300 episodes

The longest running (and most popular) 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 Startups For the Rest of Us

    • Business
    • 4.9 • 638 Ratings

The longest running (and most popular) 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 638 | How to Generate Startup Ideas (Plus 8 Ideas You Can Steal)

    Episode 638 | How to Generate Startup Ideas (Plus 8 Ideas You Can Steal)

    In episode 638, Rob Walling chats with Justin Vincent about how to generate startup ideas. They share 8 startup ideas in this episode along with Justin’s approach for coming up with thousands of startup ideas.
    Topics we cover: 
    1:58 - Coming up with SaaS ideas
    3:51 - Transcription for team meetings
    11:42 - Online time capsule
    15:41 - Pest control using drones
    20:29 - Prerecorded live interviews
    25:06 - Special diet builder
    26:30 - AI-casting director
    29:53 - Cash burn alert for VC
    31:47 - database modeling tool
    Links from the Show:
    Justin Vincent (@justinvincent) I Twitter
    Nugget.one
    Techzing
    Episode 526 I Launching, learning and teaching with Justin Vincent 
    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 | Stitcher
    Transcript:
    Rob Walling:
    Welcome back to another episode of Startups For the Rest of Us. I'm Rob Walling, and today I welcome Justin Vincent on the show. We talk a bit about how to generate startup ideas, plus look at eight ideas he brings to the show that you can steal. Justin and I had a great time talking through these ideas. He had sourced them from a few mastermind friends of his, as well as his own brand. He has a tendency for coming up with ideas. I really enjoyed our conversation. If you don't know of Justin, he is the co-host of the TechZing Podcast, and he also, last time he was on this show, was running nugget.one, which is a community for early stage founders, as well as bunch of business ideas, 4000 he tells me. I thought it was 800, but 4000 different business ideas that he had gathered over a few years. He is no longer focused on that. He's moved on to a new idea, which we will talk about in the show, so let's dive right into our conversation about generating startup ideas.
    I want to ask you about coming up with startup ideas because A, it's something that you have done a lot. I mean, I heard you do it on TechZing, your podcast, many times coming up with ideas and even just bringing new ideas, talking through them with your co-hots. But I also watched you start Nugget, nugget.one, which we've talked about here on the show before, where you didn't generate all these ideas yourself, but you did bring them in, evaluate them, and kind of churn them through, and there's 780 of them or something like that.
    Justin Vincent:
    4000.
    Rob Walling:
    Are there? Oh, my gosh. I was looking at the premium ones. So 4000, holy moly.
    Justin Vincent:
    Yeah. That's right.
    Rob Walling:
    And you have generously allowed me to talk about some of them in the YouTube series that I'm doing. About every six weeks, eight weeks, I do a, here are some SaaS ideas to get your mind going basically. And so the YouTube channel, I'll start showing some of those. But really today I want to talk about A, your process for coming up with ideas, and then you had some ideas you wanted to bring to the show, that you wanted to talk to listeners about.
    Justin Vincent:
    Yeah. So since we set this up, I've just been thinking through stuff. I've asked a couple of people for some ideas. And let's see, I've got nine ideas for you. I've got two ideas that I think would be good for solo boot strappers because there's a specific kind of context. I think your context really matters about the idea that you pick. And that's actually kind of a big part of why I started Nugget in the first place, because I realized I was really bad at picking ideas, so I wanted to just do that thing where I got a chance to test it out many, many, many times. And ultimately, you know what I've learned over 25 years? I've learned that I need to do a to-do app because that's where I'm at. That makes the most sense for me. And it's finally, I'm going to actually build something very good that's very useful. There's so many different les

    • 38 min
    Episode 637 | B2B vs. B2C, Hiring for Sales, and Bootstrapping a 2-Sided Marketplace

    Episode 637 | B2B vs. B2C, Hiring for Sales, and Bootstrapping a 2-Sided Marketplace

    In episode 637, join Rob Walling for another solo adventure as he answers a handful of listener questions. Topics covered range from hiring your first salesperson and acquiring a web app to dealing with the fear of having your idea copied and why bootstrapping a two-sided marketplace is usually a bad idea.
    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: 
    1:14 - You either die a consumer startup hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become a B2B SaaS founder.
    2:40 - Hiring your first salesperson
    9:36 - Bootstrapping a talent marketplace
    15:10 - Acquiring a web app
    19:40 - Getting over your fear of being copied when doing idea validation interviews
    Links from the Show:
    Daniel Nguyen (@daniel_nguyenx)’s tweet
    The Mom Test 
    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 | Stitcher
    Transcript:
    Rob Walling:
    If you're looking for the podcast where we talk about non venture track startups, how to build them, launch them, and grow them, you've come to the right place. It's Startups For the Rest of Us. I'm your host, Rob Walling. This week I answer listener questions ranging from which is better B2B or B2C hiring for your first sales role, bootstrapping a two-sided marketplace, and many more. If you're in the US, I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving last week, and if you're everywhere else in the world, I hope you enjoy this episode as I dive in to listener questions.
    Before I do that, if you haven't checked out our YouTube channel, it's MicroConf.com/YouTube. And I'm releasing a video every week where I talk through specific topics. I actually have a full video on B2B versus B2C SaaS, which is better. I've talked through funnels, talked through validation, talked through lowering churn, all kinds of stuff. Every week a new video is coming out. I'd encourage you to check it out, MicroConf.com/YouTube. And with that, let's dive into listener questions.
    Our first question of the day, it's actually not a question, it is a statement made in a tweet by Daniel Nguyen. He runs KTool.io. And this sentiment just resonated with me, so I wanted to bring it up in this episode. His tweet reads, "You either die a consumer startup hero or you live long enough to see yourself become a B2B SaaS founder." And that is like the nerdiest humor, but I like it. I'll be honest, I have seen quiet a few B2C founders pivot. They see the churn, they see the price sensitivity, and they wind up pivoting into B2B if at all possible. And KTool actually looks like a pretty interesting tool. Send anything to Kindle Fast. So you can send blog posts, Twitter threads and newsletters to your Kindle. When I check out his pricing, it's five bucks a month, eight bucks a month, 15 bucks a month for family. And those price points are in line with something I would pay for.
    I think I pay, what do we pay $16 for a family plan of Spotify. And you think of the Netflix and the Disney

    • 23 min
    Episode 636 | A Customer-Led Approach to Driving More Recurring Revenue

    Episode 636 | A Customer-Led Approach to Driving More Recurring Revenue

    In episode 636, Rob Walling chats with Claire Suellentrop about the new book she co-wrote with her co-founder, Georgiana Laudi. The book is called Forget the Funnel: A Customer-Led Approach to Driving Predictable Recurring Revenue. Gia and Claire have run a consulting firm for the past several years where they are working with startups and SaaS companies to help them learn more about their customers in order to drive more revenue. And this book is a distillation of their learnings.
    Topics we cover:
    1:09 - Why did Claire name their new book, Forget the Funnel?
    2:36 - A three-step approach for unlocking customer-led growth
    3:09 - A framework for getting inside your customers’ heads
    14:01 - How to learn from future customers
    20:21 - Applying and operationalizing all your customer insights
    Links from the Show:
    Claire Suellentrop (@ClaireSuellen)  I Twitter
    Georgiana Laudi (@ggiiaa) I Twitter
    Forget The Funnel: a Customer-Led Approach to Driving Predictable, Recurring Revenue
    The Jobs-to-be-Done Handbook: Practical techniques for improving your application of Jobs-to-be-Done
    Deploy Empathy: A practical guide to interviewing customers
    Obviously Awesome: How to Nail Product Positioning so Customers Get It, Buy It, Love It
    Episode 537 | On Launching, Funding, and Growth with Serial SaaS Founder Rand Fishkin
    Sparktoro 
    MicroConf Growth 
    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 | Stitcher
    Transcript
    Rob Walling:
    Welcome back to Startups For the Rest of Us. I'm Rob Walling, and in this episode I'm talking with Claire Suellentrop about the new book she co-wrote with her co-founder, Gia Laudi. The book is called Forget the Funnel, A Customer Led Approach to Driving Predictable Recurring Revenue. Gia and Claire have run a consulting firm for the past several years where they are working with startups and SaaS companies to help them learn more about their customers in order to drive more revenue. And this book is essentially a distillation of a ton of their learnings. So with that, let's dive into my conversation with Claire. Claire Suellentrop, welcome to the show.
    Claire Suellentrop:
    Rob, thanks so much for having me.
    Rob Walling:
    It is so nice to talk to you again. It's been... I was trying to think, was it MicroConf, do you remember, 2017 in Vegas?
    Claire Suellentrop:
    2017 or '18. But really in either case, what feels like a lifetime ago now.
    Rob Walling:
    It's been a while. Yeah. Well, and I was telling you before we hit record, it was super cool to meet your co-founder of Forget the Funnel, Gia Laudi. It was super cool to meet her. And today we're here to talk about the book that you have co-written with Gia. It's called Forget the Funnel, A Customer Led Approach to Driving Predictable Recurring Revenue. First question, Forget the Funnel, why that title? And I think it's the name of your company as well, but where did that phrase come from?
    Claire Suellentrop:
    Yeah, it is the name of the company as well. And Gia was just recently on Lenny Rachitsky's podcast. They were discussing the same why Forget the Funnel. And there's this really funny clip of Gia going, "Funnels are gross." But to be more specific than just funnels are gross, what that really speaks to is the fact that even prior to Gia and myself having met, we were leading marketing at two different, both very fast growing SaaS companies, way back in the wild days of the 2010s. And really it speaks to the reality that for a SaaS business, for a recurring revenue-based business, thinking of marketing as an activity that ends when a new customer signs up is just the tip of the iceberg. Because if the business lives and dies by customers being retained over time and expanding their usage over time, then the idea of a funnel

    • 28 min
    Episode 635 | Where Are They Now? Catching up with TinySeed Tales’ Tony Chan

    Episode 635 | Where Are They Now? Catching up with TinySeed Tales’ Tony Chan

    In episode 635, Rob Walling catches up with Tony Chan, the co-founder of CloudForecast, an AWS cost monitoring tool. Tony shared his victories, challenges, and failures in TinySeed Tales Season 3. It has been over eight months since we recorded the final episode.
    In this episode, we reflect and catch up on what’s been happening with Tony and CloudForecast.
    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: 
    3:03 - Losing one of CloudForecast’s engineers
    5:35 - Tony’s approach to hiring engineers
    8:31 - Did Tony end up hiring someone to help with content marketing?
    17:32 - What is Tony struggling with right now?
    21:07 - Managing your founder psychology
    25:08 - Tony’s recent conundrum
    Links from the Show:
    Tony Chan (@toeknee123) I Twitter
    CloudForecast
    TinySeed Tales Season 3
    MicroConf Local: Austin
    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 | Stitcher
    Transcript
    Rob Walling:
    If you love the smell of startups in the morning, you're in the right place. It's Startups For the Rest Of Us. I'm Rob Walling, and here we are diving into a Where Are They Now? episode. Today I'm talking with Tony Chan. You just heard his season just a month or two ago. TinySeed Tales season three wrapped in this podcast feed. But what most people don't know is that the last time Tony and I spoke to record that final episode was eight months ago. So a lot has happened since then. But before we dive into that, I want to let you know about our next MicroConf local. I'm sitting down with Jason Cohen to do another one of our SaaS snapshots where I have a conversation, I ask questions, we hang out and we learn about what makes Jason Cohen tick, what makes him successful, and get all his thinking on all things bootstrapping and mostly bootstrapping.
    The event is November 30th in Austin, Texas at the WP Engine Headquarters. If you're interested, tickets are at microconf.com/locals. It's going to be an amazing time. It's a three-hour event. Part of that will be founder connections. We have a lot of socialization time for founders to meet one another. And then Jason Cohen and I will be sitting down for about 30 or 40 minutes and having that SAS Snapshot Fireside Chat. It's just a couple hours the afternoon of November 30th. And if you are interested, tickets are at microcomp.com/locals. And with that, let's dive into my conversation with Tony Chan.
    Tony Chan, thanks for coming back on the show, TinySeed Tales slash Startups for the Rest Of Us.
    Tony Chan:
    Yeah, last time I saw you was at MicroConf.
    Rob Walling:
    April in Minneapolis. Yep.
    Tony Chan:
    Yeah. Yeah. And you've been busy with the European batch and the American batch and so on. So it's been a while since we've chatted.
    Rob Walling:
    That's right. And I've been attending a bunch of MicroConfs, but none in your area. But we've spoken since then for sure.
    Tony Chan:
    Here and there.
    Ro

    • 31 min
    Episode 634 | Naming Your Startup, Tapping Out a Niche, and Licensing Your IP

    Episode 634 | Naming Your Startup, Tapping Out a Niche, and Licensing Your IP

    In episode 634, join Rob Walling for another solo adventure where he answers listener questions on topics ranging from naming your startup to initial aha moments and how to know if you have tapped out a specific niche.
    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: 
    2:38 - Naming your startup
    6:02 - How to know if you tapped out a specific niche?
    13:21 - Did you have an initial aha moment when you felt that this was the winning idea to start up?
    22:25 - How would you value your time if you have a client that is gonna be competing in the same space?
    Links from the Show:
    MicroConf Europe 
    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 | Stitcher
    Transcript
    Rob Walling:
    Bootstrapping cares if you can provide value to a group of businesses or individuals who are willing to pay for it. I view it as something that helped me improve my space in life, but also helped me achieve the freedom, purpose, and relationships that I had been seeking for so many years.
    Welcome back to Startups For the Rest of Us. It's another week, another episode. It's great to be here with you. Thanks for joining me. I'm going to be diving into listener questions today. I don't know if it's the YouTube channel taking off, you should check that out, MicroConf.com/Youtube, or if it's just our audience and our reach expanding through the podcast and other avenues, but I'm getting a lot of listener questions these days, which is great.
    Last week I was in Atlanta for MicroConf Local where I sat down with Ben Chestnut, the co-founder of MailChimp, and did what we call a SaaS snapshot where I asked him questions about starting up, about exiting, things he's learned in his 22 years as a SaaS entrepreneur, if you can believe it. But while I was there, I took a few minutes to do a little workshopping, customer development, as they say. It was just talking to a few of the founders who had shown up for that event.
    I was asking folks about their opinions of specific Startups For the Rest of Us episode formats, ranging from we have interviews, sometimes I do founder hot seats, there's the Hot Take Tuesdays, there are question and answers, there's Rob Solo Adventures and all these things, and got some really helpful feedback from folks. What I heard is that the Rob Solo Adventures give people frameworks and thoughts to chew on, and that a lot of the questions wind up relating, even if they're not specific to that founder or that founder's niche, the specifics and the thought process of thinking them through is helpful.
    It's good to have questions coming through. As always, audio and video go to the top of the stack. A lot of these are video today and they really did jump the line. I think we have almost 20 text questions now. If you're going to ask a question and you want it answered really in the next few months, to be honest, you're going to want to send it as an audio or a video questi

    • 31 min
    Episode 633 | Building SaaS Plus a Two-Sided Marketplace

    Episode 633 | Building SaaS Plus a Two-Sided Marketplace

    In episode 633, Rob Walling chats with Matt Wensing, the founder of Summit. Matt is no stranger on the podcast. And we talk about Matt's decision to change Summit's brand positioning and the far-reaching impact on his business.
    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: 
    2:24 - Matt’s decision to change Summit’s positioning
    15:22 - Redesigning Summit’s website
    22:39 - The dangers of scaling up before you have product-market fit
    24:43 - The response to Summit’s relaunch
    29:33 - How Summit is evolving into a 2-sided marketplace
    Links from the Show:
    Matt Wensing (@MattWensing) I Twitter
    Summit 
    MicroConf Remote 
    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 | Stitcher
    Transcript
    Rob Walling:
    Welcome back to Startup For the Rest of Us. I'm your host, Rob Walling, and in this episode I talk with Matt Wensing, the founder of Summit. And we talk about how he's been grinding away building his SAS and he's adding a two-sided marketplace. A really interesting conversation, you're not going to want to miss it.
    Before we dive into that, MicroConf Remote is happening today, tomorrow and Thursday. Head to microconfremote.com if you're interested in early stage B2B SaaS marketing approaches. We're hearing from Gia Laudi, the co-founder of Forget the Funnel. We're hearing from the CMO of Crisp, the founder of GymDesk on Capterra marketing, VP of marketing at SparkToro. I'm going to be doing a talk. It's a fully remote event. It's very inexpensive. It's the cheapest MicroConf Remote we've ever done. We're trying to make it accessible to as many people as possible. And even if you miss today, you'll get the videos when the event ends. That's microconfremote.com.
    And with that, let's dive into my conversation with Matt. Matt Wensing, thanks for coming back on the show.
    Matt Wensing:
    Hey Rob, good to see ya.
    Rob Walling:
    Yeah, it's great to have you back. Folks know you as the founder of Summit, which is at useSummit.com. And you've been on this show, I don't know, three, four, five times. We answered listener questions at one point, I think. We talked through enterprise sales, I think. And then we've talked about your journey with Summit, right? And how the initial launch and then you reroute the code base. And here we are again, this time talking about a pivot. And I'm on your homepage and the H1, gorgeous homepage by the way.
    Matt Wensing:
    Thank you.
    Rob Walling:
    Hired an outside designer for this, I assume?
    Matt Wensing:
    We did. We knew we needed it and they delivered, which was nice.
    Rob Walling:
    Yeah, it's really attractive. Folks should check it out. Use Summit.com And the H1 is build low-code simulations, forecasts, calculators, and it's still flipping. It says Summit Powers engaging apps for sales, marketing and product teams to deploy and use anywhere. Now the last time you were on the show, I would've describ

    • 34 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
638 Ratings

638 Ratings

marty6162 ,

Inspiring stories and actionable advice

I found the podcast 2 years ago when I was just starting my first SaaS(jBoard) and loved the podcast. One of the few podcasts that have inspiring stories and in the meantime many shows contain actionable advice that a founder can apply to their own business. I would also recommend checking out the early episodes, there are a lot of great ones with advice that is applicable even today.

fretzko ,

Essential Listening

I bought Start Small Stay Small a number of years ago and am still a micro-solopreneur. Looking to make the next jump, I started to listen to the podcasts. Rob’s now my treadmill partner as I’m working my way through the podcast history (cure mid-pandemic). It’s grounding, realistic, and aspirational. Thank you for this work and generosity.

Gerads ,

great inspiration

Here to help you get to 1000 reviews. Longtime listener, physician trying to escape the golden handcuffs, balancing a fulltime clinical career without taking venture funding. Terrific founder stories and great insight. Thanks for the amazing content. 🙏🙏
- Gerald (GrepMed)

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