From Creator To SaaS founder

My journey as a SaaS founder.

Follow my journey from content creator to the strange new world of software as a service (SaaS). See all my ups & downs and what I'm doing to create a successful software business.

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Hey there! Guess what? I was strolling this morning with a buddy of mine, just chatting about life and stuff. And, you know what? It hit me – I’ve changed the way I do things, especially after reading this cool book Show Your Work by Austin Kleon. You should totally check it out!

So, my friend was curious about what I’ve been up to. I told him I’m all about sharing my journey now. It’s so different from my old self. Let me tell you, I used to be all about teaching and creating content that aimed to transform someone’s life. It was all about solving problems.

But here’s the thing:

  • I felt trapped, like I was constantly trying to meet expectations.
  • I was linking my self-worth to the value I provided through my content.
  • I always wanted to prove how cool I was by helping others.

Creating content back then was like saying, Hey, look at me! I’m valuable because I can teach you stuff! But let’s be real, it kind of felt like I was seeking approval.

There’s no shame in that game, though. Helping people and solving their problems? That’s awesome! But for me, things have taken a new turn. Now, I’m not focused on that kind of transformation.

If a transformation happens, cool. If not, that’s cool too. It’s no longer about proving my worth. It’s just about sharing my world with you.

Yep, you heard it right. I’m human, just like you. We all like a little pat on the back, don’t we? But I don’t feel that urge to show off anymore. That’s a big relief!

Could I still whip up content that teaches you something? Totally. But it’s not my main goal now. If my sharing helps you someway, that’s a bonus!

Here’s the kicker:

  • My self-worth isn’t tied to my content anymore.
  • I’m doing this for the joy of sharing, not for validation.
  • I’m curious to see where this journey takes us!

It’s like, take it or leave it, you know? If my stuff resonates with you, awesome! If not, no sweat, because you’re here for the real me, not just for what I can teach you.

So, what about you? Are you all about teaching and transforming lives? Or maybe you’re also finding joy in just sharing your story? Do you link your value to your content? There’s no right or wrong answer here.

I’m just stoked to be creating content again, without the pressure.

I’m finally free to create content again!

Ever had that eureka moment when everything just clicks into place?

Let’s talk about product-market fit, the magical realm where your product feels like it was made for the market.

We often hear about the importance of product-market fit (PMF), but why rehash it?

Because, when you achieve it, the game changes.

I’ve witnessed this transformation a few times in my career. It’s not a constant visitor, but when it does grace us with its presence, boy, does it make an entrance.

It’s like suddenly, the universe conspires in your favor—customers can’t stop talking about your product, and revenue climbs effortlessly. It’s a delightful state to be in.

Conversely, when you miss the mark, you can feel it. Everything is an uphill battle, from extracting feedback to tackling less-than-stellar reviews.

That’s why I was intrigued when I stumbled upon Limitless, the rebranded incarnation of Rewind. It’s a wearable tech that records your conversations and possibly has a camera.

Initially, I had my reservations, especially around privacy. However, the rebranding has piqued my curiosity. They seem to have tweaked their strategy to potentially nail PMF.

Visiting their new website, it’s like a breath of fresh air…

Simplistic, Apple-esque design that guides you seamlessly through their narrative.

The pricing page is another win—clear, concise, and utterly devoid of confusion. Two options: free or go pro. No mess, no fuss.

Although I haven’t personally tried the product, I can’t help but be impressed by their approach. They’ve refined their messaging and presented it in a way that seems to resonate with what people are looking for.

I’m not here to push you to buy; rather, I’m sharing an example that could be on the cusp of PMF greatness. It’s a case study worth observing for anyone involved in product creation, SaaS, or just curious about market dynamics.

One thing I would suggest for Limitless is to amplify their commitment to privacy.

They’ve addressed this concern with a section on their confidential cloud, which, compared to the data policies of giants like Google and Facebook, positions them as a beacon of user privacy.

But I think they can make it even more front and center on their site than they currently have. Like, right at the top of the page.

It’s too soon to tell if Limitless will succeed long term, but they’ve certainly caught my attention.

I’m fascinated by product-market fit—it’s the holy grail for growth. Observing a company possibly hitting that sweet spot is like watching a star being born.

So, what’s your take on Limitless? Do you think they’ve achieved the elusive PMF? And what are your strategies for reaching it?

I think they just got product market fit

Ever had that heart-pounding moment when you’re about to share something big with the world? Yeah, that’s the daily bread for anyone building in public. But is it always the smart move?

‘To reveal or not to reveal,’ that’s the conundrum I’m tackling today. 

In the realm of software development, this debate is kind of a big deal. You’ve got two camps: 

  1. the ‘open book’ brigade who build their projects under the public eye, and t
  2. he ‘cloak and dagger’ crew who keep their cards close to their chest until the grand reveal. 

I’ve been on both sides of this fence, and let me tell you, it’s a wild ride either way.

Choosing to build in public is like throwing a house party and inviting the whole neighborhood – you get instant feedback on your music playlist and snack selection. 

This gratification is great because it keeps you from spending ages perfecting a salsa dip no one likes. That said, it also means the folks next door might throw a shinier, louder bash using your carefully curated playlist, stealing your party animals.

On the flip side, building in private is like planning a surprise birthday party. You’re banking on the hope that the guest of honor loves the theme and doesn’t wish they were elsewhere. 

The upside? No copycat parties stealing your thunder. The downside? You might just find out they’re allergic to the cake you’ve spent months baking.

Me? I’ve shifted gears to building in private. 

I’ve had my share of poachers, competitors masquerading as clients who’d pluck our features and sprint ahead with bigger budgets. 

Lesson learned? 

My ideas are precious, and so is the time and money my team and I pour into them. We’re not just crafting code; we’re building dreams, supporting families. 

And that’s worth safeguarding.

But hey, I’m not completely shut off. I’ve fine-tuned my process – I build in private, but I keep a circle of beta testers and advisors looped in. That way, we’re not shooting in the dark; we’re getting spotlights shone on our work, without broadcasting it on the evening news.

I’m curious, though, about your take on this…

Are you a die-hard public builder or a secret strategist? Or maybe you’re somewhere in between?

To build in public… or not to build in public?

Imagine telling a software engineer, Create this program for me, and then walking away as they get it all done without another word. Well, that future may be closer than you think.

Just the other day, I stumbled upon a post from Cognition Labs about something called Devin—the first AI software engineer agent. 

Now, we’re not talking about a simple coding assistant like chat GPT; Devin is a whole other beast. It’s designed to emulate an actual software engineer’s capabilities. Tell it what software you want, outline the features, and Devon gets to work, setting up project files and coding as if it was a human expert.

This video I watched, showcasing Devin in action, was mind-blowing. In just 30 minutes, it set up a brand-new project on GitHub, coding away like there’s no tomorrow. And by the time you’re reading this, it’s probably old news. But the implications? They’re timeless and broad-reaching.

Let’s stretch our imaginations beyond software…

Picture an AI agent that’s your personal video editor. You could simply send your raw footage with a message saying, Make this shine for YouTube, and then sit back while it churns out polished content, tailored for various platforms. We’re not just talking about basic edits, but the kind of sophisticated, creative cuts you’d pay top dollar for a human editor to execute.

But why stop there?

Visualize this technology applied to any digital task—drafting legal documents, crunching accounting numbers, or even providing medical advice. Combine that with robotics, and you could have a robot with the intellect of a doctor or the efficiency of a lawyer, impacting both the digital and physical worlds.

Sure, there’s a flip side…

There’s concern about AI snatching jobs, and those fears aren’t unfounded. I’ve faced it myself when an AI project I applied for got rejected because it was seen as a threat to local employment. 

Yet, if history has taught us anything, it’s that innovation might take away jobs, but it also creates new ones—often more than we can imagine. The transition from horse buggies to cars is a classic example.

So, are we staring down a dystopian future or stepping into a bright new era? 

I’m choosing to embrace the optimistic view. 

AI is a tool, and like any tool, it’s about how we wield it. Are we opening Pandora’s box, or is this the dawn of an exciting revolution?

Meet Devin – the AI that codes all by itself

April 2, 2024

Have you ever felt like a juggler in the business circus, with one hand crafting a product and the other waving a megaphone? Let’s talk about the tightrope walk between creation and promotion.

For the past 18 years, I’ve been the ringmaster of my own business show. But here’s the thing: the hat you wear matters. 

  1. There’s the product hat, heavy with the weight of innovation and value creation—my personal favorite. 
  2. And then there’s the promotion hat, feathered with the art of making noise in the market and getting that product into the customers’ hands. 

These are almost like two separate worlds, requiring different skill sets, maybe even different personalities.

Recently, I dove into developing a new software product. I was in my element, focussing on creating value, solving problems. But now, as the product nears completion, I’m without a promotion partner. 

It’s time to switch hats, and I’ll admit, the transition is quite the mental acrobatics—from solving problems to solving the puzzle of reaching the customer.

This shift isn’t just about changing tasks; it’s about changing mindsets. And surprisingly, I’m finding joy in this promotional phase, perhaps thanks to lessons from past projects. My thoughts are tuning into a different frequency. Where once I was engrossed in what the customer needs, now I’m strategizing on how to get our solution to them, contemplating the channels, messaging, and market positioning all at the same time!

Amidst this, I’m reading an insightful book on the dichotomy between a product manager and a product marketing manager—two roles, two modes of thinking.

I’m realizing the importance of donning both hats initially, especially as a founder. It’s about having your finger on the pulse, ensuring that the marketing language feeds back into product development. They’re intertwined, not isolated!

It’s a double win—fine-tuning the product through firsthand experience and shaping the promotional strategy. As the company grows, I’ll look to outsource marketing to someone whose strengths align with that hat, allowing me to return to my preferred role of product creation.

But enough about my hat-switching adventure. What about you? 

  • Are you more of a creator or a promoter? 
  • Do you find yourself wearing both hats in your projects, or have you delegated one to focus on your strengths? 
Create or promote?

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