I’ve had a hankering for getting into some software for a long time now, much to the chagrin of my mastermind group and friends in the bootstrapped startup world.
It’s no surprise that the Productized Service model that my buddy Brian Casel has popularized is fantastic at getting initial traction, validating an idea early, and getting some revenue (and more importantly Profit).
But one of the longtime criticisms of the Service model, be it Productized or not, is the scalability of it. While I can attest that PodcastMotor has scaled pretty well through the first $15k/mo revenue I can see more difficult times in how we’d get to something like $100k/mo. And let’s be honest, isn’t that the goal for us all?
To supplement this somewhat limiting scalability a lot of Productized services have looked to supporting digital asset sales. This can be books, courses, or software. Heck, even my friend Justin McGill took Leadfuze from just a priductized service into now a full blown SaaS. Not a shabby pivot.
And so that’s exactly what PodcastMotor is going to do in the coming months. We’ve already been hard at work developing a couple of software products to help podcasters more easily create better content and share it with their audiences.
Along the way I’ve learned some good initial lessons about hiring developers, working with them as a non-technical bootstrapped founder, and how to optimize the development proces as a complete novice.
In general working with a developer is really just like working with any other sort of contractor. With a few glaring exceptions:
- Relating exactly what you any to a developer has to be very specific. Screenshots, annotations, and videos are great for this.
- Having examples to reference is great. A competitive product or feature or a comparison to another site are great ways to show tangible assets to a designer or developer.
- Working remotely is tough but tools like Google docs where you can comment on a workflow or spec sheet is great. And a snippet tool that allows you to annotate a screenshot is invaluable. I’ve worked with a few and none are great. My try getapp next.
- Validate, validate, validate. We’ve not even created a spec sheet before taking with a lot of customer, seeing what’s already on the market that’s performing well, and figuring how we can niche into that space.
I’ve been really happy with the experience of developing a few WordPress tools. We’re about to go into Beta with the first one and the second should be about 6 weeks behind.
If you’re interested in finding out more about our podcasting tools for WordPress drop me a line on Twitter. Would love to chat and show you a bit about what we’re working on.
I’d like to keep writing about my thoughts and experiences as a non-technical founder. There’s a ton written about some of the studs of the bootstrapped world, but they’re almost entirely technical in some way. Software doesn’t have to be for the CS majors anymore.