Founder’s Journey: Building a Startup from the Ground Up

Founder’s Journey: Building a Startup from the Ground Up

baremetrics.com/blog
A weekly podcast by Josh Pigford, founder of Baremetrics, on his journey growing a startup.
Sunsetting Intros: A post-mortem on shutting down a product we just launched
Feb 28 • 11 min
Intros, a product we launched to great fanfare three months ago, is being shutdown, having never made a single penny and costing our team months of work. https://baremetrics.com/blog/sunsetting-intros
Staying mentally healthy as a founder
Feb 14 • 8 min
Yesterday I wasn’t feeling great, mentally. I had a level of anxiety I hadn’t felt in a long time that started in the morning and really persisted through the night. I can’t pinpoint it to any one specific thing. It was more the sum of a dozen small…
Why founders need hobbies
May 9, 2018 • 7 min
As founders, a lot of our identities get wrapped up in our companies. Certainly within our industries, but even to family and friends it’s how people know us. And over time, we sort of become our companies. Most founders or CEOs are the “face” of their…
How to identify your perfect customer
Apr 4, 2018 • 11 min
A couple of years ago, we were in a hard spot. I had just realized we were mere weeks away from running out of cash and had asked the whole team to take a pay cut while we figured out how to get profitable. But in addition to cutting costs, we needed to…
No, that thing is not a big deal
Mar 14, 2018 • 8 min
When you’re just getting started, everything feels like a big deal. Everything. The tinniest things can turn in to huge showstoppers that drain time and, in many cases, money. But the longer you’re in the game, the more you realize how few things actually…
Why we transitioned from Medium back to our own blog
Jan 24, 2018 • 11 min
Where to publish something has becoming a difficult decision for a lot of businesses. You read so many stories about using various channels to distribute content and grow traffic, it’s hard to know what does and doesn’t work. Medium, in particular, has…
Don’t let personal health take a backseat in your company culture
Jan 10, 2018 • 13 min
When building a startup, so much emphasis is put on “the product” or even “the customers”. Everything else takes a backseat. On some level, and at some points in a company’s lifecycle, this makes sense. Of course you’ll make sacrifices and you’ll have to…
Everybody’s winging it
Aug 16, 2017 • 8 min
Last week I hit some sort of boiling point with life and work. July was an incredibly stressful month for me both, personally and with work. Just lots of extremes, and it wore me down. Every single founder is struggling with something. Maybe it’s big,…
Navigating the long, slow SaaS ramp of death
Jun 21, 2017 • 9 min
There can be some really exciting days when you’re building a SaaS company, but the large majority are a slog. Just one foot in front of the other, slowly trudging your way up the hill in the muck. The hockey-stick growth you’ve envisioned feels laughably…
Being a Solo Founder: Pros, Cons, Tips & Tricks
Jun 14, 2017 • 9 min
Founding a company is hard. You’ve got an infinite number of decisions to make while simultaneously trying to catch lightning in a bottle with creating something out of nothing. It’s even harder when you’re doing it alone. Being a solo founder, in many…
Most startups are not “crushing” it
May 17, 2017 • 7 min
https://baremetrics.com/blog/most-startups-are-not-crushing-it Ask any startup founder how things are going and they’ll tell you it’s “going great”. They’ll talk about some new feature they’re rolling out, or a new round of funding. Or maybe they’ll…
Startups: Keep It Classy
Apr 12, 2017 • 3 min
https://blog.baremetrics.com/startups-keep-it-classy-5bba13285cc6 Every day founders have an infinite number of tiny decisions to make and it’s easy to get decision fatigue. In a moment of weakness you may do something dumb that hurts you, your team, your…
The startup echo chamber is making you deaf
Mar 23, 2017 • 5 min
https://blog.baremetrics.com/the-startup-echo-chamber-is-making-you-deaf-771eec220181 Being an entrepreneur is a lonely place, especially if you’re the founder/CEO. Sure, you may have co-founders, but the reality is, there’s a lot of weight on your…
Getting out of the startup rat race
Feb 1, 2017 • 7 min
I’m done. I’m tapping out. I’m bowing out of the startup rat race. No, we’re not shutting down Baremetrics. Very much the opposite. I’m just finished subscribing to and following the traditional startup mentality as we build our company.…
How removing self-serve cancellations saved our business (and why it’s not as evil as you think)
Jan 18, 2017 • 12 min
There may be no topic in the world of business that spurs such impassioned responses than self-serve versus manual cancellation of a subscription. Let’s just say the word “evil” gets tossed around a lot.
Calculate what feature to build next
Oct 5, 2016 • 5 min
What feature should we build next? Ain’t that the question of the year? While that next feature won’t save your business, it’s still important to actually improve your product and create more value for your customers. And figuring out what you should…
Our system for scoring & prioritizing every marketing idea
Sep 14, 2016 • 8 min
What if you could put a system in place that instantly scores and prioritizes any marketing idea you had? You could focus in on exactly the strategies that are most likely bring you a return on your effort while minimizing costs and increasing impact.…
That new feature will not save your business
Sep 7, 2016 • 3 min
https://baremetrics.com/blog/new-features-will-not-save-your-business As a founder, you ooze optimism. It’s a necessary coping mechanism to deal with the volatile up’s and down’s of creating something out of nothing. But that becomes problematic when…
Our 7 day launch sequence for announcing anything
Aug 31, 2016 • 11 min
https://baremetrics.com/blog/product-launch-sequence If you launch something on the internet and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? I know. Deep. But seriously, how do you launch/release/announce/publish something and make sure people do…
How we increased annual upgrades by 30%
Aug 17, 2016 • 5 min
When you’re building a business based on recurring revenue, what you want is predictability. The “recurring” part has a pretty strong measure of that, but getting more of that recurring payment upfront reduces churn and improves cashflow, letting you…
The importance of reflection: How writing monthly updates improves our business
Jul 20, 2016 • 5 min
It’s easy to focus on forward momentum. Looking to the future naturally has an optimistic flair and so we spend more time thinking about it and planning it out. But if we don’t stop to reflect on the past, we’ll miss out on things we could learn. Mistakes…
How to write a startup culture manifesto
Jul 6, 2016 • 9 min
When I hear the words “company culture” my gut reaction is generally to contort my face in some way that conveys “Ewwwwwwww”. It’s just one of those buzz phrases that gets thrown around without anyone knowing what it actually means. But as our team has…
Embiggening the Mission: We now support Recurly & Braintree
Jun 28, 2016 • 6 min
Today we’re launching the biggest update in Baremetrics history: we’re expanding our platform to support Braintree and Recurly, in addition to the Stripe support we’ve always had (with more data sources on the way!).…
How we’re fixing “unlimited” vacation
May 4, 2016 • 7 min
It’s a common startup benefit to have a “loose” or “unlimited” vacation policy. “Take all the time off you need!” “We don’t babysit you, take off whenever you need off!” But does anyone actually take off any more time than if they were working somewhere…
Remote Hiring: Our 5-step Interview Process
Apr 27, 2016 • 14 min
You’ve plastered your job listing on every job board and social network known to man. Now comes the fun part: sifting through the hundreds or even thousands of applications. But how? How do you narrow down a seemingly endless stream of folks who all want…
The Impossibility of Separating Work & Life
Apr 13, 2016 • 7 min
There’s a lot of talk about “work/life balance” and figuring out how to find some sort of perfect equilibrium wherein your personal life is completely divided from your work building a startup. This is not about that. In fact, it’s about the opposite.…
10 common mistakes founders make
Apr 6, 2016 • 11 min
Bless our little founder hearts. We’re eternal optimists who have great intentions paired with a propensity to try things that common sense would say is a bad idea. That means we try a lot of things, most of which don’t pan out. But it’s the things that…
Why we’re changing how we calculate metrics
Jan 14, 2016 • 9 min
We just rolled out a change to Buffer’s very public revenue dashboard that resulted in a $25,000 increase in MRR. This provides some backstory in to how we originally calculated metrics and the transition to a greatly improved version of metric…
How we generated a $14,000 influx of cash in 7 days
Dec 9, 2015 • 7 min
https://baremetrics.com/blog/saas-annual-plans We recently tried something that got us an extra $14,000 in cash in seven days. Let’s take a look at how we did it.
How freemium nearly caused our business to implode
Nov 10, 2015 • 11 min
Three months ago, we introduced a Free plan…and it nearly brought Baremetrics to its knees. Let’s take a look at what we did, how it affected our business and how it was ultimately a failure. https://baremetrics.com/blog/freemium-saas-implode
How to use customer feedback to drive your business
Jul 8, 2015 • 12 min
While customer feedback is crucial to your startup, it’s also something most founders have a love/hate relationship with. How do you decide if feedback is valuable or not? How do you keep complaints from dragging you down? Where do you draw the line on…
Maker to Manager: What a startup founder does
Jun 24, 2015 • 11 min
I’ve struggled with what exactly it is that I do here. I’ve hired people who are each exponentially better at their craft than I ever could hope to be. So where does that leave me? I rarely make things anymore. Instead, I’m a manager…an enabler of sorts.…
How to Deal with Competition (or Not)
Jun 18, 2015 • 6 min
As an entrepreneur, one of the biggest sources of stress you have with your startup is likely your competition. It’s easy to become really paranoid about each move they make, each feature they launch and each piece of content they’re publishing.…
3 things we did to reduce churn by 68%
May 6, 2015 • 11 min
If recurring revenue is a rainbow leading to a pot of gold, then churn is the dirty leprechaun trying to keep it all from you. I’ve written before about how to reduce churn in SaaS, so I won’t rehash that here. But what I want to talk about is how we, in…
Build vs. Buy: How to blow $100,000 saving money
Apr 29, 2015 • 10 min
When you’re just getting started and you’re strapped for cash, you typically do all sorts of things to pinch pennies. It’s just part of surviving, and it’s a healthy thing to do when you’re not actually making any money. The danger, however, is keeping…
How to organize the daily chaos of running a startup
Apr 8, 2015 • 14 min
As a Founder, you’ve got your hand in everything imaginable, from legal paperwork to hiring to product management to support and everything in between. You’re pulled in every direction from everyone who’s got your contact info and you feel obligated to…
The Startup Guide to 1-on-1’s
Apr 1, 2015 • 13 min
If there’s one thing I’ve found to be true over the past year and half of building this company, it’s that I’m completely winging it. Sure, I’ve read articles and books on how to build a company, but I’ve never actually done this before and I learn best…
Why we spent $250,000 in 120 days (and the mistakes we made)
Feb 11, 2015 • 13 min
A few weeks back I wrote about our experience going from bootstrapped to funded as we raised a $500,000 round, why it was good for our business and some of the things we’ve learned along the way. Now, I want to give you an in-depth breakdown of why and…
The Fallacy of Motivation
Feb 4, 2015 • 6 min
Most days now I wake up before my alarm goes off (at 5am) and I immediately hop out of bed, excited to get the day started. But that wasn’t always the case, especially when things weren’t going so well. It’s easy to be excited when the skies are blue, but…
How to Pull Off a Startup Retreat
Jan 29, 2015 • 17 min
In mid-January we did our first retreat as a team. Since we’re completely remote, this was the first time most of our team had met and worked with each other face-to-face. I’ll take you through how we planned and budgeted for the trip, what we did, what…
How we grew from $0 to $25,000/month in 12 months
Jan 21, 2015 • 14 min
One year after Baremetrics was launched, we hit $25,000 in monthly recurring revenue. I’ve tried a lot of things to grow the company over the past year. A few things have worked well. A lot of things have flopped. We grew quickly, then stagnated for a…
How I hired a team of 6 without having a clue what I was doing
Jan 15, 2015 • 9 min
Last week I wrote about our experience going from bootstrapped to funded, why it was good for our business and some of the things we’ve learned along the way. I mentioned there were some big shifts for me and one of those shifts was the transition from…
Bootstrapped to Funded: What’s it like? Was it worth it? Should you do it?
Jan 7, 2015 • 12 min
What’s it like going from a decade of bootstrapping to running a funded business? And what’s it like transitioning a business that started out bootstrapped to having a pile of cash at my disposal? Has it been worth it? Is VC money evil? So many questions!…