Episode 39: Your Product Business Is An Asset w/Glenn Stovall

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Consultant and freelance developer Glenn Stovall joins the show to talk about how he diversified into the product business. We cover the idea of products as a long-term play, the true nature of a launch, and shadow work!

Bootstrapped Product Talking Points

  • Why a product business launch is a process, not an event
  • Why products won’t earn like services – and that’s OK
  • Adjusting from service sales to product sales
  • How pulling back on scale can help you ship
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 Show Notes:
Dependable: Deliver Software on Time and On Budget – Glenn’s new book
Special deal on Dependable for Chasing Product listeners
Glenn on Twitter
Gumroad
Small Product Lab
30×500
Amy Hoy – creator of 30×500, previous Chasing Product guest
Spin Selling
Drip – Lightweight Marketing Automation That Doesn’t Suck
Marketing for Developers
Justin Jackson
Majestic SEO – Marketing Search Engine & Backlink Checker
Thrive Themes – Conversion-Focused WordPress themes
Editflow – editorial calendar for scheduling blog posts
Audience Ops – content marketing service & tools
Brian Casel – founder of AudienceOps, previous Chasing Product guest
Remarq – create stunning documents from Markdown in seconds
Stripe – oh, come on, you know what Stripe is!
War of Art – book about winning the inner creative battle, by Steven Pressfield
Do The Work – overcome Resistance and get out of your own way, by Steven Pressfield

Glenn didn’t start out in the product business.  Like many of us, he started out working in an agency.  After taking a 5-year long “semester off” from college, he found himself in an agency position, managing other developers.  After later making his way into his own business, Glenn spent 3 productive years freelancing before considering launching a product business.

Glenn learned about the importance of scope in the product business after participating in the Gumroad Small Product Lab.  His initial product was going to be a Saas app but he reduced the scope and launched a book instead. This product would serve as seed material when he launched Dependable a year later, providing more valuable experience and asset-building for Glenn’s product business.

We talk about the disconnect between the skills needed for service business sales and product business sales.  Glenn points out that product is a long-term game, and that it won’t earn the same money in an immediate time frame that services will.  We talk about how building a product business is like building an asset, and the fringe benefits that come from having product on the market.

Glenn shares his basic marketing stack with us, and talks about some of his go-to moves for growing his product business.  Then he caps off the interview by sharing 3 action items for his fellow founders.

Episode 25: Build Something Small, Build Something Now w/Justin Jackson

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mijustin-start-small
Justin Jackson joins the show today. From hacking on a Vic 20 to releasing multiple products and podcasts, Justin has done a lot! More importantly, he’s figured out a lot about how to make small products work.

In this episode, we talk about Justin’s experience with audience selection, message amplification, getting traction with small products, and more.

Bootstrapped Product Talking Points

  • why you should build something small, NOW
  • why you should hang out with your audience every day
  • how to look for patterns to tailor products around
  • how to start with info-products without jumping the gun

 Show Notes:
Marketing for Developers – A guide to marketing your software, apps, and digital products
Product People Club – Daily stand-ups and community for solopreneurs
Amplification – Creating great content isn’t enough; to get it seen by thousands, you need amplification.
Product Hunt Handbook – Learn how to effectively launch your own product on Product Hunt.
Build & Launch – Build and launch your own product
Product People Podcast – A podcast focused on great products and the people who make them
Justin Jackson on Twitter

James Altucher (remember the 1% rule!)
Getting Real, 37signals
Jason Fried
Designer news
Designer subreddit

Episode 4: Software Product Marketing & Design w/Brian Casel

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Ready for more talk about bootstrapping? Brian Casel joins us for the 4th episode.  We talk about Brian’s experience developing and releasing 2 Saas apps (and more!). We also get to cover some practical aspects of keeping on track through a bootstrapped product launch. As if that weren’t enough, Brian and I also cover some good nuts-and-bolts material regarding software product marketing & design, planning your work, and more.

Bootstrapped Product Talking Points

  • how Brian’s new book can help bootstrappers understand – and benefit from – the marriage of software product marketing & design,
  • the importance of planning your work and patience,
  • allowing yourself to develop as a professional before going out on your own,
  • why copywriting is absolutely critical to a bootstrapper
  • the new direction Brian plans for his freelancing work

Brian also shares 3 concrete action items that he recommends to aspiring bootstrappers looking to move measurably closer to their own bootstrapped product launch (and dovetail with your software product marketing needs).

Speaking as an aspiring bootstrapper, I found Brian’s interview answers really valuable.  In particular, Brian’s dedication to planning his goals out ahead of time really speaks to me.  This is a practice I already use with my consulting projects, and for some odd reason I haven’t fully applied this practice to my product endeavors.  Have you?

Design for Conversions – Brian’s new book about software product marketing & design
ThemeJam – Brian’s first bootstrapped product business; premium WP/e-mail/website themes
Casjam.com – Brian’s personal blog
RestuarantEngine – Brian’s bootstrapped product; a Saas site-builder for restaurants
SweetProcess – Brian’s other bootstrapped product; a Saas app for documenting your procedures and systemizing your business

FreelanceSwitch – Freelance Advice and Freelance Jobs
Mixergy – Learn from proven entrepreneurs
Public Beta – an online learning community for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs
StartupsForTheRestOfUs – Rob Walling’s bootstrapper podcast
Adii Ienaar – co-founder of WooThemes
StudioPress – Premium WP themes
Jason Shuller – Creator of Press75
Evernote
The T-Shaped Web Marketer (via Moz)
The Cascading To-Do List (how to get BIG things done) – how Brian makes things happen with his work
SmallSpec – Christopher’s bootstrapped product for painless functional specs; join the launch list