Episode 40: Know When To Quit w/Christopher Hawkins

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In this episode, I answer questions from listeners about why the show is ending, who my favorite guests are, what I’m doing next, and more!

Let me leave you with this letter:

Dear Listener,

It’s been an interesting three years, hasn’t it?

Every other week, I’ve been swallowing down my nervousness, asking someone more accomplished at product than I to spend an hour dispensing free advice, and posting it on the internet.

And every other week, 1,500 of you have been faithfully downloading it, listening to it, sharing it, and putting the advice into action in your own businesses.  That’s amazing to me.

Even more amazing is that episode after episode, you kept showing up.  Despite me being unqualified to host a show about launching software products, you always treated me with respect, like I was one of you, because I am. You’re my people, and I am yours. There’s no show if there are no listeners, and I’m so, so incredibly thankful for your support all this time.

So today, I move on, proud of the work I’ve done on this show, proud of you for having incorporated the advice of this show into your own product efforts, and proud even of my own (admittedly meager) product-launching results.

What’s next for me? First off, I’m not really prepared to talk about those rumors of me doing a freelancing podcast yet, but…when there’s something to talk about, the folks who get my newsletter will be the first to know.

Aside from that, my blog isn’t going anywhere.  I’ll still be around on Twitter.  Those of you who are still freelancing or consulting now about my free course.  None of these things are going away, and neither am I.  I’m just going to be a bit quieter for a while, and focus on the world of freelancing.

And what’s next for you?  With your dreams of making it big with your own product?  You’re going to be just fine.  There are loads of other podcasts out there that will help you get to where you want to go.  You’ve shown yourself to be smart and determined and capable; I have no doubt that you’ll make it.

So, as I move on from Chasing Product, I say to you this one last time:

Until I see you again, my friend,  keep on chasing product.

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Kind Regards,
Christopher Hawkins
Host, Chasing Product, 2013-2016

 

Episode 25.5: Gumroad Small Product Lab Winner, D.J. Coffman

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DJ Coffman joins the show today. We talk about DJ winning the recent Gumroad Small Product Lab challenge. We also discuss his journey from being a young artist to becoming an experienced cartoonist. Currently, DJ has a best-of-both worlds work situation that includes both a stable job, and small product releases.

And of course, we’ll get into detail on what it took to conceive, create and launch a small product in just 10 days.

Small Product Talking Points

  • why a small product matters
  • how “reuse and recycle” is a hack to help you create a small product
  • how to leverage your background for product creation
  • how to deal with distractions

 Show Notes:
Comic Drawing Toolkit For Photoshop
Small Product Lab
Cash for Cartoonists
Hugh MacLeod
Chris Brogan
Steven Pressfield – The War of Art
RECORD & RELEASE – Learn How To Podcast In Just One Day

Episode 2: Delegating Your Bootstrapped Product Efforts w/Ruben Gamez

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Ruben Gamez of Bidsketch joins me on this second episode.  We discuss his journey from freelancer to day job and on to product. We learn what Ruben did right from the very start.  We also learn what practices he’s developed over time.  There’s also some frank talk about the importance of delegating.

Bootstrapped Product Talking Points

  • giving yourself time to develop your domain expertise, be it design or development
  • what it takes to become good at delegating and outsourcing, and what you gain from it
  • respecting your own value, and asking for the money
  • the most important thing Ruben gained after acquiring a competitor
  • how to pick the right writers for your content marketing efforts
  • why “marketing first” was the right approach for Bidsketch

And more, including how Ruben would do pricing differently, and why he avoided letting his personal identity get too deeply imprinted as the public face of his company (here’s a hint: can your business stand on its own if you’re not there?).  

The theme of letting go & delegating comes up throughout this episode.  It’s a practice that benefits Bidsketch as a bootstrapped product startup, and Ruben clearly feels strongly about it.

Bidsketch – Ruben’s bootstrapped product; create professional client proposals in minutes
The Business of SoftwareEric Sink‘s book that inspired an entire generation of bootstrappers
Patrick McKenzie – author of many fantastic and educational marketing blog posts over at Kalzumeus
Peldi’s blog – founder of Balsamiq, all-around nice guy and fantastic marketer

Episode 1: From Freelancer to Bootstrapped Product Launch w/Rob Walling

Hi there! To help Chasing Product grow, please take a moment to visit iTunes and give the show a 5-star rating. Thanks!

I’m so grateful to announce that the first episode of Chasing Product is now live.

In this episode, Rob Walling shares what he’s learned while making the transition from freelancing to launching bootstrapped products. We spend a bit of time talking about the mental game of a bootstrapper, then move on to marketing for engineers.

Bootstrapped Product Talking Points

  • Rob’s take on how long it took for him to “own” his bootstrapper-ship,
  • finding people to support & understand your endeavors,
  • coming to understand marketing from an engineering background,
  • why your freelancer marketing skills probably aren’t good enough even if you have some,

and more, including the story of how Rob acquired (not built!) HitTail (a must for any aspiring bootstrapper who considers buying a bootstrapped product instead of building one) and what’s going on with his latest bootstrapped product, GetDrip.

We finish off with concrete, can-do action items for your own bootstrapped product launch. Would you like to walk away from this podcast with nuts-and-bolts actions you can take to move yourself closer to being able to validate or launch a bootstrapped product? Then hold on all the way through to the end, you’ll definitely learn something.

Proper show notes will be up later.

  • Cogeian.com – my consulting firm
  • SmallSpec.com – my bootstrapped product. Painless functional specs in minutes, guaranteed.
  • SoftwareByRob.com – Rob Walling’s bootstrapped product blog
  • StartupsForTheRestOfUs.com – Rob Walling’s bootstrapped product podcast
  • GetDrip.com – Rob Walling’s current bootstrapped product. Use email to convert more visitors to customers.
  • HitTail.com – Rob Walling’s other current bootstrapped product. Guaranteed to increase your organic search traffic.

Getting this first episode out the door has been a lot of work, and I’m thankful to every guest who agreed to come on & record a show. Look forward to more great guests with more wisdom about releasing a bootstrapped product in the coming weeks.