12 episodes

The Longcut breaks down the illusion of the overnight success by sharing the stories of those who have successfully created, launched, and grown software businesses to solve a problem.

In the fiercely competitive world of SaaS, Ryan introduces you to the brilliant minds behind the businesses we admire. You’ll hear perils and pitfalls, stories of staggering success, candid conversations, and what drives these owners, entrepreneurs, and innovators forward. Key themes we’ll explore include product validation, getting your first customers, how much of a MVP to develop, how to know when an idea is worth pursuing, how to run a SaaS company, tactical insights into creating an MVP, what to do if you don’t have a technical co-founder and any other of your SaaS related questions.

If you like Akimbo by Seth Godin, Tropical MBA, SaaStr, Startups for the Rest of Us, Rework, or the Startup Chat, you’ll love The Longcut

The Longcut: A SaaS Business Podcast Ryan Crispin Heneise | SaaS Entrepreneur | Web Product Architect | Father

    • Business
    • 5.0, 8 Ratings

The Longcut breaks down the illusion of the overnight success by sharing the stories of those who have successfully created, launched, and grown software businesses to solve a problem.

In the fiercely competitive world of SaaS, Ryan introduces you to the brilliant minds behind the businesses we admire. You’ll hear perils and pitfalls, stories of staggering success, candid conversations, and what drives these owners, entrepreneurs, and innovators forward. Key themes we’ll explore include product validation, getting your first customers, how much of a MVP to develop, how to know when an idea is worth pursuing, how to run a SaaS company, tactical insights into creating an MVP, what to do if you don’t have a technical co-founder and any other of your SaaS related questions.

If you like Akimbo by Seth Godin, Tropical MBA, SaaStr, Startups for the Rest of Us, Rework, or the Startup Chat, you’ll love The Longcut

    011: How to build an MVP | Ryan Heneise

    011: How to build an MVP | Ryan Heneise

    Episode 011: How to Build an MVP
    Welcome, Episode 11 of the Longcut Podcast, where we're busy poking holes in the myth of the overnight success.
    I'm your host Ryan, and today we're doing something a little bit different.
    I don't have a guest today; instead, I thought it would be fun to talk about MVPs and let you in on some of the secrets that we use to successfully create brand-new web products.
    I also want to give you an update on the podcast, because I'm going to be changing the format a little bit.
    It turns out, making a podcast is really time-consuming. In the past couple of weeks, I've had a little bit of a hard time balancing my regular job, which is building MVPs with my agency Booster Stage, and landing new leads for the podcast, doing interviews, etc. all that goes into producing great content. I'm not going to lie, I got a little behind.
    So, dear listeners, I hope you'll forgive me, but I'm going to take a couple of weeks sabbatical from the podcast to catch my breath.
    When we come back, I'm thinking about doing a seasonal model, where we'll record a series of episodes around a particular topic affecting startups.
    I'm also going to move to a biweekly publishing schedule, just to be kind to myself.
    I'd love to know what you think about that, and if you have any thoughts on what kind of topics you'd like to hear about, email me at Ryan@thelongcut.fm.
    Now, let's talk about how to create an MVP.
    To read the whole article, head on over to https://boosterstage.net/articles/how-to-create-an-mvp/

    • 9 min
    010: Selling Your Byproducts | Nathaniel Talbott

    010: Selling Your Byproducts | Nathaniel Talbott

    Takeaways: Sell Your Byproducts: Sometimes you have to operate a particular business for a while to recognize that a hole that exists in the market. If you're watching for it, you may realize that the hole is more valuable than the business you're actually operating. Don't be afraid of a big pivot. Spreedly started out as a subscription management service, similar to Stripe. Several years into it, they realized that what customers really wanted was a way to store credit cards in a PCI-compliant payment vault. They eventually decided to sell the subscription product, which had until then been their bread and butter. What are your customers telling you?  Your customers are talking to you; listen to what they have to say. It's tempting, especially for startup founders, to double down on what we perceive is the problem that needs to be solved. Instead, open up to the idea that you may be wrong, or that there may be something that you haven't thought of yet. Full shownotes: https://thelongcut.fm/nathaniel-talbott Links mentioned in this episode: Spreedly @ntalbott @spreedly

    • 38 min
    009: The Long, Slow SaaS Ramp of Growth | Mason Hale

    009: The Long, Slow SaaS Ramp of Growth | Mason Hale

    Today on the Longcut we’re talking with Mason Hale. Mason is the founder of TeamTopia. TeamTopia’s flagship product is SwimTopia, which helps teams streamline and manage the logistics of running a swim team.
    Proactively narrow down your niche audience. Many entrepreneurs have a product or service that they try to apply to as large of an audience as possible. Instead, niche down and narrow your focus - you can’t meet the needs of everyone, everywhere. You’ll be enabled to communicate and connect with your market in a way that is really hard to do if you're trying to do it all.
    Charge your customers right away. Don’t have reservations about asking your customers to pay for your idea - build something that they will pay for, as is. If no one is willing to pay upfront for what you’re providing, it’s a critical sign that your business will not be self-sustaining in the long run.
    Don't take failures personally. Business owners are wired to be emotionally attached to their enterprises. The kind of people who are attracted to the entrepreneurial life tend to be final decision makers - but not knowing how to disperse responsibility leads to hypersensitivity. Don’t let your identity get overly wrapped up in what you're doing, as these pride-laden mistakes hurt efficiency and the bottom line.
    Links and resources mentioned in this episode. Swimtopia.com @masonhale Navigating the long, slow SaaS ramp of death

    • 44 min
    008: Do You Need a Startup Accelerator? | Kevin Koym

    008: Do You Need a Startup Accelerator? | Kevin Koym

    Takeaways: What to look for in a venture accelerator. Much of the value in the top-tier programs—the most famous and sought-after accelerators like Y-Combinator and TechStars—has to do with the halo effect. You'll have contact and mentorship opportunities with people who can really help move your business forward. Second-tier programs can also offer a lot of value in the community. Beware of programs whose primary emphasis is on the mechanics and structure of the business process.
    Entrepreneurship is a skill that can be learned. The post-industrial economy is here. Many corporate jobs are migrating to outsourced skilled labor. This is going to necessitate the learning of very diverse skillsets by self-employed people and entrepreneurs who are working increasingly in a decentralized and meshed economic environment. Full Shownotes: https://thelongcut.fm/kevin-koym Links mentioned in this episode: TechRanch Austin Venture Forth.co @TechRanch KevinKoym.com @kkoym Kevin Koym on LinkedIn Youtube is the modern day Gutenberg press

    • 41 min
    007: In Search of the Perfect Business Model | Allan Branch

    007: In Search of the Perfect Business Model | Allan Branch

    Takeaways: Beware of entrepreneurial enthusiasm. It can definitely drive your momentum in the early days, but it can also be exhausting. Do ride the wave when you catch it. But channel that energy into creating a sustainable business that will continue beyond the initial wave of entrepreneurial enthusiasm. Younger entrepreneurs may have a longer wave to ride; as we get a little older, and especially once we begin a family, it’s important to balance our energy. It might be tempting to work 14-hour days for a while when you’re single and unattached, but it’s not ok to do that for very long when you have a family. That’s not to say that if you missed the wave of entrepreneurial enthusiasm in your youth, the opportunity is passed. Far from it: a recent study published by the Harvard Business Review found that the average age of a successful startup founder is 45. Build products that have a high value. Even though accounting software is the backbone of any business, Allan and Steve found that business owners, especially freelancers, who they targeted at first, were surprisingly price conscious about the cost of their accounting software. The problem, Allan thought, was that freelancers chronically undervalue their time. Since they didn’t have a healthy value on their time, they would have rathered spend 2 extra hours doing bookkeeping instead of paying $30/month for an easier solution.

    There is no perfect business model. Every business involves work. Don't make the mistake of thinking that a SaaS business, or a marketing business, or some other business that’s marketed as “turnkey” is going to make you in a way that you don't have to work for it. The only perfect business model is one that lets you work your way out of your job. The goal of every founder should be to be a business owner, rather than an employee in the business. Full Shownotes: https://thelongcut.fm/allan-branch Links mentioned in this episode: LessEverything LessAccounting Ben Franklin Effect @AllanBranch on Twitter Our Little Warehome on the Lowes Home Improvement YouTube channel

    • 38 min
    006: Is Your Next Business a Productized Service? | Brian Casel

    006: Is Your Next Business a Productized Service? | Brian Casel

    Takeaways: Whether you realize it or not, you’re modeling entrepreneurship to your kids. That’s a good thing. Brian was an entrepreneur before he knew he was an entrepreneur. His upbringing in many ways prepared him for a career of self-employment. For all you parents out there listening; take this lesson to heart: don’t be afraid to bring your kids into your confidence about your business. The lessons you’ll teach them just by watching you will change the way they see the world, and will probably inform their own career choices.

    Entrepreneurial enthusiasm is the fuel that drives us. Brian experimented with several different businesses, and you can still hear his enthusiasm for those early wins. Small things, like getting his first customer, and earning his first $59 from his Wordpress theme, were like gas in his entrepreneurial engine.

    Productized services can be easier to launch than SaaS products. A productized service is a service that you offered in a tightly defined package. There’s not a lot of variation in the process of what you do from one customer to another, although the outcome - whatever it is you deliver to the client - is unique to them. AudienceOps is a great example of a productized service: they provide custom content production. Although the content that they develop for each customer is unique, the process is the same, and so it can be done very efficiently. Brian was able to launch AudienceOps very quickly without having to build any infrastructure up front (that came later).

    The only way to get it right is to get it wrong a whole bunch of times. You have to be willing to risk getting it wrong; otherwise, you’ll never start. Start something small, launch it, see what you learned, and then improve your approach for the next time. That’s how you work up the ladder to success. Full Shownotes: https://thelongcut.fm/brian-casel Links mentioned in this episode: Audience Ops Ops Calendar Big Snow Tiny Conf Bootstrapped Web Podcast Productize Podcast FounderCafe ProductizeAndScale.com

    • 43 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
8 Ratings

8 Ratings

NTalbott7 ,

Myths are fun, but how about some reality

It's one thing to intellectually understand that most of the stories we hear about entrepreneurship are more parallel construction than they are real stories, it's another to hear straight from real entrepreneurs about the long and winding road that 99.9% of successful businesses actually walk. Ryan does a great job interviewing entrepreneurs and drawing out "the rest of the story", and you'll find a reality check here if you're about to start something, and strength for the road if you're five years in and wondering if you're ever going to "make it." Put your headphones in and get a nourishing meal of founder soul food.

Shezebelle ,

Listen! Learn to be lucky!!

Do you want to succeed in life, in SaaS business, as an entrepreneur? Listen to this podcast. Luck is where preparation meets opportunity. Shark Tank, internet marketing gurus, American Idol and The Voice… so many stories crafted to say, "Success is random and instant! Just be born lucky and talented and you'll get picked and you'll win!" Only the world has never, does not now, and will never work that way. It doesn't even work that way for the winners of those shows — they just edit it to seem that way. Overnight success is a myth. The quest for instant gratification leads to nowhere. Luck is a thing, but there are two parts to it: preparation and opportunity. In this podcast, Ryan's thoughtful and pleasant interview style brings out the real story: how success can be built, one day at a time. He focuses on the "preparation" part of the luck equation better than anyone! A must-listen podcast.

Jeff Mansell ,

A new favorite

Just found this new podcast and I love it. The subject matter is interviews with successful software business owners and how they got to where they are today. A lot of new podcasts go through some growing pains at the beginning, but the first few episodes of this one have been great. The host, Ryan, knows why we're here and keeps his questions and his guests focused on talking about the mistakes and the good decisions they've made in their businesses, but manages to still make the episodes feel like a narrative that's easy to follow. Great start, keep up the good work.

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