329 episodes

The original podcast for bootstrapped and mostly bootstrapped startups, this show follow the stories of founders as they start, acquire, and grow SaaS companies. Hear when they fail, struggle, succeed, and take you with them through the tumultuous life of a SaaS founder. If you like Mixergy, This Week in Startups, or SaaStr, you’ll enjoy Startup for the Rest of Us.

Startups For the Rest of Us Rob Walling

    • Business
    • 4.9 • 671 Ratings

The original podcast for bootstrapped and mostly bootstrapped startups, this show follow the stories of founders as they start, acquire, and grow SaaS companies. Hear when they fail, struggle, succeed, and take you with them through the tumultuous life of a SaaS founder. If you like Mixergy, This Week in Startups, or SaaStr, you’ll enjoy Startup for the Rest of Us.

    Episode 708 | Outsourcing Marketing, Competitive Markets, and More Listener Questions (with Derrick Reimer)

    Episode 708 | Outsourcing Marketing, Competitive Markets, and More Listener Questions (with Derrick Reimer)

    In episode 708, Rob Walling and Derrick Reimer tackle listener questions about building development skills vs. business skills and strategies for entering competitive markets. They also chat about building on top of AI services, addressing the risks of platform dependency and the importance of managing infrastructure costs. 



    Episode Sponsor:





    Is your outsourced development team dropping the ball?



    Maybe you’ve worked with a team that just couldn't grasp your vision and needed constant oversight because they weren’t thinking strategically. Or maybe you ended up wasting hours micromanaging, often needing to jump on late-night calls across massive time zone differences to get alignment. And in the end, they delivered a sluggish app with a frustrating UI that didn’t come close to the solution you had envisioned. If any of that sounds familiar, you need to reach out to our sponsor - DevSquad.



    DevSquad provides an entire development team packed with top talent from Latin America. 



    Your elite squad will include between 2 to 6 Full Stack Developers, a technical product manager, plus experts in product strategy, UI/UX design, DevOps, and QA - all working together to make your SaaS Product a success.



    You can ramp up an entire product team fast, in your timezone, and at rates 75% cheaper than a comparable US-based team. And with DevSquad, you pay month to month with no long-term contracts. 



    Get the committed, responsive development team that your business deserves.  



    Visit DevSquad.com/startups and get 10% off the first three months of your engagement.



    Topics we cover: 




    02:38 - Should you build technical skills or business skills?



    11:41- Entering a competitive market



    21:14 - Building a valuable analytics dashboard tool



    29:29 - When should a solo founder hire for marketing roles?



    36:29 - The rare skillset of a full-stack marketer 



    38:18 - Implications of building on openAI and scaling infrastructure costs




    Links from the Show: 




    Register for MicroConf US in Atlanta, April 2024



    Rob Walling | X



    Derrick Reimer | X



    Derrick Reimer



    SavvyCal



    Start Small Stay Small by Rob Walling



    The SaaS Playbook by Rob Walling



    Devin AI




    If you have questions about starting or scaling a software business that you’d like for us to cover, please submit your question for an upcoming episode. We’d love to hear from you!
    Subscribe & Review: iTunes | Spotify

    • 47 min
    Episode 707 | Once.com, Open Source to FT Income, and More (Hot Take Tuesday)

    Episode 707 | Once.com, Open Source to FT Income, and More (Hot Take Tuesday)

    In episode 707, Rob Walling, alongside guests Tracy Osborn and Einar Vollset, give their hot takes on some recent news in the world of SaaS. They discuss Once.com’s launch, liquidation preference nuances in startup buyouts, with moving from open source to full time income and more. 



    Episode Sponsor:





    Find your perfect developer or a team at Lemon.io/startups



    The competition for incredible engineers and developers has never been more fierce. Lemon.io helps you cut through the noise and find great talent through its network of engineers in Europe and Latin America.



    They take care of the vetting, interviewing, and testing of candidates to make sure that you are working with someone who can hit the ground running.



    When it comes to hiring, the time it takes to write your job description, list the position, review resumes, schedule interviews, and make an offer can take weeks, if not months. With Lemon.io, you can cut down on a lot of that time by tapping into their wide network of developers who can get started in as early as a week.



    And for subscribers of Startups For the Rest of Us, you can get 15% off your first 4 week contract with a developer by visiting lemon.io/startups



    Topics we cover: 




    2:18 - Once.com and the Implications of One-Time Software Sales



    10:39 - Liquidation Preferences in Startup Acquisitions



    21:59 - Turning an open source project into a business



    24:32 - Book recommendations



    30:30 - Is building a startup actually hard?



    32:46 - Startups vs. lifestyle businesses




    Links from the Show: 




    Register for MicroConf US in Atlanta, April 2024



    Once.com



    Campfire



    Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist by Brad Feld



    Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss



    The Anomaly by Herv Le Tellier



    The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin



    The Beginning of Infinity by David Deutsch



    TinySeed



    Einar Vollset (@EinarVollset) | X



    Tracy Osborn (@itsTracyMakes) | TikTok




    If you have questions about starting or scaling a software business that you’d like for us to cover, please submit your question for an upcoming episode. We’d love to hear from you!




    Subscribe & Review: iTunes | Spotify | Google

    • 37 min
    Episode 706.5 | Rethinking My Most Common Advice

    Episode 706.5 | Rethinking My Most Common Advice

    In episode 706.5, join Rob Walling as he reconsiders some of his most common advice. He explores why lowering prices might make sense and discusses the benefits of a B2C business model. Rob also walks back his prior advice on bootstrapping two-sided marketplaces and launching multiple products to see what sticks. 



    Topics we cover: 




    1:04 – What would happen if you lowered prices?



    3:56 – Benefits of a B2C approach



    7:05 – Two-sided marketplaces allow to reach two audiences



    8:47 – Launch a bunch of products to see what sticks



    10:52 – This episode was released April 1, 2024




    Links from the Show: 




    The SaaS Playbook



    Rob Walling (@robwalling) | X




    If you have questions about starting or scaling a software business that you’d like for us to cover, please submit your question for an upcoming episode. We’d love to hear from you!



    Subscribe & Review: iTunes | Spotify | Google

    • 13 min
    Episode 706.1 | MicroConf US Tickets Will Sell Out Soon!

    Episode 706.1 | MicroConf US Tickets Will Sell Out Soon!

    MicroConf US in Atlanta is here in just a couple weeks, and this is your last call to buy tickets. We've sold more than 90% of the tickets, and we will sell this event out as we have for many years. The event is April 21st through the 23rd in Atlanta, Georgia at the amazing Starling Atlanta.



    There are going to be 200-ish of your closest bootstrapped and mostly bootstrapped founder friends who are showing up to hear talks from folks like Rand Fishkin of SparkToro, Asia Orangio of DemandMaven. I'm giving a talk as well, and Dr. Sherry Walling will be talking about staying motivated as an entrepreneur.

    We have a special guest MC, Lianna Patch, and we'll have a very special guest who has never appeared on the MicroConf stage before- Ben Chestnut, the co-founder of MailChimp.



    Get all the details and secure your ticket before they run out at microconf.com/americas.

    • 2 min
    Episode 706 | 2/20/200 Validation, Prior Art, and Designing by Committee (A Rob Solo Adventure)

    Episode 706 | 2/20/200 Validation, Prior Art, and Designing by Committee (A Rob Solo Adventure)

    In episode 706, join Rob Walling for a solo adventure where he discusses a variety of topics. He starts with why it’s important to both consider and credit “prior art” in business. Rob outlines his 2/20/200 idea validation framework used to repeatedly evaluate ideas. He also covers why, though there are some advantages, designing by committee has some significant downsides. 



    Episode Sponsor:





    Is your outsourced development team dropping the ball?



    Maybe you’ve worked with a team that just couldn't grasp your vision and needed constant oversight because they weren’t thinking strategically. Or maybe you ended up wasting hours micromanaging, often needing to jump on late-night calls across massive time zone differences to get alignment. And in the end, they delivered a sluggish app with a frustrating UI that didn’t come close to the solution you had envisioned. If any of that sounds familiar, you need to reach out to our sponsor - DevSquad.



    DevSquad provides an entire development team packed with top talent from Latin America. 



    Your elite squad will include between 2 to 6 Full Stack Developers, a technical product manager, plus experts in product strategy, UI/UX design, DevOps, and QA - all working together to make your SaaS Product a success.



    You can ramp up an entire product team fast, in your timezone, and at rates 75% cheaper than a comparable US-based team. And with DevSquad, you pay month to month with no long-term contracts. 



    Get the committed, responsive development team that your business deserves.  



    Visit DevSquad.com/startups and get 10% off the first three months of your engagement.



    Topics we cover: 




    2:37 – Learning from, and crediting, prior art



    10:27 – The 2/20/200 Idea Validation Framework



    16:03 – Be wary when designing by committee



    21:09 – When to crowdsource feedback




    Links from the Show: 




    Register for MicroConf US in Atlanta, April 2024



    Do Things That Don’t Scale by Paul Graham



    David Sacks (@DavidSacks) | X



    Hackers and Painters by Paul Graham



    Episode 705 | From Bootstrapped to Mostly Bootstrapped



    Episode 628 | The 5 P.M. Idea Validation Framework



    Use This PROVEN Formula to Validate Your Next Startup Idea



    Validate Your SaaS Idea FAST (Step-by-Step SaaS Validation Process)✅



    Start Small Stay Small by Rob Walling



    Metallica: Some Kind of Monster




    If you have questions about starting or scaling a software business that you’d like for us to cover, please submit your question for an upcoming episode. We’d love to hear from you!
    Subscribe & Review: iTunes | Spotify | Google

    • 25 min
    Episode 705 | From Bootstrapped to Mostly Bootstrapped to Venture Backed

    Episode 705 | From Bootstrapped to Mostly Bootstrapped to Venture Backed

    In episode 705, Rob Walling interviews Braden Dennis, co-founder and CEO of FinChat. They discuss Braden’s journey going from fully bootstrapped, all the way to taking venture capital as FinChat scaled. Braden shares his experience in initially launching to an audience, how they successfully launched a second product, and how FinChat operates well with multiple co-founders.



    Episode Sponsor:





    Find your perfect developer or a team at Lemon.io/startups



    The competition for incredible engineers and developers has never been more fierce. Lemon.io helps you cut through the noise and find great talent through its network of engineers in Europe and Latin America.



    They take care of the vetting, interviewing, and testing of candidates to make sure that you are working with someone who can hit the ground running.



    When it comes to hiring, the time it takes to write your job description, list the position, review resumes, schedule interviews, and make an offer can take weeks, if not months. With Lemon.io, you can cut down on a lot of that time by tapping into their wide network of developers who can get started in as early as a week.



    And for subscribers of Startups For the Rest of Us, you can get 15% off your first 4 week contract with a developer by visiting lemon.io/startups



    Topics we cover: 




    2:55 – What does FinChat look like today?



    4:00 – Starting with an audience and building a SaaS



    6:40 – Formulating the product and moving upmarket



    8:35 – Launching a second product



    12:25 – The common pitfall of launching a second product



    16:25 – How FinChat found explosive growth



    19:27 – Deciding to take venture funding 



    26:13 – Making hard decisions with incomplete information



    30:31 – Working with multiple co-founders




    Links from the Show: 




    Register for MicroConf US in Atlanta, April 2024



    Apply for Director of Marketing and Operations for MicroConf



    MicroConf YouTube Channel



    TinySeed



    Braden Dennis (@BradoCapital) | X



    FinChat (@finchat_io) | X



    FinChat



    Episode 681 | Why Launching a Second Product is Usually a Bad Idea




    If you have questions about starting or scaling a software business that you’d like for us to cover, please submit your question for an upcoming episode. We’d love to hear from you!



    Subscribe & Review:

    • 36 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
671 Ratings

671 Ratings

yuritomi ,

Honest, tactical, real stories and advice for bootstrappers

This is my go-to podcast for inspiration from other bootstrapped entrepreneurs! I so appreciate Rob’s candidness about his personal journey and the tactical business advice and honest opinions he shares based on his experience investing and advising tons of startup founders. Thank you for this wonderful podcast, Rob!!

pedro.assumpcao ,

The best startup podcast by far

Thanks Rob for all the invaluable information you provide around startup, SaaS, and bootstrapping businesses. Your podcast became my top source of info that came right on time for my professional career. Just continue with the great content 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

geol9 ,

The podcast I look forward to every Tuesday!

Thanks Rob, especially enjoy the listener questions episodes.

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