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Launching & Scaling a Side Project

Launching & Scaling a Side Project

Talk given my Mathias & Michele Hansen at Laracon 2017

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Mathias Hansen

July 26, 2017
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  1. Launching & Scaling Your Side Project From Zero to Six

    Figures
  2. Michele Hansen Product Development, The Motley Fool MBA Candidate, Virginia

    Tech @mjwhansen Mathias Hansen Software Engineer, VideoBlocks @mathiashansen
  3. Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen

  4. This presentation • Just as much product & business as

    technical • Examples from our successes... and failures • Tools & motivation! Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  5. Point of View SaaS + ! + our experiences Launching

    & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  6. You are an entrepreneur Launching & Scaling Your Side Project

    | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  7. Yes, you Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen

    | @mathiashansen
  8. 1. Build something you need 2. Build it simply 3.

    Use your advantages Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  9. 1. Build Something You Need Launching & Scaling Your Side

    Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  10. Now put your hands up Launching & Scaling Your Side

    Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  11. Find something that frustrates you ! Launching & Scaling Your

    Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  12. "The hard part isn't the technology — the number one

    failure of the software industry is building the wrong product" — Amazon engineering manager Jesse Watson Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  13. Solve a problem for yourself • You have direct access

    to the customer - you! • You understand the competition • You understand key jobs user hires the product for • You're aware of different activities user is trying to accomplish Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  14. None
  15. Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen

  16. Example: Geocodio We found ourselves in an unserved market Launching

    & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  17. None
  18. Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen

  19. The secret to keeping it going? Launching & Scaling Your

    Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  20. None
  21. Before you let it consume all of your time... •

    Validate your understanding of the problem and interpretation of a solution. Talk to friends or people in the community • If you have a spouse: get their buy-in • Think about the bare-minimum legal & financial stuff: LLC, tax ID, bank account, etc. Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  22. LAUNCHING: FINANCIAL Item Cost LLC $100.00 Tax ID free Operating

    agreement free Stripe set-up free Bank account free Total $100.00 Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  23. If you build something that solves a problem for you,

    worst case you’re no longer frustrated and you've made yourself more efficient Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  24. Use it as a learning experience • Play with new

    technologies • Dive into things you haven't done before: • Devops • Marketing • Sales • Product • Customer service • User experience • ... Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  25. 2. Build It Simply Launching & Scaling Your Side Project

    | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  26. What is your MVP? Minimum Viable Product Launching & Scaling

    Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  27. LAUNCHING: PRODUCT Take shortcuts • Use off-the-shelf libraries • Twitter

    Bootstrap theme • Don't spend hours on a logo • ...or on a name • Even though it's very tempting Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  28. spark.laravel.com * We were not paid to say this Launching

    & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  29. None
  30. People are mean Don't listen to them Launching & Scaling

    Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  31. Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen

  32. None
  33. None
  34. Geocodio API + Paywall = Done Launching & Scaling Your

    Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  35. LAUNCHING: PRODUCT + MARKETING January 2014 • A straightforward API

    with two endpoints • A dashboard to manage: • API Keys • Billing • Simple usage stats • Hacker News • Google Analytics Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  36. None
  37. None
  38. LAUNCHING: ARCHITECTURE Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen

    | @mathiashansen
  39. LAUNCHING: INFRASTRUCTURE • The bare necessities • Don't build for

    success Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  40. Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen

  41. SCALING: INFRASTRUCTURE Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen

    | @mathiashansen
  42. Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen

  43. Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen

  44. Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen

  45. Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen

  46. Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen

  47. Launching geocod.io Item Cost Domain name $49.00 SSL Certificate $15.00

    Hosting $10.00 Total $74.00 Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  48. You can only charge as much as the market can

    absorb so build as economically as you can Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  49. None
  50. Pricing is hard. Launching & Scaling Your Side Project |

    @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  51. LAUNCHING: PRICING • Competition • What can customers pay? •

    How do they want to pay? • Your costs Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  52. Price is a signal to users and is just as

    important as features and low price is not always the best Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  53. SCALING: PRICING • Corporate customers are way more reliable •

    More customers, more jobs = more variations of pricing & billing Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  54. Example: Geocodio Unlimited $750/month Launching & Scaling Your Side Project

    | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  55. SCALING: The biz side • Taxes • Legal stuff (liability

    insurance, will, etc) • Start drawing money Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  56. None
  57. Scaling features Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen

    | @mathiashansen
  58. "You should only consider features if they're willing to stand

    on the porch for three days waiting to be let in" — Getting Real, 37 Signals Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  59. SCALING: PRODUCT & MARKETING • Add features after they've stood

    on the porch • Customer support tool, UX, engagement email • SEO • Targeted ads • Listen to customers for their jobs Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  60. CRASH COURSE: Jobs to Be Done • A person hires

    a product to get a job done • Functional, emotional, social, cognitive, sensory • Know what to build & how to frame Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  61. "Customers are always beautifully, wonderfully dissatisfied, even when they report

    being happy and business is great. Even when they don’t yet know it, customers want something better, and your desire to delight customers will drive you to invent on their behalf. No customer ever asked Amazon to create the Prime membership program, but it sure turns out they wanted it." — Jeff Bezos Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  62. None
  63. Features != ! Launching & Scaling Your Side Project |

    @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  64. Distribution is important and a good product won’t just sell

    itself Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  65. Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen

  66. None
  67. 3. Use Your Advantages

  68. You have no overhead Launching & Scaling Your Side Project

    | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  69. None
  70. @DesTraynor Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen |

    @mathiashansen
  71. When do you go full time? full disclosure: we haven't

    1. Revenue/Salary 2. Competitive advantage of your product 3. How much do you love the problem Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  72. You're plugged into the community • Plenty of free ways

    to get the word out: StackOverflow, Quora, Twitter, Hacker News, etc • Your friends are your beta testers Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  73. Customer support Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen

    | @mathiashansen
  74. Anything can be an advantage • Subject matter expertise --

    or lack thereof • Full-time job • Having kids Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  75. In summation • Build something you need • Build it

    simply • Use your advantages • What to think about before going full time • All of the practical stuff Launching & Scaling Your Side Project | @mjwhansen | @mathiashansen
  76. Questions? @mjwhansen @mathiashansen