Episode aired on April 5, 2017. I listened to it on March 11, 2020 with Clifford Oravec of Tamboo. These are my notes and takeaways as they apply to my current place on the journey.

Starting a Software as a Service (SaaS) business is not the only way to make money online. In fact you probably shouldn't start a SaaS business first.

Other ways to make money online:

  • Freelancing/Consulting - still have some secure income but more freedom than a job at a traditional company. Still trading hours for money.
  • Info Products - teach what you already know. Learn about marketing and sales. Transnational sales easier than recurring sell.
  • Plugin market - wordpress, shopify and such. low time investment.
  • Productized service - break away from charging by time so your income is not capped by the number of hours you can work.
  • Sponsorships for your content - this one is not explicitly mentioned in this interview but one I've observed. Newsletters and Podcasts. Takes more time to build.

👩‍💻 Amy Hoy - she has a checklist to do before starting a SaaS

💡Sales vs. Marketing - Sales is talking to one person at a time, answering their questions, demonstrating the product, and learning their reaction. Marketing is sending out an email to hundreds of people but you have no idea what they thought. So sales is actually easier than marketing, you can get some feedback.  

Things to learn when starting a bootstrapped business

  1. Business skills - understanding why people buy things. Because you don't sell, you help people buy.
  2. Human psychology - understanding how people perceive things. Empathy, putting yourself in your user's shoes. You have to do one of these things to have paying customers: make them money, save them money, or save them time.
  3. How to learn effectively - you don't need to read stuff, you need to do something first. Then read a book that solves a problem you're facing right now (not one that you expect to have in the future). If something you try doesn't work, you've got to debug it. Understand why. Don't throw your hands up in the air and start a new project/product. Actually do everything you can think of to make this one work first.

To hear the full story, listen to this episode on the IndieHackers Podcast.