Ruben Gamez (Bidsketch)
Covers the whole spectrum of Ruben’s journey from side projects to a newly-minted self-sustaining bootstrapped company.
Corey Maass (The Birdy)
Corey’s story is impressive and shows the efforts required to bootstrap.
Ted Pitts & Harry Hollander (Moraware)
Some real truths. Great story about two seasoned micropreneurs building a biz slow and steady.
Michael Sliwinski (Nozbe)
About how he was able to bootstrap a “scratch your own itch” side project into a successful startup that employs a dozen people and services tens of thousands of paying customers.
Amy Hoy (Freckle)
About how she was able to free herself from the shackles of full-time employment and escape the stress of the freelancing hamster wheel by developing her own online product empire.
Rob Walling (HitTail Part 1)
Original episode about the acquisition of HitTail.
Rob Walling (HitTail Part 2)
Post mortem of HitTail’s success.
Bootstraporn might be another way to spell it!
In the past month and a half, I have listened to all 110 episodes [of TechZing]. Here are my thoughts:
The Show Name
In my opinion, you were committed to the name with the first link/mention pointing to TechZing. All the discussion about it got kinda old but in retrospect it is one of the aspects of the show I like the best. I got to listen in on your struggles about the name and your decision making process (more on that later).
It is a great idea, and I like the choice of guests. This is the “Zing” part of the show.
Straying off Tech Topics
You seem to have a good balance. The non-tech topics, for the most part, do interest me. More “Zing” parts.
Build vs Reuse
You most often talk about this with regard to frameworks. In different ways, you both advocate writing your own framework. You have both been coding for a long time and I think you forget what it is not to know all that you know. For me, I started using a framework (Codeigniter) about a year ago because the possibilities for coding were too vast and I felt lost. The framework gave me some structure that was built on what others had learned. I may not understand all the reasons it helps or hurts yet but at least it gives me a reasonable direction.
Justin and Jason Projects
This is the BEST part of the show. I get the sense that you feel a little guilty asking guests about your own projects. However, this is where I learn the most. The rest of the stuff on the Internet tries to distill everything down to THE answer. But as you have mentioned, there is no ONE answer. When you ask about your own projects or discuss them with each other, I get to listen in on the decision making process.
Get a panel of guests and use the whole show to discuss all aspects of a single project (yours or some other struggling startup). Discuss marketing, pricing, freeium vs trials, payments, technologies, A/B testing, revenues, costs, professional help (accounting, legal, business entities), etc… It would be like a case study.
Thanks for the show!
End of guest post. If you haven’t heard TechZing and you’re looking for a totally new type of tech podcast we invite you to check it out at http://techzinglive.com
We both have Macs (and did the same thing when we both had PC’s).
Jason’s mic (at the time of writing this is a standard Plantronics skype headset) Justin’s mic is a combination of Centric Mic Port Pro, Sure Headset Mic & Sony Headphones. The headphones were chosen because they are light and can be comfortably worn with the Sure headset. Jason will soon be switching to the same mic combo.
During the shows we talk to each other using Skype. Justin records the audio using Audio Hijack Pro. As a redundant backup we also record the show using Call Recorder at the same time (on both sides).
Audio Hijack Pro is setup to record audio into two separate mono audio files. One file is a direct input of Justin’s mic recorded to raw aiff. The other file is a recording of skype’s input also recorded as raw aiff.
Editing & Processing
After the files are recorded both are processed via Levelator. Just drag and drop files onto it. Then two output files are created. Those files are imported into Mackie Tracktion 3 where the show is edited removing any drops or static. Another part of the editing is removing the cross talk so that it sounds like the conversation flows naturally.
When editing the show both tracks have the Mackie filter “Final Mix” on them and then the same filter is used again for the master output (so it’s used 3 times). It is used for split band compression and dynamic limiting. Also both tracks have dynamics processors on them to stop any clipping and also as a gate to only allow noise above n-DB (test for best results) to be heard (eliminates background noise during silence for either track).
The track is then rendered directly as mp3 with 128 mbps with normalize set to true.
Then the artwork and id3 tags are added to the .mp3 using Jaikoz. Then the mp3 is uploaded to Soundcloud. Finally a post is added to techzinglive.com. techzinglive.com uses WordPress and a hacked version Burbery Podpress for podcast publishing. The hack is to enable soundcloud player to work on the website. There is also a cheeky URL 301 redirect from http://techzinglive.com/mp3/techzing-<SHOW#>.mp3 –> http://soundcloud/techzing/techzing-<SHOW#>/download/ to enable us to abstract file location.
After recording 87 episodes of TechZing it occurred to me that we now have a goldmine of audio information about how to start a successful bootstrapped web app business. I’ve assembled our best shows on the subject into an 12 hour audio seminar!
If you are really serious about going out on your own, leaving your day job, and starting your very own successful web app business you owe it to yourself to listen. Each show is an interview with a guest about their successful business. As they tell their story each entrepreneur teaches us valuable lessons. I’ve grouped shows into over arching themes to make them easy to navigate.
Deciding on an Idea
If you’re just starting out and need to decide what your new business will be these shows have some very useful information. Also check out the Patrick Mckenzie interview in the marketing section.
Building Your Idea
One of the reasons why web apps fail is because they look bad and are difficult to use. This interview with Luke can help you build a product that is more likely to be successful because of a better UI.
Launching & Marketing Your Idea
Once you’ve built your app you need to start bringing in customers. These interviews have lots of information about how to go about that!
Turning Your Idea Into a $1m+ Business
Once your app is turning over a few thousand dollars a month you might want to think about turning it into a larger business. Here’s two interviews with entrepreneurs who did exactly that, and share their lessons learned.
What To Do After You’ve Made Millions
Once you’ve built a company and sold it for more than $20 million what do you do? Derek Sivers muses on this question with us in this excellent interview.
Justin and Jason interview guest Patrick Foley, host of the Startup Success Podcast, about his background as a software developer and his love of startups, why and how he got started as a podcaster, his role as a Microsoft ISV Architect Evangelist, Jason Cohen’s new startup WP Engine, the benefits of Azure as a scalable web platform and the power of the story in conveying ideas and understanding.
Justin and Jason host return guests and show favorites Pete Michaud and Rob Walling for an experimental panel episode. Some of the topics discussed include scaling via automation, finding and managing freelancers, building a content business vs a software business, Pete’s Goal Mapping web app, the obsession of a new project (The Madness), the relative strengths of blogging and podcasting, the format of Rob’s podcast Startups for the Rest of Us and the value of growing an audience.
Justin and Jason discuss the BATF (big ass text file) method of storing information, building a beta email list for AppIgnite, Jason’s new blog Codus Operandi and Justin’s new blog JustinVincent.com, whether Twitter is worth the time and how to build a following when you’re not famous, why Swarm needs to be an everything app and not just an iPad app, why you should display your picture on your blog, using IndieGoGo for fund-raising, whether outsourcing email or tweets is a bad thing, blog posts about TechZing by Udi Mosayev and Karan Vasudeva, a La Critique of CodeBoff.in, a status update on Pluggio and AppIgnite, pricing and marketing possibilities for AppIgnite and why you should start marketing the day you start coding.