Sustainability + Opensource = Win

I really like this sort of manifesto from Bruno (an open source alternative to Postman, Insomnia, ++) – which is a API testing tool. Building useful open source tools or products is generally a labor of love (= Github Stars), but sometimes the love fades (= Github Forks), and inevitably no one wins (= Github Unfollow). As an open source developer, and consumer is to have zero expectations – I got this product for “free” and I am sharing this product for “free” is generally part of my ambitions.

However, many consumers of open source software want to the product to grow and thrive at that free tier which is more often than not unreasonable. This sus up some options around the lifecycle surrounding open source and what consumers, and developers should expect. read more

Golf Shaft Labels

This was a short lived, fun start up idea I had around creating personalized and custom stickers for golf clubs. The idea was spurred as a culmination of three problems:

First, leaving a club out on the course somewhere is very common and easy to do, but getting the club back … is not as easy. Often you only find out that you lost it days, or weeks later, and then having to call the golf course, describe the club, day, and location that it was lost, is a tedious and stressful job. when a set of clubs can cost well over $1,000 and a replacement often costing around $120. By having at least your name, and optionally your phone number on the club, it dramatically increases the chances of you getting your lost item back. read more

Simple Math to Setup a Sales Team

Simple Math to Set Up a Sales Team

Let’s say you’re a SaaS founder who’s looking to build a sales team for the first time. How do you structure quotas and compensation for the initial sales reps and their manager? Oftentimes, the biggest hurdle in hiring the first sales rep is not knowing how to incentivize them. This post provides simple rules that you can use to set up a sales team. Structured properly, the process is surprisingly mathematical.

Individual Plans

Let’s start with the sales plan for an individual sales rep, or “account executive” (AE). The key elements of an AE sales plan are:

  • Base Salary; 
  • Quota; 
  • Commission Rate; 
  • Variable Pay (Quota times Commission Rate); and 
  • OTE (“on-target earnings”), the sum of the AE’s Base Salary and Variable Pay. 

This sounds like a lot of variables, but two industry standards allow us to simplify greatly:  read more

Do Things That Don’t Scale

One of the most common types of advice we give at Y Combinator is to do things that don’t scale. A lot of would-be founders believe that startups either take off or don’t. You build something, make it available, and if you’ve made a better mousetrap, people beat a path to your door as promised. Or they don’t, in which case the market must not exist.

Acquiring your first 1,000 users

My biggest takeaways from this research:

  • Just seven strategies account for every consumer apps’ early growth.
  • Most startups found their early users from just a single strategy. A few like Product Hunt and Pinterest found success using a handful. No one found success from more than three.
  • The most popular strategies involve going to your user directly — online, offline, and through friends. Doing things that don’t scale.
  • To execute on any of these strategies, it’s important to first narrowly define your target user. Andy Johns recently shared some great advice about this.
  • The tactics that you use to get your first 1,000 users are very different from your next 10,000. A topic for a different post.
  • read more

    Naming a business …

    When Kat was setting up her Laser Cutting business, we struggled to pick a name. Taking a more objective approach to the problem, we found some resources that could help. us decide on the right one.

    Spark fresh
    Wet kitty/drykitty – xxx
    Anchor cat
    Robot might be too impersonal or not crafty