can be learned. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>24:34Yeah. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>24:34How do you try it out on your kids? I'm curious. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>24:37Like, when they tell me something I've tried, literally do it. Like they'll tell me something, I'm like, well, tell me more about like, why this was a problem with Jimmy, or why do you think, you know, like, I'm just trying to be like, cool, calm and collected, which I mean, I mostly am but I try not to get overexcited when they tell me about what their friends did or whatever. Like, oh, okay, tell me more about that. How did you feel about that? You know, stuff like that. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>25:02Yeah. So, before we wrap up for this week, I have to ask, how are the numbers? <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>25:08So, they're flat. Um, I hit 1k. I didn't actually calculate the exact number, but I think I'm right around 1k. I didn't have any new signups this week, and, or I did, but then this is what brought up the churn discussion. I did have a new sign up, but the person on the $85 a month plan churned, which is unfortunate, um, and there's just, that's why I'm like, there's just so much I want to do. But I think right now, I think for this week, okay, all I can do is plan one thing at a, one week at a time, right. I have a long, I have a list of all the things I want to do. But in terms of staying focused, especially with my time constraints, like, this week, my goal is to get a demo on the homepage because I want to increase signups, like, that's what I want to do right now. So, um, that's my goal for this week. Like, another thing that happened was I went to go put the demo on the homepage, and,  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>26:06It was the CodePen thing, right?  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>26:07Yeah, but I want to pull it off of CodePen. It, yeah, it's on CodePen, which is fine, but I want to pull it off of CodePen and literally put a fully functioning demo, like, drop your file here and I'll alert you the URL or something. But the reason I haven't done that is because I had to write, so I had to write all these monkey patches, because I am still on Rails 6.0, which doesn't support CDN serving a file, so I'm patching through it. So I go to put it on the homepage, and then I was like, well, while I'm, you know, while I'm doing this, I should just upgrade Rails, which is, like, not an insignificant task. So then I spend quite a lot of time going through the upgrade of Rails and, and that's really, I think my struggle is I do need to upgrade Rails because as soon as I upgrade, I can pull out those monkey patches, which gives me warm fuzzies, because I don't like to patch rails if I don't have to, right. And the patches are literally, like, the pull request on Rails 6.1, so I know that they're correct. But still, I'd like to upgrade and pull them out. But, um, you know, that's, that's not insignificant. So then I start, I start upgrading, and then I'm like, oh, well, if I'm going to upgrade, I need more test coverage. So then I start writing more tests. And you see how this just snowballs right? Like, until like, I'm like, oh, wait, I literally wanted to put a thing on the web page, and here I am trying to upgrade the whole application, and like, fill out the rest of the, like, write these other tests, and, oh my gosh. I mean, it's fine. If this was all I did with my life, but I have other things to do. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>26:40This feels like the equivalent of like, going to put away a basket of laundry. And then you're like, well, I'm here, I should just organize the sock drawer.  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>27:46Yes.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>27:47And then before you know it, you're actually sorting out all of the winter clothes and putting them away and making a donate pile and then bringing out the summer clothes, and then you turn around two hours later, and there is still a basket of laundry sitting on the bed. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>27:59That's literally it, Michele, that's literally what happened to me. Like it was, I was like, Colleen, stay. And it's not that I'm not focused, like, these are all good things, and it's exactly right. I'm like, well, I'm in here. So I should fix this thing. I did that with the CSS stuff, too. I was like, well, I'm in here, so I'm just going to rewrite the whole preview template because why not, like. That is my struggle. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>28:20It sounds like those things, though, like, those things for you are, I feel like soul-nourishing is a little bit of a stretch, but like those are, you know, they spark joy for you.  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>28:33They totally do. I mean, and that's why,  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>28:35It's very focused, like what like, like, focused kind of attention and like, total, like, flow, right? That, like, that's the word I was looking for. It sparks flow. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>28:47It totally does. And like, I am amazing at focusing. Like, I can sit down for six hours, and like, not even get up, which is not good for my body, but I mean, it, I love, now I sound like a weirdo, but like, I love that. Like I've love, like, I wasn't kidding, like, give me six hours in my laptop and no Slack and no, like, none of that. Um, because it does spark joy. I can like, I really getting these flow states. And I love like, I love doing it. So I think that is relevant because I think I have been really focused on customer interviews, which is great for my business, but kind of draining for my person. So I think spending some time, like, in that flow state is really good for me because it does spark joy. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>29:32You have to recharge your batteries. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>29:34Yeah, that's exactly, that's a really good way to put it. That's exactly right. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>29:38You gotta have like, balance, right, like, you know, I think that's one of the things about being an entrepreneur and especially as sort of a you know, small scale entrepreneur like we are, like, there's so many different things we could be doing at any time. And some of those things will spark joy, and some of those will spark the opposite of joy, and all of them are necessary. And we have to find a balance between them. And, like, I've been talking about this lately as, like the concept of reward work, which is like wok that we let ourselves do when we've gotten through the stuff that we didn't really want to do as much or it was more draining, and it sounds like this kind of, um, I think I dubbed it putzing through the code garden for you is like, and sort of just like, weeding and, you know, cleaning things up and repainting your garden shed, like, those are the things that are like the reward work for you. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>30:40Yep, totally. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>30:44Well, I think that's probably a good place to end today. I feel like this turned into our like, Real Life Episode, like, your numbers are flat. You had somebody churn. My laptop died, and I didn't get anything done, like.   <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>31:00Oh, one of those weeks.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>31:02Yeah, that's how it goes. Alright, well, we'll talk to you next week. Thank you so much for listening, and, um, we love when you tweet out that you're listening to it, or if anything jumped out to you, so we'll chat with you on Twitter.<br>

Run With It

Making the Hotel Check-in Experience Not Sucky with Bryan Clayton

May 20th — If you like the show, please <a href="https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/run-with-it/id1477133536">leave a review on Apple Podcasts</a>!<h1><strong>Nuggets:</strong></h1><ul><li>Startups like Uber and GreenPal succeeded by giving the common person a top-tier experience</li></ul><h1><strong>Action Steps:</strong></h1><ol> <li>Get a job as a concierge in a luxury hotel and note the ingredients essential to a smooth, positive and remarkable check in experience</li> <li>Discover ways to automate the most remarkable check in experiences. You could implement an app that senses location, includes pre recorded audio and video content, and tightly coordinates concierge behaviors.</li> <li>Partner with some mid range hotels, get paid as a consultant while testing your idea within their ecosystem. Sell them on the fact that customer satisfaction can dramatically be increased with lower wait times: a 5 minute wait to check-in lowers guest satisfaction by 50%</li> <li>Create a metric like lowering check-in times just 30 seconds and raising customer satisfaction to five stars</li> </ol><h1><strong>Links:</strong></h1><ul> <li><a href="https://www.yourgreenpal.com/">GreenPal</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.stayntouch.com/blog/hotel-check-in-wait-times-impact-guest-satisfaction/">How Check-In Wait Times Impact Hotel Guest Satisfaction</a></li> </ul><br><em>Bryan Clayton is CEO and cofounder of GreenPal an online marketplace that connects homeowners with local lawn care professionals. </em><br><strong>Love a part of the show? Did we get something completely wrong? Let us know at [email protected]</strong><br>

Earlier

Indie Hackers

#207 – The Art of Podcasting, the Future of Angel Investing, and Startup Ideas for Indie Hackers with Rob Walling of Tinyseed

May 19th — Rob Walling (@robwalling) returns to the show to talk about new and not-so-new trends in SaaS that Indie Hackers should be paying attention to. <ul> <li>Listen to Rob's podcast: https://www.startupsfortherestofus.com/</li> <li>Follow Rob on Twitter: https://twitter.com/robwalling</li> <li>Check out Tiny Seed: https://tinyseed.com/</li> </ul>

Startup to Last

Making your first hire

May 18th — This week, we answer a few listener questions about how to make your first hire.

Newsletter Crew

The best newsletter advice from Polina Marinova Pompliano, Mark Stenberg, and Josh Kaplan

May 18th — In last week’s panel on B2B media, I asked three experts for their advice on growing a newsletter. I spoke with Mark Stenberg, a media reporter for AdWeek and author of the newsletter Medialyte, Josh Kaplan, who previously helped scale Morning Brew and works with creators like Kinsey Grant and Colin &amp; Samir to develop their brands, and Polina Marinova Pompliano, who writes the wildly popular newsletter The Profile. All three shared their top advice for newsletter writers. 

Software Social

Valuable, Usable, Viable, Feasible

May 18th — <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>00:00Welcome back to Software Social. This episode is sponsored by <a href="https://ohdear.app/">Oh Dear</a>, the website monitoring app. As an <a href="https://ohdear.app/">Oh Dear</a> customer myself, I particularly like how easy it is to make SLA reports with <a href="https://ohdear.app/">Oh Dear</a>. They're professional and sleek, and they make it easier for us to service enterprise customers. And I actually requested this feature myself last year, and I'm so delighted with how open to suggestions they are. You can sign up for a free 10 day trial with no credit card required at <a href="https://ohdear.app/">OhDear.app</a>. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>00:32So Michele, how has your week been?  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>00:34It's good. It's good. You know, I was, I was doing some writing this morning, which is funny, I've realized it's, like, my reward work. Like, you know, when I get through all the other stuff, like it's like, oh, like, now I have some writing time. And, <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>00:47That's amazing because I remember being in high school and, like, English, like whenever I had to write a paper, it was literally my least favorite thing to do. So I find that fascinating that, for you, writing is your reward work. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>00:59I, five paragraph essays are, I don't think anyone looks forward to writing those. Like, this is very different than, than that. Um, but so I was, I was writing and I started thinking about this framework that I know we've talked about, and it occurred to me that I have a very tangible example of that. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>01:20Which framework? StoryBrand, or something else?   <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>01:22No, so it's a Marty Cagan framework.  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>01:25Okay. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>01:26So, but I'm gonna, I'm gonna back up first. So, there's this misconception, I think that people sometimes have or fear about customer research that if they start listening to their customers, then they have to do everything the customers ask them for. And they're basically, like, giving up control over the vision of the product to the customer.  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>01:47Okay. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>01:48And that's not true, right? Like, you'll always have to weigh it against, um, what makes sense for you to do. And so, there's this one framework that I particularly like that was developed by Marty Cagan, who is kind of, like, the the product guru, like, he's the head of this consultancy called the Silicon Valley Product Group. Like, he is like the product guy, and in order for a product to be successful, he says how it needs to be valuable, viable, usable, and feasible. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>02:26Wow, valuable, viable, usable, feasible.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>02:30So let's, let's break it down a little bit. So first, it has to be valuable for the customer. Like, it has to be something that is, you know, accomplishes something for them and helps them do something, right. Because if it's something that doesn't help them do something that they would want to do, then they wouldn't use it. Like, the example I kind of think of for this is what was that startup that would, like, squeeze a bag of pureed fruit for you? Like Juicero, or, like, it was some, like, they raised like billions of dollars or whatever, for, like, a smoothie machine, and everyone is like, why? Like, not really very valuable to people.  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>03:04Right. Okay.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>03:05I'm sure they had wonderful ideas, and they were great people. It has to be viable, which means it has to be, like, commercially viable, like people have to be willing to pay for it. So like, I could make something that's super awesome and useful, but if no one is willing to pay for it, then it's not a viable product, right? Like, if I'm solving a problem that no one experiences painfully enough to, to pay someone to solve it, then it's not going to work out.  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>03:30Okay. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>03:30It has to be usable, which may be the easiest of all these words, to understand that, like, they have to be able to figure out how to use it. So,  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>03:39Okay. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>03:39You may have heard this in the context of usability testing, which is basically, like, if I make a website that you can do something on, but you can't actually figure out how to do that, and it's confusing, then it doesn't matter if what the product does is something that's valuable to you. If you can't figure out how to do it, you're going to move on to something else.  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>03:57Right.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>03:57And then the last one is it has to be feasible, like, it has to be possible for you to produce this product. So,  So this would be the equivalent of being, me being like, Colleen, I really need a spaceship. And you being like, that's awesome. I can see that's valuable for you. Maybe you have the ability to pay for that. I don't, but you know, let's go with it. I can build it in a way that, that you can use it. You know, you're an engineer, right? Any kind of engineer can build any kind of thing, right?  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>04:05Oh, okay. Sure.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>04:25Yeah. Like, you could build a bridge. No, I'm, I'm, for all the certified engineers out there, I'm aware that they're not all transferable. But it wouldn't be feasible for you to build that.  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>04:37Right.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>04:38So, so this framework of valuable, viable, usable and feasible is something that I always keep in mind when we're getting feedback from people because you don't necessarily act on every single problem and every piece of advice that you hear, and, like, and that's okay.  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>04:55Yeah, okay.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>04:56And so, a specific example of this that relates to the book and to something we have been talking about quite a bit is consulting and whether I should do consulting related to the book.  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>05:10Right.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>05:10It's something we've talked about, and I've gotten quite a few requests from people about. And, you know, as I thought about it, okay, so clearly, this would be valuable for people. Like they, they feel like they need help getting started with understanding their customers. They seem to be willing to pay for it. I don't know what that would be, like, I, granted I haven't told anyone, like, cool, here's, you know, an invoice for, I don't know, $500 for a 30 minute conversation, or whatever it is people charge. But like, people seem to be willing to pay for this, and they've told me that they pay other people for this. So there's clearly an ability and desire to pay there. And then usable, like, I feel like I would be able to deliver it in a way that would make it useful for them. But it's not feasible.  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>05:56Why not? <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>05:56Time zones. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>05:59Oh. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>06:00And also the fact that I already have a business that I need to keep going. So I, like, I already have a pressure on my time in that regard. But I basically only have one hour of decent overlap with the US, which is from, <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>06:15One hour?  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>06:16From nine to 10am Eastern. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>06:19Wow, because what time is 9 to 10am Eastern in Denmark.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>06:22So that's 3pm. So our daughter gets out of school at 3. So, <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>06:26Yeah. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>06:26Making anything else work requires a huge amount of schedule gymnastics for me. And I already have customers that I need to have, you know, calls with anyway. Like, and, and so if I were to do consulting, then I would have to say that I could, like, do it for everybody except North America, which totally doesn't make sense because, you know, if you assume that the audience for this podcast is a pretty good overlap with the people who might want me to consult for them, that'd be like, 80% of the audience would not be eligible, and people might find that a bit off-putting, or frustrating. But like, I mean, I just can't do it. Like I can, you know, 8am Eastern is a great time for me, because that's 2pm here, but like, that's, that's a bit early for, for business conversations. And most of the time, like, if I have to have a call with California, like, it ends up being at 9 o'clock my time. And,  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>07:21Yeah, that's rough. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>07:22Even 9am is a bit early. Like, I've worked in companies that, like, had like, a basically an official, like, no meetings before 10, but really not before 11 rule. Like, if you got a 9am meeting, I was like God, like why are you punishing them? So it's just, it's not feasible for me. So,  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>07:42Okay. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>07:42Maybe it will be in, you know, 15 years when I don't have a child at home, and I can, you know, just blow through dinner time, like, and work and like, honestly, it's probably not gonna be good for my work-life balance, like, but it's, it's simply not feasible. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>07:59Is this something you want to do? Or is this just a, like, convenient reason not to do it because you already don't want to do it? <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>08:07I was trying to dive into like, why the thought of it was even, like, immediate, no in my head.  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>08:14Right. Okay.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>08:15And I think that was kind of, and like, the reason was like, I don't have time for that. And then it's like,  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>08:20Yeah. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>08:21But I do, like, I, I have time to work already, so why wouldn't that fit into my existing work time? And it's because it wouldn't happen during the work time. Now, I could be like, oh, I'll just consult for people in the UK, but like, I, like, most of my network is in the US anyway. So, and I think it's just easier just to say no to everything. But again, as we kind of talked about, like, I could always do this 5 or 10 years from now. And people have asked me about courses too, which is easier to make work across time zones, but I'm not really a natural teacher. So I admit that that, like, that kind of scares me because I feel like I would not only have to learn, like, how to create a course. But I would have to learn like, how to teach, which is, you know, a skill set that people to go to school for for four to six years to learn. Like it's not a, it's not an insignificant thing to learn how to do. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>09:21Yeah, well, you already have a lot of demands on your time. So, I don't know that adding consulting would be good for you even if you were in the US. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>09:29Yeah, that's true. I mean, you actually used to have a course, right? Or you were starting one, or?  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>09:34Haha, yeah. So one of my many, many business ideas. I was going to do a course, and holy cow, it was so much more work than I anticipated. So I decided not to do it, and that was a good decision. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>09:52I think when we first met you were, like, getting that course going. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>09:58Yeah, I think I did a couple videos. I mean, my, my idea had been to do Ruby on Rails course for beginners and try to, like, incorporate some more advanced topics, so like an advanced beginner course. But, and I know some people have a lot of success with courses, but you know, I started doing it, and it was just like, because I was trying to do a video course. It was a tremendous amount of work, and I found that I, this, this was years ago, too, right? This was a couple years ago, and I didn't have any audience or network so to speak of, and I think to be successful with a course, a couple of things have to happen. You either have to have the right course at the right time, so you're releasing a course on something that is new and hot, and everyone wants to learn about, or I think you have to have a really well-established network and audience, and I had neither of those things at that time. And, and also, you know, people talk about being on, like, the content treadmill, so the thing about if your business, if your primary business is a subscription video service, or, you know, subscription courses, like, you have to constantly be producing content, and that wasn't really something that I wanted to do either. So yeah, the course was just, the video course was just so much work, like, the editing and the trying not to talk over myself, and the, oh, my goodness. So it wasn't a good fit for me. Not saying it wouldn't be a good fit for you in the future. I mean, there's tons of opportunity there.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>11:33I'm curious, how long did you work on that course from like, when you had the idea to when you ended up giving up on it? <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>11:41I don't remember. So, I started with a couple intro videos, and I mean, we're talking like 10, 15 minute videos, and they would take me hours. That was the first problem. And then I actually was going to do it with a friend who has a really successful Ruby on Rails template. So he and I recorded, I mean, Michele, we must've recorded 10 hours of video.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>12:03Wow.  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>12:03Yeah. I mean, we have, I still have it. So yeah, for the Rails listeners, it's the guy who developed Bullet Train. And Bullet Train is like a really opinionated, Ruby on Rails, SaaS kind of template builder to start with. And he's been doing this a lot longer than I have, and so I really was fascinated in terms of like, there's some more advanced concepts that you never really get in the material that's out there. And a big one he feels really strongly about is domain modeling, and like, how to do your domain modeling. And this is a thing, I found that as a developer, like, there's tons of entry level courses, and as soon as you get past entry level, it gets harder. Like, when you get to the point where you can't Google the answer for what you're trying to figure out, there isn't a lot. It's more about, like, learning and problem solving, and there aren't a lot of courses or examples or things that can, like, draw you in to these more advanced concepts. So, Andrew and I had talked about doing a course, like, kind of teaching people about domain modeling, which was really cool, because I really love the way he's done it in Bullet Train. And I've worked on a lot of different apps, and typically, it's kind of a mess, right? Like, because you don't, you don't really think big term. I mean, things grow and things, and things evolve, and that's the nature of software, whereas Andrew's, the way he tries to handle it is it's top down, like you know, you don't think you're going to need teams and users, and, you know, join tables, but you should start there. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>13:36We thought that. Retrofitting that later is painful to the point where we haven't, like, fully, like, we, like, have done it, and we need to do more of it. And it's, oh god, just retrofitting, like, user access controls like that is, that's like one of those things, if I can fly back to me eight years ago when we were building this, it's like, just build that in from the beginning. People are gonna want a billing user. They're gonna, you know. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>14:06Right, that's literally exactly what, what it was about. It was about that, because when you start you don't care, right? Or you don't think about it, because you're like, I, I don't need to get that complicated. But if you start from the beginning with that framework, when you're where you guys are, it's so much easier to retrofit in all that stuff because it's already there. Anyway, now that I'm talking about it, I'm getting excited about it again. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>14:27I can tell. Like, you really do see a void for this. But I think, like, I think it's important to bring up though, because you, like, you tried a bunch of stuff before you found something that's kind of working, right. Like I mean, we like we launched stuff that didn't work. Like, I think people kind of you know, you listen to like podcasts like this or whatnot, and you're like, wow, like, this person has everything figured out and they're just amazing, and there's something about them that like makes them what they make successful or whatever, and I'm like, no dude, like we've had stuff that failed. Like, that's normal. Like,  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>15:04Yeah. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>15:04I don't think there's anybody out there who has launched something successfully and not had 10 other things behind it that were either total duds or like just completely, you know, never got off the ground or were soundly rejected, or panned on Reddit, which one of ours was. But anyway, speaking of remotely successful products, Colleen, is it time for our weekly numbers update on Simple File Upload? <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>15:35Your weekly update for Simple File Upload. Yes, so this week, I crossed the 1000 MRR mark. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>15:42We have totally buried the lead. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>15:47I know right. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>15:47Oh my god! <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>15:49I'm super, I mean, it was really exciting.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>15:53Oh, my gosh, yes. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>15:55Yeah. So that really makes it feel like a real business, if you will. I mean, $1,000 that's like real money. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>16:02That is real money. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>16:04Yeah, like, even after I pay all my you know, I do have the, the hosting fees, and the, Heroku takes a cut. But yeah, it's really exciting. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>16:13Wait. So I think last time we, like, really dove into the numbers on it. Your costs of what, you know, what we would sort of call in business jargon the cost of goods sold, which is like, you know, servers and everything that you have to pay for in order to make the app run, that was like $200 a month, and you thought it would be pretty, like consistent.  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>16:41Yeah.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>16:42Are you, is that still true? <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>16:44Oh, yeah. Yeah, that's still true. Now I do, so it's, that's, that's probably an estimate of all the, the fees and like you said, server hosting storage. And then Heroku takes 30%, because I'm in their marketplace, much like the App Store. I know, it really hurts, like, you're just like, oh, ouch. But, I know, but you know what, I mean, I still will bang the drum, or whatever that phrase is on this, for ,launching this in a marketplace was just such a good idea because if I look at the users I have coming from the open internet, versus the users I have coming from Heroku, like, far and above, the majority of my paid users are coming from Heroku. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>17:27So, so if your cost of goods sold is $200 a month, and for purposes of this, we're pulling out that processing or like, you know, sort of marketplace fee, which is 30%, so then basically your margin is like, $500 a month. Does that sound right? <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>17:47Yes.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>17:48Wow.  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>17:49Yeah. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>17:50That's pretty good. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>17:52I know, I was pretty excited. Um, yeah. So it's, it's good.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>17:58That's really interesting for when, you know, if you're able to get to a point, eventually, where you're selling outside of Heroku, like, that, you know, if we were to assume an 80% margin like that, that's pretty good. That's where a lot of software businesses are. So it's, I mean, it sounds like your, your fundamentals are pointing in the right direction. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>18:22Yeah, I think, I mean, we've talked a lot about, I think last week I was a little frustrated because I still can't really identify my ideal customer, or people who are even using it. But I think one of the huge benefits of being in this marketplace is people are signing up. So the more people I get signing up, the more chances I have that someone will actually, that I'll be able to talk to people and kind of figure out my value proposition. I'm finding a lot of people, a lot more people are finding me on the internet. So I'm getting a lot more signups that bounce when they see you have to have a credit card upfront. But I mean, on the, on the plus side, that means there's clearly a demand for this. This is clearly a thing people want because a lot of people are signing up. Now, will a lot of people pay for it is always the, the, you know, the thing you're trying to figure out, but I'm seeing quite a lot of people putting in their email address, putting in their email addresses on my non-Heroku site. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>19:23How, like, upfront does your non-Heroku site make it that people have to put in a credit card for the free trial? <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>19:30So the way it works right now is you sign up and then, then you go to the pricing page. And then you click the button to say sign up for this plan, and then you have to put a credit card in.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>19:42But like, on the landing page itself, does it make it clear that a credit card is required for the trial?  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>19:48No.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>19:50You should probably do that. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>19:52Yeah, I thought about that. But I was looking at other people's landing pages and no one really, like, that doesn't seem to be a thing people do. Cuz it feels, like, where would you put it? In like, small print under free, free trial? Free 7 day trial, credit card required for sign up?  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>20:07Yeah, I, you know, something that I noticed with that is that when somebody has a free trial and no credit card is required, they always say that. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>20:17Right, no credit card required, right. But when they do require a credit card, they don't say anything. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>20:23Yeah. And that, that tells me something. Now, <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>20:27Yeah, no one wants to pay, <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>20:28A lot of big companies like, they'll you know, if you, if you are a marketing person who is incentivized for email signups, then yeah, you're gonna want to hide the fact that a credit card is required because that's how you hit your metrics. But also, the incentive should be redesigned in that case. But I think it's worth at least having that somewhere on the landing page, because as you said, then people are bouncing, and so there's no point in you having this pile of email addresses from people who aren't going to pay for it unless you want it to try to monetize them some other way. But that doesn't really seem to be like something you want to do, and also with, like GDPR, and CCPA and all of those privacy acronyms, like, it could be, you know, a liability for you. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>21:21Yeah, I was thinking about it, because I've seen so many signups recently. So I think that's a, but I, the reason I didn't put it was because I've never seen it. And I was like, is that a huge turnoff to be like, credit card required for signup. But I agree, I'm not doing anything with those email addresses. I mean, in the future, maybe I can remove it and try a different kind of, you know, when I have more time or a little bit bigger, and maybe try to learn more about those people. But at this point, it doesn't do any good, like, I'm not keeping their email addresses or anything. So I'm just seeing that there's a lot of traffic. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>21:54I wonder how, so I signed up for Savvy Cow recently, speaking of all of my timezone issues, like, I had to make this little redirect basically, so that when people request to have a meeting with me, if the browser detects their timezone, and then it sends them to the calendar based on their timezone, because like, I'll only do those 9pm calls for you know, people on the west coast, for example. But, so I signed up for for Savvy Cow, and they have a 7 day free trial with a credit card required, and now I'm looking at their website to see how clear that was, because I remember that, like, I knew that it would be required, and like, that, they would just automatically charge me after that point. And I'm actually looking at their landing page. Oh, okay, actually, it just, it just, just say get started for free. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>22:48See, no, no one says that. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>22:50But maybe they, like, maybe isn't an automatic, maybe it was an email they sent me instead that, um, oh, okay. Okay, so here's how it works. So it says what you can, zero cost to create an account, but then once you're ready to start sharing your calendar links, then the one week free trial starts, and then that has automatic billing. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>23:12Where did you get that, in an email? <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>23:14It's on their pricing page. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>23:16Okay, I'll look at that. That's probably a good idea. I like that, like, yeah, it's, it's free to create an account. But if you actually want to upload files,  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>23:23Sure, you can give us your email address, but if you want to do anything, but I think that, you know that, that makes sense for like a product. Like this, where like, there, there is some amount of stuff that might need to happen before you actually use the products, like, people might need to have internal discussions or like, you know, with this, like, you have to kind of set it up, and there's also this positive effect, where, if you've done all of this work to get it set up, then you are more bought in to the product. Like, this is the approach that TurboTax uses. Like, I don't know, if you notice that they,  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>23:55I know, I know.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>23:55They don't, they'll be like, well, it's free to file, but then it's you know, 19 or 29 or whatever.  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>24:00It's free to do your taxes, <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>24:01Whatever, but to actually file your state one, or to have us automatically send it to the IRS or whatever it is, like,  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>24:08Yeah. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>24:09Then you have to pay for it. And all the people listening in other countries, like especially anyone in Denmark, where you can just file your taxes online, like for free and like, you know, you don't have Intuit, with this massive lobbying budget, making it complicated. Yeah, I mean, so so there's definitely some benefits to that kind of model, and I think as long as what you do, just like, making it really clear what that like, make it clear what's going to happen to people. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>24:41Yeah, I like the idea of putting it on the pricing page because I don't want it on my landing page because that's gonna look bad. But like, if you click sign up for a free trial, I like having another pricing page because again, it doesn't do anyone any good for, I don't care about your email address if you're not interested, and you are annoyed because you fill out the welcome to my thing form, and then you have to enter a credit card, and you felt you know, you didn't know. So, I, um, I like this idea. I think it's a good idea. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>25:06Yeah, I think, so your call to action, it says try it now, sign up for a free 30 day trial.   <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>25:13Yeah. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>25:14And I also wonder if, you know, changing out from like, sign up to be like, you know, start free trial or whatnot, like, because I think people really do grok the difference between free trial versus free tier. And, and I saw that when I scrolled all the way down, there's a free 30 day trial, but I don't actually see that above the fold on your site. And so I wonder if making it clear that it's free trial would help with that.  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>25:46Okay. I like, I like changing it to start, start your trial or something.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>25:50Yeah. Because they're actually, there's no button either, like, right below the header. There's like, there should be a button there that's like, start your free trial.  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>25:59Oh. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>26:00There's no call to action button. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>26:02Wait, below the header. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>26:04So it says add File Uploading to your app in minutes, like, integrate file uploads in your website, no service required, blah, blah, blah. Like, where's the button? Give me a button. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>26:15Yeah, yeah, yeah, totally. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>26:17But hey, while I'm looking at SimpleFileUpload.com, for anyone who is listening, there is a testimonial there.Yay. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>26:26Yay, I did. I got a testimonial up.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>26:31And it looks awesome.  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>26:33Yeah. So I'm happy about that. Yeah, you're right. There should be a call to action button right here. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>26:39Tell me what to do, Colleen. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>26:41Oh, my gosh. See, this is, like, the stuff I don't know about. You're absolutely right.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>26:44Tell me to sign up. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>26:45Tell me to sign up, start trial now. Nice. Okay, I like it. Good point. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>26:52And I guess, yeah, you just want to like work on that wording because like, as you know, the Savvy Cow example, like, the trial doesn't start until you actually do something. And so it's like, does the trial start like, right from the time they sign up? Or just, you know, wherever you can, like, make it clear what's going to happen to people. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>27:09Yeah, so I think, so right now, if you click on sign up, it takes you to a nice signup page. But then after you hit the signup page, it takes you to the pricing page. I wonder if I should switch those since I'm going to require a credit card, and instead of taking you to the signup page before the pricing page, sign up, pricing page, which explains that you have to, you know, pay, not pay I'm sorry, that you have to enter your credit card and then a start trial button. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>27:45Okay, so I'm actually going through it right now. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>27:48Yeah, okay.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>27:49Um, so let's do it live. Okay. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>27:54Usability testing live with Michele. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>27:57F it will do it live. Okay. So, select your plan, try it out with a 30 day free trial, up, upgrade or cancel at any time. Okay. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>28:06So if you go back, though, if you start from the homepage, okay, if you go to Home. So go to home. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>28:10Home.  And then sign up. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>28:12Sign up. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>28:13Yeah. So then it's just like a login screen.  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>28:16Right.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>28:17Yeah, I wonder maybe, maybe you would, you could also experiment with when you click sign up, taking people to this pricing page, and then when they click start trial, then they create an account, and then they add a credit card and everything. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>28:35Yeah, I tend to wonder if that's a better workflow because again, I don't need to collect or want to collect information for people who don't want to put their credit card down.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>28:45Yeah.  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>28:47So I think I'll do that. I like that. I like that idea. Yeah, and then they can go, if signup would take them to pricing, and then under where it says select your panel have something like, it's gonna be a seven day trial, but I'll fix that, try it out with a seven day trial credit. I mean, it sounds so bad, credit card required when you are ready to use the service or something. I don't know. I'll figure that out.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>29:07And I also noticed you have a 30 day money back guarantee. So a 30 day free trial,  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>29:12Oh my gosh. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>29:12And a 30 day money back guarantee? No. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>29:15Okay. I do, but I shouldn't.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>29:17Yeah. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>29:17Cuz this is like, I need to change that. Oh, my gosh, it's so funny that you said that. Because basically, like, this, the framework for the SaaS is built off of the Bullet Train app, which I mentioned earlier that Andrew and I were going to make a course for, and this is just, like, their default wording. And I literally, like forgot to take it out.  <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>29:39Okay. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>29:40So I don't want to do that. I just, no one has asked for their money back. So that's good. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>29:44That's also a liability for you, so.  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>29:47Yeah, no, I need to get, where did you see that? <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>29:49When I clicked on start trial from the pricing page. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>29:53Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah. Okay. Yeah, I need to change that. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>29:57Well, it sounds like you now have a lot of work on your plate. So,  <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>30:02Yeah. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>30:03I guess I should let you go. <strong>Colleen Schnettler  </strong>30:05Plenty of things to do. Yeah. Great. This is good, though. This is good. I haven't really thought through that onboarding workflow in a long time. So, I'm glad we took a look at it. <strong>Michele Hansen  </strong>30:15Awesome. Well, I guess that'll wrap us up for this week. Thank you so much for listening. If you liked this episode, please tweet about it or write us an iTunes review. That means a lot to us and, yeah, we'll talk to you next week.<br>

Indie Bites

Struggling with my own mental health

May 15th — I've never really understood mental health, or those who have had these challenges in the past. So when I've had my own challenges, I've struggled to comprehend what has been happening to me. This episode is hopefully an interesting insight into how I've been feeling over the past few months to hopefully help others who might be going through a similar thing.<br><br>Here's some things I talk about:<ul> <li>Where I've been</li> <li>Overworking</li> <li>What went wrong</li> <li>Why I didn't notice a problem</li> <li>Why family and friends are so important</li> <li>The supportive indie hacker community</li> <li>YouTube videos are hard</li> <li>Burnout / depression are real shitty</li> <li>My future plans</li> <li>How I'm going to get out of this mess</li> </ul>I mentioned in the pod I'd been making videos about my motorbike, here's a few links if you'd like to watch:<ul> <li><a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZjlWeKVfjTyVkpig29pTMg">Here's the YouTube channel, <strong>Monkeying Around</strong></a></li> <li><a href="https://youtu.be/JFRzTdFiNbo">The video I spent 5 hours on</a></li> <li><a href="https://youtu.be/5q5L1bZnVpY">Most recent video</a></li> </ul>and here's how to contact / support me:<ul> <li><a href="https://twitter.com/jmckinven">Twitter</a></li> <li>Email - [email protected]</li> <li><a href="https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mckinven">Indie Feast Membership</a></li> </ul>

Startup to Last

When customer expectations aren't met

May 13th — Topics this week:<ul> <li>Rick crossed 200 subscribers for his personal newsletter.</li> <li>Rick gives an update on some recent milestones related to this podcast.</li> <li>Rick has been doing <a href="https://beginnerjavascript.com/">Wes Bos's beginner javascript course</a> and is learning a lot.</li> <li>Tyler is on vacation, and is mostly just taking it easy.</li> <li>We discuss Notion's new API.</li> <li>Rick seriously sprained his ankle.</li> <li>Rick is dealing with a customer who is disappointed.</li> </ul><br>

Run With It

Digital Estate Planning with Jeff Kelley and Josh Kriger

May 13th — If you like the show, please <a href="https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/run-with-it/id1477133536">leave a review on Apple Podcasts</a>!<h1><strong>Nuggets:</strong></h1><ul> <li>Aside from the hype, there are many smart people excited about the practical potential of blockchain and NFTs</li> <li>Steveblank.com offers an incredible resource for entrepreneurs</li> <li>There are multi-billion dollar opportunities for companies that help crypto “cross the chasm,” making it more accessible to mainstream audiences</li> </ul><h1><strong>Action Steps:</strong></h1><ol> <li>Get your own crypto security and succession plan in order</li> <li>Stay up to date on the latest developments in estate planning and password management as it applies to crypto assets</li> <li>Use a site like aytm.com to “Ask Your Target Market” about what type of product will serve them best.</li> <li>Consider a relatively lightweight solution to digital estate planning (e.g. set up smart contracts that automatically distribute assets to your family if you don’t log in every six months)</li> <li>There could be various niches within this broader category to build businesses in.</li> </ol><h1><strong>Links:</strong></h1><ul> <li><a href="http://edgeofnft.com/">http://edgeofnft.com/</a></li> <li><a href="https://wearecanopy.com/">https://wearecanopy.com/</a></li> <li><a href="https://steveblank.com/">https://steveblank.com/</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/12/technology/bitcoin-passwords-wallets-fortunes.html">Lost Passwords Lock Millionaires Out of Their Bitcoin Fortunes</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.walletrecoveryservices.com/">Wallet Recovery Services</a></li> <li><a href="https://safehaven.io/">https://safehaven.io/</a></li> <li><a href="https://aytm.com/">AYTM Market Research: Online Market Research</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.territoryfoods.com/">Territory Foods | Healthy Meal Delivery</a></li> </ul><br><em>Jeff Kelley is a serial entrepreneur, investor, creator and graduate of West point with a Yale MBA. Josh Kriger is a serial entrepreneur from Boston now staying warm in SoCal who has launched and consulted with businesses across a variety of industries.</em><br><em>Jeff and Josh co-founded Territory Foods, a national ready-to-eat prepared meal delivery company utilizing a unique network of distributed chefs. They also founded Canopy, an sustainability focused apparel company that connects fans with what they love through collectable interchangeable patches.</em><br><strong>Love a part of the show? Did we get something completely wrong? Let us know at [email protected]</strong><br>