Thoughtworks Technology Radar Vol. 24 from a bootstrapper's perspective

While waiting for the new edition of Thoughtwork’s Techonology Radar1 – which should arrive any day now – I thought I’d go over the current, volume 24. What can bootstrappers and solo founders take away from the Technology Radar, which is really aimed at enterprises and larger organisations? Out of the 104 techniques, tools, platforms, frameworks and languages, I have picked three that I found most relevant for bootstrappers and solo-founders. [Read More]

Collecting payments for your bootstrapped SaaS startup

One of the more confusing subjects for me as a startup-founder was payment collection. How do I charge my customers? What is the difference between services like Stripe, Chargebee, Chargify, Paddle, and Fastspring? Disclaimer: This article will sound like an advertisement for Paddle and Fastspring. It is not. I am not getting paid to write this. I am writing from my own experience and my own research. I think Stripe is a great service. [Read More]

Choosing the right tech stack

So, you are a software developer or a tech entrepreneur and want to start your next project. Sooner or later, you need to answer the question: What technology should we be using? Before you try to answer this question, ask yourself one more thing: Is this a project I will be doing primarily for profit, or this a project that I will do primarily for fun and pleasure. If your answer is “for profit”, then the following suggestions apply. [Read More]

Design your feedback loops

Once you start thinking about feedback loops, you will find them everywhere. In nature, your body, your personal life, your professional life, your neighborhood, your city. Everywhere. Feedback loops are incredibly powerful. Their main feature is the power to change the system that is receiving the feedback. A system that is receiving feedback, can and most likely will change over time. What feedback loops are in your life? Have you thought about designing your own feedback loops? [Read More]

It's not rocket science!

When you hear the words “It’s not rocket science what we are trying to do here!”, you are hearing the words of a frustrated person. When I hear this sentence in a software project, I have found the person usually means this: “Why don’t the software developers just implement what the business asked them to do?” “Why do we need another meeting to talk about the requirements?” “Why is this taking so long? [Read More]

A fun way to think about business ideas

Asking the question “Is this a good business idea?” is very different from asking “Is this business idea a good fit for me?”. When I first started out, I only thought about the former. If you actually want to start a business, answering the second question is at least as important! So how do you find an answer to the question “Is this a good fit for me?”. Ask yourself: Is it fun? [Read More]

Rob Wailing's Rule of Thumb for Conversion Rates (Visitor/Trial and Trial/Paid)

From a MicroConf-Talk by Rob Walling, Co-Founder of Drip. The links should take you directly to the relevant parts in the video. ▶️ Rob’s Rule of Thumb (2015) His assumptions: Free trials with credit card up-front. Visitor/Trial conversion rate: 0.7-2.0% (depends on price point) Trial/Paid conversion rate: 40%-60% (lower if no credit card up-front) First 60/90 day churn: 20-40% Post 60/90 day churn: 4-7% ▶️ Positioning your Startup: How to be different Invent a category. [Read More]

Which SaaS Metrics To Watch Daily, Weekly, and Monthly

Are you building a Software-as-a-service (Saas)? Do you wonder if you are tracking the right things? If you came here via Google, then chances are, you are not. Neither did we with ParrotPolls. (Update 2023: If you lead a remote team, then take a look at my new startup, Crunchmetric. It helps you get closer to your team, helps you be aware of problems ahead of time.) tl;dr: If you have less than ~30,000 unique monthly visitors, focus on getting more visitors. [Read More]

Getting started with Google Adwords for (y)our bootstrapped startup

The Problem We recently re-designed the web-site of our little startup, ParrotPolls. (Update 2023: I founded Crunchmetric, which is the perfect tool to improve your team. It’s for the teams themselves, not the HR-department.) Anyhow: Now we’re ready to launch our first1 AdWords-campaign. The problem is: how to do that? From our real first attempt, we already know that simply creating an Adwords campaign and expecting people to signup for a trial account is not a good goal, it’s just not feasible. [Read More]