A Software Business on 5 Hours a Week

A Software Business on 5 Hours a Week

Running a software business part-time and building systems to help do the marketing for you.

My (patio11's) presentation at Microconf 2011.

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Patrick McKenzie

April 16, 2011
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Transcript

  1. 3.

    The Big Idea  $60 budget  1 week schedule

     Big Hairy Audacious Goal: $200 a month
  2. 8.

    $0.00 $100.00 $200.00 $300.00 $400.00 $500.00 $600.00 $700.00 $800.00 $900.00

    $1,000.00 7/2006 8/2006 9/2006 10/2006 11/2006 12/2006 1/2007 2/2007 3/2007 4/2007 5/2007 6/2007 Sales In First 12 Months
  3. 9.

    AdWords, Halloween, Google… Oh My! $0.00 $500.00 $1,000.00 $1,500.00 $2,000.00

    $2,500.00 7/2006 8/2006 9/2006 10/2006 11/2006 12/2006 1/2007 2/2007 3/2007 4/2007 5/2007 6/2007 7/2007 8/2007 9/2007 10/2007 Sales Through Halloween '07
  4. 10.

    A Brief Aside About EMDs • Mini-sites targeted at individual

    customer needs: $200 + $10 per year (~$500 for this one, for the domain) • Exact match domains (“halloween bingo cards”.{com|net|org}) • Declining part of my strategy, but still print money three times a year. • Why lease traffic when you can get it for free?
  5. 16.

    $0.00 $1,000.00 $2,000.00 $3,000.00 $4,000.00 $5,000.00 $6,000.00 $7,000.00 7/2006 8/2006

    9/2006 10/2006 11/2006 12/2006 1/2007 2/2007 3/2007 4/2007 5/2007 6/2007 7/2007 8/2007 9/2007 10/2007 11/2007 12/2007 1/2008 2/2008 3/2008 4/2008 5/2008 6/2008 7/2008 8/2008 9/2008 10/2008 11/2008 12/2008 1/2009 2/2009 3/2009 4/2009 5/2009 6/2009 7/2009 8/2009 9/2009 10/2009 11/2009 12/2009 1/2010 2/2010 3/2010 4/2010 5/2010 6/2010 7/2010 8/2010 9/2010 10/2010 11/2010 12/2010 1/2011 2/2011 3/2011 4/2011 5/2011 Sales To Date
  6. 19.

    Charge More  Programmers consistently underprice. Double it, then go

    higher.  Avoid pathological customers by charging more.  Revenue is dominated by customers on most expensive plan spending other people’s money.  Recurring revenue is the best kind.
  7. 20.

    Make Web Applications  Faster iteration.  Easier support. 

    Dramatically higher conversion rates.  Recurring revenue is the best kind.  Better tracking of actual use than MiniPeace.
  8. 21.

    Figure Out SEO  Free traffic from interested people =

    free money.  Single best thing you can do for SEO: create a reason why people who do not buy your software should cite your website anyhow.  Second single best thing: create a system which makes content at scale.
  9. 23.

    Optimize. Everything.  All factors in success of a software

    business are multiplicative.  A/B testing: 5% increase in conversion rate, once per month, is ~70% increase in revenue per year.  A/B testing is cheap & easy to get started with.  More advanced: funnel optimization, first-run experience, etc.
  10. 27.

    Stuff To Automate Routine customer support tasks Drudgery – license

    generation, keyword analysis, etc Server maintenance/monitoring
  11. 29.

    The Big Idea: Scalable Content Generation  Automate production of

    high-quality pages responsive to specific user needs, around a template and/or data source.  Outsource the production of text for those pages.  ????  Profit!
  12. 33.

    It Really Works Baby Shower $6,870.00 Halloween $4,230.00 Valentines Day

    $3,600.00 Christmas $2,520.00 St Patrick's Day $1,890.00 Summer $1,680.00 Easter $1,470.00 Cinco De Mayo $1,170.00 Addition 1 To 10 $960.00 Thanksgiving $600.00 Christmas (Seasonal) $600.00 Football $570.00 Multiplication 1 To 10 $510.00 Mother's Day $450.00 Back to School $390.00 Periodic Table Of Elements $360.00 4th of July $330.00 Spring $270.00 Women Of The Bible $270.00 Winter $270.00 Nutrition $270.00 Geometry $240.00 Autumn $210.00 Careers $210.00 Fraction Multiplications $180.00 • Total sales: $39,270 • Total investment: $3,000 • 251 activities / 942 have generated sales • Top selling activity: I didn’t even know people did that. And 226 More!
  13. 34.

    Stuff To Eliminate  Checking Google Analytics 37 times per

    day Worrying about competition  Development which does not meet demonstrable customer needs – see Lean Startup
  14. 35.

    Thanks for Listening  Blog at http://www.kalzumeus.com  Slides will

    be posted. See @patio11  Send me email. I love chatting about this. patrick@kalzumeus.com