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GOLD! Ask Me Anything About SaaS ( I'm building my 7th )

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LeoistheSun

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Also,

Once you found your early adopters and you worked out the kinks and bugs, where do you go next to find customers to start off at the next level?

Do these sites work for non-marketing SaaS's? Like something that has nothing to do with marketing or an appeal to a broad sense of people? For example, if my audience was Veterinarians would this work? I guess it comes down to your audience type.

Did you also know that in Adwords, you can focus in on Ads in Gmail?

Example:
  • You know your SaaS competitors ( or similar tech SaaS products ) have certain words in their onboarding emails because you use their products yourself

  • You set up Gmail ads in Adwords focusing in on those terms

  • Your ad shows to people getting your competitors emails

  • You tell them why they need you

  • ????

  • Profit
I probably really don't have to go too much into details on why this is great thing for you, do I?

.
I think Gmail stopped scanning emails a couple months ago. They stated it somewhere.
 

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Do these sites work for non-marketing SaaS's? Like something that has nothing to do with marketing or an appeal to a broad sense of people? For example, if my audience was Veterinarians would this work? I guess it comes down to your audience type.
I have seen non-marketing on those sites before. You have to remember, these sites could open doors for you in other areas.

Say I do marketing for veterinarians and I run across your SaaS on those sites, I might suggest it a day or 2 later to the practice in one of our calls. Or someone see it on those sites and reaches out wanting to interview you on their news platform that helps you reach veterinarians. You never know what you might get out of the exposure. In my own example, we had people finding us in 1 place, and then talking about/sharing us at live events like trade shows and conferences as part of their presentation on stage to thousands of people.


I think Gmail stopped scanning emails a couple months ago. They stated it somewhere.
On Gmail, it looks like they have. Seems it took place very late June.. so about 3 months ago. Too bad as that was effective in helping me get in front of people when we started. You gotta strike when the iron is hot!

A similar tactic can be used in PPV on networks like TrafficVance though still.
 
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It might mean really focusing on 1 small group of users now, in order to cast out a wider net to more people later.
This reminds me of the advice from the Zero to one book by Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal: start with a small market and dominate it. Then you should gradually expand into related and slightly broader markets.
 

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Hello everyone.

A lot of you know me for my digital marketing Gold Thread here on the FLF ( see sig ), as well as other posts in the forum.

What you might not know is that I've successfully built 6 profitable SaaS programs either solely by myself, or with a single partner ( and with no other employees other than VA's ), and that I am working on building my 7th SaaS
.
Two questions for you sir!

1) I own a b2b company portal software that hosts company announcements, documents, training, etc and the idea is it's easy to use, non intimidating, way to create a private corporate portal. My competitors are very expensive, time intensive, and have someone that works directly with the company to implement, help with rollout etc. My software has been extremely successful once I get peoples attention and explain it to them, direct selling, etc. However, I do have to do at least 2 or 3 training conference calls. I have no desire to hire "consultants" to do training with my customers - what are your thoughts on this, or anything you may have learned? Does B2B SAAS typically require intensive consulting? I am assuming it's a lot of discovery, learning if these things even can be automated?

2) In the little bit of online advertising I have done, I have estimated my customer acquisition cost to be around $750 (customer that sticks around for atleast 4 months). Theoretically, if I am earning $4000/year per customer, does it not make sense to just constantly reinvest profits back into obtaining new customers via adwords if I am earning $3250/year per customer, as long as my C.A.C stays the same?
 

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GOLD thread. So many great lessons @eliquid. Thank you for taking so much of your time, and for all your insights and advice.
 

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Yes. Very in-depth and helpful! Thanks!
 
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Two questions for you sir!

1) I own a b2b company portal software that hosts company announcements, documents, training, etc and the idea is it's easy to use, non intimidating, way to create a private corporate portal. My competitors are very expensive, time intensive, and have someone that works directly with the company to implement, help with rollout etc. My software has been extremely successful once I get peoples attention and explain it to them, direct selling, etc. However, I do have to do at least 2 or 3 training conference calls. I have no desire to hire "consultants" to do training with my customers - what are your thoughts on this, or anything you may have learned? Does B2B SAAS typically require intensive consulting? I am assuming it's a lot of discovery, learning if these things even can be automated?
Sorry, but my answer my not be what you're looking for. I tend to heavily analyse the word choices people use, so this might throw us both off.

You used the phrase "intensive consulting". So I assume you feel this is what you are doing to close the client after 2-3 training conf. calls.

Here's the thing, if you have to intensively consult someone to win them over and have them pull out their pocket book to hand you money, you haven't hit their pain point yet hard enough OR they haven't had their ahHa moment yet. Even if you hit their ahHa, most times an ahHa moment is worthless without a pain point.. which is something almost no one else tells you.

Something tells me you are missing one or both if things have to be intensive.

Sure, you can be solving a pain point and giving people an ahHa and it still take multiple consultations to get the money. You see this all the time in those guru launches. You know, the ones where Russell Brunson has you go through a 4 part webinar series before making his pitch?

At $4k to get into his mastermind or newest course, you have to hand hold the customer a few times to convince them to sign up.

I know your B2B product is nothing like that, but the concept is still the same. Sometimes you hit the pain point and ahHa and still need to hold their hand a few times. However, that's because your building trust and value. It should be easy and fun. It shouldn't be intense or hard.

If it's hard or intensive, you are missing the pain point or they need to have their ahHa sooner.


2) In the little bit of online advertising I have done, I have estimated my customer acquisition cost to be around $750 (customer that sticks around for atleast 4 months). Theoretically, if I am earning $4000/year per customer, does it not make sense to just constantly reinvest profits back into obtaining new customers via adwords if I am earning $3250/year per customer, as long as my C.A.C stays the same?
That sounds fine. However, you know what's easier and can make you more money? Reinvesting to get more out of your current customer instead of trying to find and win over a new one.

I'd be looking for ways to make them stay on longer, upsell or cross-sale, etc. How can you get more money out of them? Maybe you can offer a training course on how to make their employees happier? IDK because I don't know your market. However it's generally easier to make money from current customers than to find and win over new ones.

How can you increase your MRR or ARR without new customers? Answer that and once you implement it, reinvest in new customers

.
 
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TreyAllDay

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You used the phrase "intensive consulting". So I assume you feel this is what you are doing to close the client after 2-3 training conf. calls.
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Thank you for all your feedback! To clarify on above - I meant more so initial training and consulting them on go-fwd steps after they purchase. I find these reduce churn rate, it's easy enough now with 1 new client a month but when I want to get to 20 it's impossible. I do see your point on honing on the pain point stronger though!

Thanks again! I want to be in your shoes in 10 years!
 

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Hey, @eliquid thanks for your gold! Especially the Ah-ha moments with a valid pain point.

Btw, did you see Russell Brunson is putting out a new book on Software?
 
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Hey, @eliquid thanks for your gold! Especially the Ah-ha moments with a valid pain point.

Btw, did you see Russell Brunson is putting out a new book on Software?
Yeah I did, I think the emails came out this last week or so
 

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I was going to do one on customer service, but honestly I am not sure what to share.

I mean, you either have it.. or you don't.

It's either great or awful. I don't recognize any in-between.

I kinda look at it like Net Promoter Scores.. if it's not a 10, then you are doing it totally wrong.

People will sometimes interact with your SaaS on a trial basis. Even if you do not offer a trial, the email they send you ( or ticket in Intercom ) will act as their first impression. If it is great, they might sign up to your SaaS even though it doesn't do 100% of what they need. It's happened in my SaaS tons of times.

Don't make the mistake of having 30 ways to contact you:
  • Email
  • Support Desk
  • Live chat
  • Forum
  • FB page
  • Twitter
  • etc
All that will happen is, someone will reach out and you will miss it. Days will go by. You will be spread too thin.

All contact should come into 1 or 2 systems so that nothing is missed. So you only have to check 1 or 2 "places". The last thing you want is someone needing help in email, another posted for help on your FB page, and someone else has 3 questions in your forum. Something will get missed.

You should strive to answer all help/support needs within 3-4 hours. Nothing is worse than having someone wait for days to get a response from you. It shows them that they don't matter or that you are unorganized and too busy to actually help them. Now and in the future. If I had a choice between SaaS A and SaaS B and both were pretty equal.. however SaaS A took 3 days to answer me and SaaS B took 3 hours, I am going to go with SaaS B even if it has a few less features and a higher price point.

If possible, have a way to "view your customers screen". I can't tell you how many times someone told me something was wrong or not working on their end and I had no clue what they were talking about. Unless you can see what's going on with something like join.me or be able to log into their account specifically ( my SaaS lets me do this, as if I logged in as them ), you will pull your hair out.

I don't give canned answers. Man, I hate when I have an issue with a company and it takes them 3 days to send me a reply and it ends up a canned answer that provides no real answer. Even if it takes me an hour to write out my response and pull in 4-5 images from Jing to help the customer, that's what I do. Sometimes I feel lazy and don't want to do it.. but you will pay for it later when they send in 3 more questions and you spend more time on them than if you just went overboard in the original help ticket. You want to make sure after you talk to the customer they have no other possible questions. Once you answer their question, think 3 questions ahead and answer those as well.

Empower your employees and VA's. They might be able to help you answer a lot of customer service tickets, but have to ask you permission for X or Y. Just give them power to do whatever is needed up to X. X could be anything that pertains to your SaaS. For example, someone might need help and want to evaluate our next highest plan in our SaaS. Empower your agents to allow that to happen for 7 days without having to ask. Empower them to spend up to $X dollars to make the customer happy, no matter what.

Along with the above, have SOPs readily available. Every person in your company should know Standard Operating Procedures for X event and task in your company. Everyone knows what's expected and how, especially when it comes to customer service.

Customer unhappy? Potential customer ask about or wants X feature? What does it take to make them happy? Is it within your empowerment? If so, do it or assign it out to the right person to make happen.

Sometimes people just want to know you will be there. Having great customer service will re-enforce that belief to them.

One thing that makes my SaaS standout is we actually help our customers. No, I don't mean with their questions and issues about our SaaS...

Digital marketers use my SaaS, it's built for digital marketers. I'm a digital marketer too. People use my SaaS for their digital marketing needs. When someone has an issue with my SaaS, I know the real "why" to what they are doing and specifically why they ask the question they have.

The 5 "whys" behind their actual issue, I address too because I know the why behind it all.

I can actually understand their direct issue, and then talk shop with them and offer them my own digital marketing advice to answer their inner why behind the direct issue.

What other SaaS is going to do that?

None of my competitors do. If you write to them and ask them about X feature or Y issue in their SaaS.. they will answer the question directly. Generally with a canned answer and in 1-3 days.

You ask the same in my SaaS, it's generally within 3 hours on average and is a mini essay on the issue itself and the why/reasoning behind it with 2-4 Jing images attached to it. Then we might just go into some helpful advice that will impact your marketing efforts too because we understand why you actually asked that question for the most part.

That turns our "customer service" department into a real "knowledge center". A place where the customer gets extra value. Not just a response.

People pay for that shet man. When they think they want to cancel their plan/account, they know it will be real pain to miss that experience. It will be hard to give that up almost.

Some people have stayed on, just for that access and "knowledge".

It's an advantage moat my competitors just don't have.


.
 
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c4n

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If possible, have a way to "view your customers screen". I can't tell you how many times someone told me something was wrong or not working on their end and I had no clue what they were talking about. Unless you can see what's going on with something like join.me or be able to log into their account specifically ( my SaaS lets me do this, as if I logged in as them ) you will pull your hair out.
I can attest to this. For a software I sell I provide free support to customers, but have a policy that any work I do on their server is billed extra (not included in the "regular" support plan).

However, it turns out that many times I can save hours of work (going back-and-forth with the customer) just by FTP-ing to their server and having a look at the issue myself instead of waiting for them to provide more details, perform troubleshooting steps, take screenshots, ...
 
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I can attest to this. For a software I sell I provide free support to customers, but have a policy that any work I do on their server is billed extra (not included in the "regular" support plan).

However, it turns out that many times I can save hours of work (going back-and-forth with the customer) just by FTP-ing to their server and having a look at the issue myself instead of waiting for them to provide more details, perform troubleshooting steps, take screenshots, ...
BTW, I added more to the post after you liked it. Not sure if you seen the added content.
 

c4n

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I did now, thanks!
 

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Ask away!
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One last question. It seems lots of people claim you can't build an extremely profitable company without stopping programming yourself and hiring outside programmers so you can focus on the business, etc. I'm a programmer with business experience, and I've had trouble giving up control to other programmers. Tried it, it didn't work. I just like things to be done right and fast. What's your experience here, from a SAAS perspective?

Also, have a friend who constantly nags me because my programming isn't 1000% clearly commented and organized, etc for future programmers. Is this typically a huge concern for you when you're building something?
 
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What SaaS opportunities do you see within the healthcare data analytics field over the next few years? What trends have you been seeing?
 
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One last question. It seems lots of people claim you can't build an extremely profitable company without stopping programming yourself and hiring outside programmers so you can focus on the business, etc. I'm a programmer with business experience, and I've had trouble giving up control to other programmers. Tried it, it didn't work. I just like things to be done right and fast. What's your experience here, from a SAAS perspective?
What's extremely profitable?

Do you mean enough to live on yourself comfortably that you own your home ( no mortgage ), your cars, can raise your family, and not have to worry about bills, all debts paid and 6+ months savings in the bank? You can do that on your own.

Are you talking Yachts, supercars, 7 figures in the banks, vacations in the south of france for 6 months at a time and getting to the point you have an IPO? You more then likely won't get there alone.

If you have issues finding a partner ( equity ), you just haven't found the right partner. I will go over this next since it's actually next on my list anyways ( next posting I do ).

Also, have a friend who constantly nags me because my programming isn't 1000% clearly commented and organized, etc for future programmers. Is this typically a huge concern for you when you're building something?
This is complete and utter bullshit. I had 2 partners like this before myself.

Sorry, I code to make money. Not beautiful code with lots of comments that doesn't do anything.

When you hire other programmers and you hire yourself "out of that job", they can do what they want at that point with pretty comments and structure, as long as they are hitting their other objectives and goals and the cash flow is increasing. Until then, don't worry about it.

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What SaaS opportunities do you see within the healthcare data analytics field over the next few years? What trends have you been seeing?
I don't know very much about healthcare data analytics.

I do know there is big money generally to be made if you can actually provide value to those that need it. What value are those people still needing in that industry?

.
 

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Sorry, I code to make money. Not beautiful code with lots of comments that doesn't do anything.
Well said.

I am a self-taught programmer and until recently I didn't know jack about object-oriented programming, patterns, dependency injection, unit testing... yet I managed to make "comfortable" living according to @eliquid description above.

Customers don't care about any of this. They don't care if your code is well organized and you spent the last 5 weeks writing unit tests and polishing your code. They only care about:
1. does this work?
2. does it solve my need?
3. how much $?

When is the last time you purchased a SaaS because their code was great?

Yes, well organized code will make it easier to maintain and easier for other programmers to edit/upgrade/fix and I do put in effort to make it as organized as I can. But my focus is on features and how to best serve the needs of the customer. They are the one paying your bills.

It's like worrying how your SaaS will perform with 1,000,000 users when you only have 12. Get the sales first, worry about scaling later.
 

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What's extremely profitable?
Sorry, I code to make money. Not beautiful code with lots of comments that doesn't do anything.
.
Awesome to hear this from someone with some experience! This has always been my thought. I'm an avg PHP developer, relatively good at jquery (like you said, easy languages to get to market right away) But when you talk to guys who are full time programmers, with a programmer mindset, they're always pushing you to learn some new javascript language or whatever. I'd think by the time an actual programmer gets involved, they just scrap everything you have anyways.
 

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Awesome to hear this from someone with some experience! This has always been my thought. I'm an avg PHP developer, relatively good at jquery (like you said, easy languages to get to market right away) But when you talk to guys who are full time programmers, with a programmer mindset, they're always pushing you to learn some new javascript language or whatever. I'd think by the time an actual programmer gets involved, they just scrap everything you have anyways.
Yeah, every language has a function or best use case.

A lot depends on how you code though.

For example, we pretty much built our current SaaS in a mix of:
  • PHP - why? because it's the language I knew personally very well
  • Perl - why? because it's the language my partner knew personally very well
  • MySQL- why? because it's the database we both knew very well
This got us to our first 5 figures in MRR tech wise.

As we grew we faced some hurdles. Most of it concerning the processing of our ever growing amount of Big Data and our need to get things done faster and faster. Because of this we redid a lot of our PHP, Perl, and MySQL

That got us further down the road a couple of years.

We kept hitting performance issues as we approached the "next level". At this level we had to redo things again to get faster.

This might adding in things like:
  • Redis - why? lightening quick database like structure to hold data for us

  • C++ & C - why? critical parts of our system can now talk to other parts faster.
    • Redis is written in C, MySQL is written in C
    • When you write in PHP or Perl, that has to be interpreted and broken down, then talk to MySQL/Redis in PHP or Perl ( drivers ) and also interrupted and broken down. This happens back and forth a lot
    • When you write in C instead, you can talk directly to Redis or MySQL ( and other platforms maybe ). The speed is tremendous. There is no need to break down and interpret.
    • Simple queries and actions in PHP or Perl that took seconds to run over big data, now take fractions of a millisecond to perform
    • When you are running something 24/7, this adds up

However, you can take C or C++ and not know what you are doing and end up writing something awful and brings down your system. You have to know C and C++ well because many libraries you are use to in PHP won't be there. You gotta watch out for memory allocation and other things. You can write some bad code and everything will come to a stand still.

However, C++ had it's place for us when needed and used properly. However, we didn't have to worry about this until we were making good money and had time to figure it out when it actually needed to be figured out.

Could we have still found a solution using just PHP and Perl and MySQL? Hell yeah, but it would get costly as we would have more than likely needed to more servers and more code and more complexion. It just depends on what you're ready to live with and deal with at that time.

.
 

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PHP is written in C too :)

PHP has really evolved and became fast, especially since 7+. Comes with opcache (binary cache) that loads the code in memory and removes the need to interpret it for every request. Takes some memory but can save a lot of CPU.

But yes, the lower-language you go, the faster it usually is.
 
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PHP is written in C too :)

PHP has really evolved and became fast, especially since 7+. Comes with opcache (binary cache) that loads the code in memory and removes the need to interpret it for every request. Takes some memory but can save a lot of CPU.

But yes, the lower-language you go, the faster it usually is.
Yeah we were using PHP 7

It still takes more time though.

PHP 7 code connecting to and talking to/performing actions with Redis PHP drivers ( and MySQL ) was so slow compared to C code talking to/performing actions to the native C base of Redis/MySQL.

I'd have to get the numbers dug out of our development Skype chat, but it was pretty extra-ordinary the amount of time, CPU, and memory saved

.
 

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I don't have experience with big data, but it absolutely makes sense C/C++ would be faster.

No need to dig out numbers from your development chats as every situation is unique and the time/cpu/memory saved is specific to your usage case only.
 

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Yeah, every language has a function or best use case.

A lot depends on how you code though.

For example, we pretty much built our current SaaS in a mix of:
  • PHP - why? because it's the language I knew personally very well
  • Perl - why? because it's the language my partner knew personally very well
  • MySQL- why? because it's the database we both knew very well
This got us to our first 5 figures in MRR tech wise.

As we grew we faced some hurdles. Most of it concerning the processing of our ever growing amount of Big Data and our need to get things done faster and faster. Because of this we redid a lot of our PHP, Perl, and MySQL

That got us further down the road a couple of years.

We kept hitting performance issues as we approached the "next level". At this level we had to redo things again to get faster.

This might adding in things like:
  • Redis - why? lightening quick database like structure to hold data for us

  • C++ & C - why? critical parts of our system can now talk to other parts faster.
    • Redis is written in C, MySQL is written in C
    • When you write in PHP or Perl, that has to be interpreted and broken down, then talk to MySQL/Redis in PHP or Perl ( drivers ) and also interrupted and broken down. This happens back and forth a lot
    • When you write in C instead, you can talk directly to Redis or MySQL ( and other platforms maybe ). The speed is tremendous. There is no need to break down and interpret.
    • Simple queries and actions in PHP or Perl that took seconds to run over big data, now take fractions of a millisecond to perform
    • When you are running something 24/7, this adds up

However, you can take C or C++ and not know what you are doing and end up writing something awful and brings down your system. You have to know C and C++ well because many libraries you are use to in PHP won't be there. You gotta watch out for memory allocation and other things. You can write some bad code and everything will come to a stand still.

However, C++ had it's place for us when needed and used properly. However, we didn't have to worry about this until we were making good money and had time to figure it out when it actually needed to be figured out.

Could we have still found a solution using just PHP and Perl and MySQL? Hell yeah, but it would get costly as we would have more than likely needed to more servers and more code and more complexion. It just depends on what you're ready to live with and deal with at that time.

.
Awesome! I also find that as you grow and face challenges you learn what you need to. When I started I barely knew what a function was. About 4 months ago I made the jump from a go daddy server to managing my own Linux server. Was scary as hell at first but you gotta force yourself to learn it.

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eliquid

eliquid

( Jason Brown )
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So for picking a partner I keep things pretty simple, mostly because I have had some really bad ones in the past.

  • I had partners that once they developed the MVP of the product, pretty much became unreliable. They built it, tested it for a day, then gave me little to no instruction on how to use it and expected me to just market and sell and handle customer service. Which would have been fine, except they "up'd and vanished" and would take days to get back to me if I had questions. This caused issues when we had tech problems. They wanted 50% but only put in the upfront work, none of the backend.

  • I had partners who handled the money ( Paypal account, or other ) and then lied to me about our sales/income and stole from me. I only found out years later when some friends of mine happened to travel and visit one of my old partners and he went into detail about how he stole from me to them thinking they wouldn't tell me.

  • I had partners that ended up never fully committed. They would do everything 40% and never gave it their all. I'm not talking about they would do 2 projects and me to 8 in a week. I mean anything at all they did, it would only come out 40-50%.

  • I had partners that wouldn't put a dime into anything. I would be working and need to invest in something we both agreed on and would go ahead and purchase it myself to keep an early non-profitable company going at the start. Only to find out they were never going to put a dime of their money into it and help with the cost of it.

So after a lot of that ( and more ), I got really defined about what roles I would play in any partnerships and how I would test or deal with possible partners.

A lot of these are my personal preferences and they work for me. They may not work for you. You might not agree with something I agree with.

However, it's not about the specifics of what I post.. it's about having a game plan and thinking through what you need and want. That's what's important in the below.

Here are my thoughts on what worked with my current partnership compared to the ones I had prior:

  • I didn't look for, or even want/need, a partner in the beginning. That's not to say I truly didn't need one. I just wasn't ( at that time ) looking for or considering one. He came to me asking questions about my product, not asking me about a partnership.
    • I wasn't in the mindset "I desperately need someone else", therefore I was able to take my time in finding a good match if it did happen
    • My partner didn't come at me like he wanted to be a partner, he just wanted to help make my product better
    • In partnerships prior, I started out thinking I needed someone to help me which put me in "desperate" mode always looking.

  • I knew a lot about my partner before he became a partner. We were on the same forum, ran in the same circles. Was in the same Skype groups. I interacted with him somewhat and could read all his backstory and gauge some things about him.
    • This was true about some of my prior bad partners too. Although they didn't have much of a history for me to verify and gauge as my current partner did
    • Because I could look back in Skype chats, forum posts, etc.. I had an idea of the type of work ethic and personality he had.

  • Even though it wasn't a trial, the relationship started that way. He offered suggestions to a product I made and he worked on it a lot for a little while. At some point after a few weeks, I suggested we be partners.
    • Notice no agreement was made upfront about being partners until a working relationship began. We never formally agreed on a partnership or trial, but it worked out that way. He offered value upfront and executed and expected nothing in return. He ended up doing a great job and got 50% of the company instead.

  • At some point, I decided I wanted to "test him" a bit. How would he respond to X? Does he care about Y? I wanted to do this when I thought he might be comfortable in the relationship to really get his true reactions.
    • Sometimes I planned to be up late at night just so I could ping him on Skype AND email. I did this at different times and days over a few months randomly. I wanted to see if he would respond or not to issues after hours and late nights. Would he ping me back in a few minutes, hours, or not at all and treat it like, "I only work 9-5"?
    • I did the same thing on the weekends a few times
    • We didn't have defined roles early in the relationship like I did with other partnerships. In other relationships there was a clear "you're the the coder, I'm the marketer" type roles. We didn't really have that. So with that advantage I could lob him issues and questions about marketing and see his mindset and reactions. Same with code issues. I was able to fully see his thought process and what he could take on as issues that might ( and did ) come up in the future of the company. Also same about business issues ( like banking, etc ).

  • There was no sense in doing anything less than 50/50. I don't care you brought this to the table or that. You want someone that can grow your business and handle issues if you can not. Why should they get less than 50% for that, because you think you "invented or started or brought" more upfront to the table? That means nothing in 12 months if the other person helped you grow it and keep it.
    • At one point I even offered/gave my partner 75% of the company so I could work and focus on other things
    • He gave me back the full 50%. That's some trust.
    • Think back yourself to when you were an employee. Did you love getting paid $10 an hour to make someone else rich? No you didn't. Do you want your partner to feel that way too? You might not think they would getting 10% of the company, but that's still ( in my mind ) cheating them out of the potential. Of note, yes 50% only works if there are 2 partners. Obviously you can't have 4 and do 50%

  • Instead of being reactive ( like prior partners ), he was proactive. In past relationships I was always coming up with the ideas, solutions, and future roadmap. It was refreshing to have someone else help in this procedure and even spearhead it.

  • Do you feel that if you walked away for a month, your partner could handle the business? I'm not saying you should walk away for a month. I'm not saying the business would be 100% fine when you came back. However, can you trust your partner to run it and run it to where it wasn't a mess when you got back? Sure some things might slip, but could it sort of run?
    • What if you had to go into rehab for a month?
    • What if you needed to scale back to part time work to help you elderly mother for a month?
    • What if your house burned down and you needed to adjust to that
    • Death in the immediate family, etc
    • You don't know how long it would take you to recover and your state of mind once you thought you bounced back. Can your partner really take things on without you for a while?
    • I'm not talking about automation here, I'm talking making tough calls and business choices

Some of what I posted you won't know until you are rubbing elbows with your partner, but that's why you need a relationship before you start as partners. Kinda like how you would date someone until you knew they were right, and then married them. In all reality, you're essentially in a marriage and the company is your kid.

.
 
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eliquid

eliquid

( Jason Brown )
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More thoughts on partnerships -

  • I don't judge on, "I did X and you only did Y". Or, "I did X of Z and you only did X of Y". If you are in a good partnership, as long as things are not going out of control, it doesn't matter if you did 9 things in marketing this week and they only did 3 in coding. Not every project or task is equal to another. Also, not every person works at the same speed or thinks in the same way. Also true is that some of us are single and like to be online all day, some of us have family and outside responsibilities. Unless work quality is low or things are half-assed, you don't need to look into this too much.

  • There will be conflicts. See above for some idea of why. You might want to do X, they want to do Y. Handling these issues can be tough. Sometimes you just need to sleep on it or go back and forth on it for days to really get to the core of why you can't agree on the next step. If you do have defined roles, the person in the defined role that gets impacted the most from the choice should have the say so in the choice. If defined roles are not really set, you are either going to have to give and take on both sides or find an alternative. Sometimes you have to kick the can down the road a little bit too.

  • There is no need to micro-manage the partner. They need the flexibility to work on things under their own supervision. That is why they are a partner. If you can't give this freedom to them, they shouldn't be a partner. Sometimes I question what my partner does, but it is not about if I trust them or not, it's more about me being informed or understanding why that choice was made. It's not about I think they are wrong and I need validation now.

    .
 
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eliquid

eliquid

( Jason Brown )
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I'm at the last part of the list from my original post here - "Customer demos/profiles, MVPs, UVP's, ahHa moments, etc"

I feel possibly I have already touched on different aspects of these in the thread already, in different ways each.

Instead of writing out a post that might be rehash of multiple prior posts, I am just going to let you all ask questions about this and anything else going forward in this thread now.

.
 

WebMedic

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Thank you for sharing @eliquid

Not sure if you have answred this before, tried searching in this thread and couldn't find it.

What can we do to get our first 1, 10 and 100 customers?

Thank you
 

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