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Ask HN: How to sell your app/side project while working full-time?
239 points by bradtx on Aug 2, 2017 | hide | past | favorite | 95 comments
As in B2B sales, where nearly all potential clients are only open Monday - Friday.

Automate as much as possible. Payments ? Slap a stripe checkout form (unless you happen to be in a country where Stripe is still not supported) or Paypal for others.

Onboarding: Make it as easy and smooth as possible for clients to get started after signinup. Show them exactly where and how to start.

Documentation & FAQ: Create tons of it. If a client has a question, thy should be able to resolve it through your documentation for the most part. Don't let little simple questions to come to you EVERY time.

Setup a Support Ticket system and only answer via emails/support ticket for questions that cannot be resolved via your documentation. If a client is not aware of documentation, point them to it before answering the same question again and again.

Get a decent smartphone and answer the tickets/email through that. You could even do it sitting at your desk or during lunch break

If you absolutely need to schedule phone calls, schedule them during lunch break and find a relatively quiet place where you can talk. If not quiet enough, tell the client that you are travelling and they may hear background noise. As long as it is not a screeching train, clients won't mind specially if you already told them.

Hustle. Do whatever it takes to get the first few clients except illegal activity of course. You may have to cross a few lines at work (lying about lunch plans etc) but I personally think those are reasonable to do.

exactly this, kinda. https://onlyusedtesla.com/ I make like $100/day and have 1 online dealer who pays me $500/month. I do all the support on FB messenger. I am working on a better FAQ (have to hire a subject matter expert) on used tesla cars. I launched the MVP using WP, now gonna up the product stack to some new VueJS. I fooled a lotta people using WP for validation. I accept Stripe or Paypal. Main thing is im making money, may not be much but still. I have a google voice number for phone calls.

Forgive me for asking but how is the site making $100/day while it's in the free beta phase?

I charge $100 / sold vehicle. Dealer and private owner. I need to grab market share then flip it to $100 to post an ad. Dealer just uploads XML (SFTP) file then i import and publish using a WP import plug in.

Is everything manually handled at this point? How do you collect $100 at point of sale? I guess specifically, how do you force the seller to give you $100?

Right now i send them a stripe form. Some pay via paypal. Its all manual. I just started testing $150/sold vehicle. I'm just trying to figure all this stuff out. I don't have all the answers. One guy was like, eBay charges $125 if sold then i was kinda shocked he was comparing my site to ebay, I told him we can also do $125/sold vehicle.

How do you know when a car is sold?

Right now honor system ( customer emails me or pings me on FB messenger) "I sold my car can you please delete my ad?" I ask for the money. i have not figured out a way "how to know" I follow up with customer. I do plan to charge up front.

Haha only $100/day

Props to you that would be my full time pay.

Was going to ask what generates the money but after visiting the site I could probably guess.

Did want to point out in mobile the "view more listings" button could use a margin-top.

Nice layout. The red for sale tag is catchy.

Thanks! im working on the design update. Will improve mobile nav button. Goal is to make the site stupid fast. Stupid simple.

Sorting would be nice too! (nearest to me, price low to high, etc...)

Search / filter. Yup. that's like happening today.

Search / filter

pages for Model s, x, 3

New vehicle notification alert

Market comp

Price drop.

The site looks pretty good and it comes up 3rd on Google when I type in "buy used Tesla."

How did you get this off the ground marketing wise?

Really? oh damn i didn't know. marketing wise: A lot of luck i guess. i got lucky when this guy from green car reports wanted to sell his tesla ( i didn't know) then he's like im gonna write about this and will mention you. I listed his used tesla on my site and sold it, and he saved money. Link to his article here:


I hired a copy guy for the content ( he's good and gave me title tags)

I hounded users on FB and this tesla motors forum until they banned / changed my profile setting so i can't message private owners to list with me. Then i set up new ID and changed tactics on getting for sale listings from private owners( they have a forum page for it)

Currently car shopping. I wish there was a site like yours for non-Tesla cars! Your site design is very clean and navigable.

Thanks! ;-)

Great advice. This is pretty much what I did when working on https://ipinfo.io on the side (now fulltime).

For support tickets I use and highly recommend helpscout - it's cheap, and works well. The android and iOS apps need some work, but it's possible to do basic issue management from mobile.

Yes read about you. Great way to start a business.

Regarding payments can you recommend a simple API over both Stripe & Paypal out of interest (or would you just implement both using their respective APIs?)

I know Paypal has its Instant Payment Notification API, were they ping your server once a payment has gone through, I assume Stripe has something similar.

I was just wondering if there's a simple API, that can handle payments through both Paypal and Stripe etc.

Honestly, just use their respective APIs: you can get far with just Stripe Checkout (https://stripe.com/checkout) and Paypal Checkout (https://developer.paypal.com/demo/checkout/) and they are both simple enough. Paypal Checkout even has an entirely client-side payment flow.

The fact that Paypal keeps most of their fee if you have to issue a refund does suck, but that is a separate issue: the interfaces are both very straightforward.

I actually had a problem with PP. They can freeze you without notice at anytime (something todo with risk exposure). So now Im sticking with STRIPE. Unless the customer insist. Yeah STRIPE api is super easy for integration. I get my money in 2 business days. 2.9% fee+30 cents P/transaction.

Stripe or any merchant bank for that matter will freeze funds, or extend rolling payout intervals if your refund and chargeback metrics indicate a need to hedge against your losses via refunds and chargebacks. Stripe is pretty up front about it: https://stripe.com/docs/payouts#payout-schedule while PayPal buries it in the click-wrap TOS. Maybe that's why people get totally unglued when PayPal impounds their funds. PayPal Capital has also been known to solicit loans to companies that had their funds impounded...we just swiped your cash, can we loan it back to you for an extra charge?

Depending on the type of product you are selling, something like gumroad may be a good fit for you.


They have an api as well, but I've seen most people use their landing page/buy product page more than anything.

I am currently working on a side project with recurring payments planned, and I'm planning to use Recurly (https://recurly.com/) for that, which supports multiple payment gateways.

As far as I understand recurly charges $100/month on top of other fees. So even if you aren't selling anything, you still pay $100/month, which is quite a lot if you're starting out without any customers yet?

Yeah, I had the same thought initially. I still decided on it, since it is basically the only expense I have in the beginning and the first 2-3 customers would cover the cost of that. I've also integrated other subscription services in other projects in the past, and I'd rather pay that fee for 3-4 months and get rid of that headache. If I don't acquire any customers in that time span, I think I have more severe problems than a small monthly payment.

paypal express checkout is straight forward to implement and you have samples online. stripe is also easy to implement.

please note that for us ( we are b2b ) customers prefer to use paypal.

Also don't panic about not getting to email fast enough. I used to be worried about a 12-hour lag until I asked the question (on Fog Creek's old Business of Software site) and was told that most people would love it if they only waited 12 hours for a response. Now I just check my email once or twice a day.

Some things B2B require actual phone calls. At my last job, I'd go out to my car in the parking lot to take/make calls.

Now that I'm at a different gig where I take the bus to work, it's more difficult to find a quiet spot to talk. Sometimes I find myself talking to prospective clients in the stairwell :-)

All in all, you'll find that most businesses are quite accommodating as long as they know you will respond. My mantra has become "when in doubt, Communicate."

Suggestion re: phone calls - setup a Calendly.com page to avoid back-and-forth about your availability.

I second Calendly. We at Reamaze use Calendly to schedule our demos to customers, and I strongly recommend you do the same too for demos / phone calls.

All of codegeek's points make sense, especially automation, getting a good helpdesk (we can hook you up @ https://www.reamaze.com), and hustling. I wouldn't worry too much about perfecting documentation, unless it's an integral part of your project, like if you're heavy on your customers using your APIs.

Customers initially are going to be hard to come by, so every single potential lead that lands on your site and contacts you are extremely important. Always follow up on customers, as soon as possible. Keeping up a good rapport with them especially those that are using your project, would help immensely when time comes to get them to do some co-marketing with you.

Excellent tips codegeek!

Contrarian view: don't spend time automating things. Spend any extra time you have selling and building the product people need. If someone needs your product, they'll probably be fine with an invoice.

Spend the early mornings before work prospecting and reaching out to potential customers. If you're on the west coast, even better because you can conduct sales calls with east coast people who are already at work.

After work, you can check-in and see if anyone got back to you.

Track it all in a Trello board or spreadsheet.

I highly recommend reading Predictable Revenue and putting as many of its practices in place as you can.

As programmers we really like to automate away the mundane stuff, and we're not too fond of human interaction. I'm grossly exaggerating, of course, but for a lot of us, this was the push and pull that originally drove us to hack away at computers. Creating a big and shiny automated processes is almost a no brainer for us.

Yet, I believe that you are absolutely right. We should fight our inclination to see everything as a nail for the hammer that we master. The ROI on automating everything from the outset is not worth it, and if the business flops, it's just wasted effort. Worse yet, it's a missed opportunity for learning about the customers and about the domain.

So yes, do things that don't scale. If and when you get in the air, profile the business processes and only then automate the bottlenecks. It's the only sane way when you think about it.

Not only is he absolutely right, interaction is a selling point.

A prospective customer/client is usually more comfortable with someone who keeps up an open line of communication than having it automated away by forms, FAQs, etc. For many industries, they expect the hands-on approach and this can be the way you get business over other competitors.

I'm not kidding when I say that simply being friendly has won me business.

Yes. We've arrived at a place where engineers/devs are now first-class citizens in a company. They are also founders and remain as CEO much longer. These are all good things.

But those things shouldn't (and needn't) come at the expense of not doing real sales.

If you look at recent successful B2B tech companies (I'm talking IPOs or true unicorns), you'll likely find most of them had a strong sales focus early on. Notable exceptions would be very dev-focused products such as GitHub & Twilio.

(Not OP)

Thanks for the book recommendation.

It's interesting that you say not to automate everything. I somewhat agree, except for the payment side of things -- isn't Stripe/PayPal really low friction and simply to get in place?

Yes its easy, but ... in my experience, very early customers usually get special pricing, terms, and support. IMO its not worth the time to configure plans, pricing pages, and glue code that you'll probably change later. An invoice tool/service that uses Stripe or PayPal would be fine.

Also, if people can sign-up with stripe online they're also going to expect to be able to cancel, view billing history, and print invoices online. That stuff takes a little more work.

Some of this is dependent on OP's actual product, target market, and pricing. I think its better to start with a high-touch approach. Act as their account manager, hand-hold them through the onboarding process, let them know they can contact you for anything from billing to tech support.

Very interesting. I think you've made some great points there.

I like the high touch approach: it keeps you personally connected to the customer until such a time as you wish to automate away that interaction and just chase sales (but obviously still providing a great service.)

Thanks a bunch, mate.

Agreed, automation can take far more time than it saves. Especially in very early stages, when you don't even know which features are used often. Something like payment is a given, but not other things.

In code: make it work, make it good, make it fast

In business: make it, make it better, make it better again, ..repeat until it's popular enough that it's painful to operate, automate it

The naive answer would be to automate it: put up a Stripe or Paypal form and let them pay for your product.

However, if you're in B2B, the client would need to trust you, as in meeting you, the sales process, even training. What I would do is not automating the sales process, but the leads process: so you don't waste time in leads that are just passing by or checking out your product. With those you could arrange a meeting and then perhaps close the sale.

After you get some clients, you could hire someone to do the sales process you can't do. Or, if you have some savings, you can hire right away and ignore the previous paragraph.

Another option would be to have a sales co-founder, but that's another story.

Exactly this. Don't automate sales!

Automate lead generation! learn from your potential customers, improve your product and perfect your sales->setup->training->support process.

Once you do all this, and satisfied customers are pouring in, then find a way to scale.

What do you use for outbound lead generation?

- Keep your product really simple. The more complex it is, the more you need to teach and sell. If your product does one thing well and can communicate its value clearly on a homepage, it requires a lot less work from you.

- Tactically: you don't need to respond to emails M-F 9-5. Yes, that's when many B2B customers are working, but they don't know what timezone you are in, and it's not uncommon to have a delay in answering emails. Just be sure to answer emails before work and after work.

- Create lots of FAQs (using https://helpsite.io – shameless plug) so you aren't answering the same questions over and over. - (Actually you'll still have to answer many of those questions, but at least you'll have a quick link you can send them)

- Focus more on inbound marketing (creating blog posts, SEO, AdWords, etc.) rather than outbound sales, which requires a much higher amount of active work that you can't do with a full-time job.

We ran our side-project, https://emailoctopus.com, for around 3 years before going full time. As a low-cost platform, our sales are quite low touch, so we'd be able to set up our marketing projects (Facebook ads, email campaigns) in the evenings and just let them run on a schedule.

Support was a little bit more tricky, however. The only solution we found here, other than outsourcing to an Upworker, was to try to minimise support. Make your help docs as useful as possible and spend time on improving error messages.

I would also advise you to switch to working on the project full-time as soon as you can afford to. Our growth went through the roof (we'd spent around 3 years getting to £1k MRR and tripled that in the first full-time month). Some reasons why? We could spend time with our customers and focus on improving our metrics, the stuff that you just can't automate away. We also began treating it more as a business and valued our own time spent on the project more, which resulted in increasing our prices and getting across our value proposition better.

Myself and a colleague are in this same position... we've just launched a store selling physical products, with a 2nd product store (with a completely different product set) launching in a few weeks. And then we're also working on an app that should be ready in about 3 or so months (at current projections).

Our approach has been approaching people or businesses in similar fields or related industries, and pitching the products to them and getting them them to sign up as affiliates. It reduces our income quite a bit and we make very little off it, but instead of us trying to reach the people they know and are in contact with all on our own, we effectively use them and benefit from them doing our marketing. They are keen to do it, since they have a good incentive to do so. Se make it worth their while. The long term goal is building up a brand, and then profiting off of that. In the meantime, everybody wins if they generate sales, but we dont have expensives if there isnt.

And yes, we met with potential affiliates during our lunch breaks, or after hours, etc. A couple were also generated through friends, family, and social group contacts.

Hah, this is really something. I literally gave a talk at Dropbox entitled "how to start a side business without quitting your day job," and a lot of it was about B2B SaaS sales. You might enjoy it: https://youtu.be/J8UwcyYT3z0

Here are some quick ideas:

Use your lunch hour.

Sell to businesses outside your time zone before and after work.

Hire a part time sales person.

Send postcards.

Improve your online signup flow.

I've heard pretty much all the other good recommendations that others have added, but this one - "Sell to businesses outside your time zone before and after work" - is novel! This is a great idea, though I can imagine there might be some challenges, such as if support issues peak/surge, there will be a few sleepless nights...but that might happen even if dealing with clients in same time zone. Regardless, this is quite a novel idea; and i think a good one! Kudos!

It's so interesting that this comes across as novel, though I totally understand how that can be - it's an unavoidable reality for those of us building side projects while living on the other side of the pond :)

It also plays into the R&D stage where the dynamic of participating in forum posts and irc/slack chats is a whole other experience. There's a forum or two where I tend to post a question at night, and don't even look at it till the next morning because I know nobody's going to really get to it till then (my time, in Israel).

The hard part with this setup is getting motivated after a full day of work, family, etc. Pushing before/after work is perfect in terms of time, but not in terms of energy. Burnout/fatigue becomes a tougher challenge. That's really a whole other subject though...

Don't, until you've gone over it with your current employer and had them sign off on your ownership of the project and its potential intellectual property.

If they won't, you'll need to keep it as a side project while you're working for them, unless you're okay with relinquishing some rights to it.

This advice is highly dependent on where you live. Look at the laws that govern your locale.

I just sold one of my side projects, Ipify (https://www.ipify.org/) for a reasonable amount of money just a month ago. It's something that I built on my free time, and ran for several years successfully.

I was contacted with a purchase offer, did some negotiation, and ended up selling it several weeks later.

I realize this isn't the sort of sales you were asking about in the title, but figured it might be useful information. If anyone has questions, I'm happy to answer them.

Is it as simple as returning the IP address from the incoming TCP/IP message? If so, damn, why don't I have this kind of ideas! :)

Edit: it seems so - https://github.com/rdegges/ipify-api/blob/master/api/get_ip....

And you made money off of it just through donations ?

Realistically speaking, you should do research and just talk to people with problems and try to figure out how to convince them. Then start setting realistic goals, how much do you think you can handle per day and then per week.

You have a busy schedule and so does your client, first thing is to not automate if you're starting out because you have to design out the system you're going to use gradually. I've tried straight-out automation but just like code most times you have to tear it down a couple times.

I recommend trying to figure how to get people to reject their current software or their current ways if not using software and use yours and find a common theme you can talk about to other prospective customers because I think that will be the main bulk of your sales and marketing efforts as we live in more software-saturated times.

I'm just beginning to push my product (it's been around for 6 years) and have certainly noticed the customer requests increasing.

I agree with a lot of the advice here and in particular I've just started building out the knowledge base in Intercom to mitigate some of the support queries.

Sales is tough but can be worth it. I've spent lunch hours walking round the business park where I work on the phone and those calls have led to multiple other leads where I've been working with a consultant rather than the end client. Putting the time in does help.

One thing I would say: be honest that the app is a side project whilst you grow it. I've found customers very understanding and willing to accommodate calls at specific times or accepting of slight delays in support queries.

Good luck.

Care to explain how your product has been around for 6 years and you're just beginning to push it?

Of course. Started as a side project, part of learning to code. Had my mom's company as first subscriber and then periodically people would find me and sign up. They were paying £13/month and it dropped into the bank account - nice side earner.

Never really had time to promote it and Adwords is just an expensive game unless one has data on conversion rates and can accurately calculate a CPA. So, it's kinda trundled along with me tinkering in spare time - upgrading the code base but not really developing it.

Recently did a Slack integration which has noticeably increased traffic (1-2 trial signups per day)[1] and that's driving more development requests and encouraging me to blog a bit more, promote on social etc.

I've also been working with some HR consultants who are selling to their clients. Long term plans are to build our more of a basic HRIS rather than just focus on absence management. Waiting for Digital Ocean to launch their object storage so I can see what that looks like versus S3 or similar.

Main challenge is to balance time between feature requests and marketing. One of the suggestions I received here many years ago[2] was to "internationalise" the language so need to have landing page which is more US-oriented e.g. PTO management.

[1] https://pasteboard.co/GDUbwPA.png QTD numbers from Stripe. So just over a month. [2] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3666318

It’s been a side project?

What worked for our SaaS (https://ipapi.co):

- Extremely responsive and flexible with customer's requests. We've implemented some features overnight in response to a customer query. Turns out, some of the features have helped us with revenue growth :)

- Honesty. Even though you might lose a subscription in the short run, word of mouth helps to win back a lot more. It's delightful to break your rules if it eases a cash strapped customer. We frame such "thank-you" e-mails for motivation.

The goodwill garnered has helped us grow by word of mouth.

I have a lot of trouble with this too as I work 9-5 and have had a couple side projects with a few customers. I always suck at the sales and marketing bit.

My latest tool has been just building a huge checklist of (mostly) passive things I can do to drum up business and focusing on just two or three of them every week: https://github.com/karllhughes/side-project-marketing

This helps me stay focused.

B2B Sales can mean a lot of things... from very low-touch to involving a lot of in-person time. To help you better, we'd need to know more about your product and your market.

K-12 schools and universities to be specific. My app is a bubble sheet grader that grades multiple choice questions and captures free response-style answers. Much like Scantron, but with automated data entry: https://swiftgrades.com

Hire someone to do it for you and automate as much of the process as possible. Mind you, you dont necessarily need an outbound sales person. You may do with an inbound marketer.

I think the best thing would be to run a PPC campaign when you're at work, so you can acquire emails, and then email those leads through automation (you can do this with Mailchimp) just to confirm their interest.

Then, you have to use your lunch hour or anytime you can sneak away to get the deal done.

That's if you have a budget.

If you don't, I like the idea of hiring a sales person.

P.S. I wrote a book on branding and marketing. If anyone reading this want a free .pdf copy, feel free to email me at bj@bjmendelson.com

The best thing you could do would be to take Weds or Thurs afternoons off. See if your employer will let you re-arrange or reduce your hours.

Funnel leads to book demos on those afternoons you are free then follow up in your lunch breaks when back at work.

You could argue with a full time job you aren't available enough yet to be there to support B2B customers. It might be worth the 10% pay cut to take a half day each week if you truly want to give this a go.

Make sure you do a fivesecondtest.com for your landing page. Thats a make or break. Everything follows after whats the first impression.

Most of the responses in this thread now revolve around collecting money from already paying customers. I think we need a proper definition of what the OP meant with "sales": Acquiring new customers? Onboarding them? Or billing existing customers?

Maybe see with your employer if you could start working part-time? Taking two hours off every day, or one day per week or something like that might be enough to help move your project along. Best of luck!

Hire a salesman?

Seriously, B2B sales tend to require "touch", and it's often reasonable for sales to require as much or more man-hours than developing the actual product.

This advice has been given but from my experience, do not try to automate things unless you have enough customers and revenue. Spend time selling and promoting.

Automate everything. I did the same with my side project (www.deepartistry.com). Use templates and third party integrations like Stripe whenever possible.

Pay someone else to handle it. It might actually cost you quite a bit early on, but a relative or friend might be happy to help.

Learn from PgModeler.

Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with its author.

Go work for a company in another time zone

Are there any sites that help me estimate how much it would cost me to run a consumer facing site using Amazon’s service (or others)?

This is built in to the AWS platform: https://calculator.s3.amazonaws.com/index.html

Pull yourself up by your bootstraps, quit your job and do it full-time.

Self-sacrifice is admirable when family and dependents don't suffer from it. Realistically, most startups fail and it's negligent to place one's family on the line given the odds of failure.

Even for the sake of accumulating debt, it may not be wise (who knows when you'll need to take a loan for groceries, tuition, etc.)

I really hate how this attitude is so abundant, and rarely comes from somebody who knows what it is to live check-to-check, already be maxed out on loans, support a family, and still build something on the side.

Thank you. Not to mention you'll lose your health insurance for your family if you quit your job (at least in the US).

I agree 100%. No kids do what you gotta do, but kids changes the game.

Earning a living you'll never have time to make money.

Ironic considering the username. In most people's instances, I wouldn't consider this a good idea. At least until you've shown good traction for a few months of adding new customers.

I agree with the other responses here, but I don't feel like this deserves to be downvoted to death either, so I'm upvoting.

I did this, quit my job and ran my startup idea full-time, without enough funding, and I have a family and a mortgage. I loved it, and I regret it, and I don't regret it, all at the same time. I had some savings, but I've used it all. I've been going full-time for a lot longer than I thought I could, but I have to get a job again. My startup is making money but not enough to pay the founders, and it will be a while before we can go full-time again. I underestimated how long bootstrapping takes, and I've since watched other people underestimate how long bootstrapping takes.

It has been more fulfilling to go full time. I'm doing exactly what I want, and I'm responsible for my own success or failure. I have learned more than I would have by doing the side project on the side. We did run our project on the side for a couple years, and it was really frustrating. Going full time was a huge breath of fresh air, and a lot more fun than adding 20-40 hours a week on top of a 40+ hour full time job. I've also have a lot more time for my family, it just came at the cost of not having a lot of money for my family.

My main takeaway from having tried this is next time I'm going to do more preparation and have a runway in place before I quit and go full-time. Whether it's savings or VC funding or whatever, not having control over the end of the runway has been a mistake.

I am very close to making the decision to the same path you took (with family and kid of course). I know each case is different but how long did bootstrapping take for you? I already put saving aside for one year (covering insurance and mortgage plus other minimal living cost). I imagine I need earn at least $85K in a year to survive the second year and so on (based on cost of living in my area). I am also thinking about doing random consulting here and there, to supplement the income of building a product. But I know it's always a trap.

It's been a little over two years since I quit my job, and we have about 10x to go revenue-wise before we can support our families. We thought we'd easily get there in a year, and by the time it happens - if it happens - it will have been at least 3-4 times longer than our estimates. This, of course, all depends on team and circumstances and luck and savings and what your business idea is.

I had some blind spots & weaknesses I didn't know about beforehand, and an overly optimistic outlook. The other people on my team admit to the same. We wouldn't have learned those things if we hadn't quit & gone full time, and learning this stuff is super valuable. But I can see now more clearly why so many entrepreneurs say that big mistakes are inevitable and why so many people talk about businesses really taking 10 years to get off the ground, rather than 1 or 2.

I have started doing some consulting, and it's super helpful money-wise, but takes a lot of energy away from the startup idea. I find that consulting for 20 billable hours a week is roughly equivalent to working 40 hours at a full time job. With a family, that doesn't leave a ton of time to work on the startup.

When I do it again, I will look for at least 2 years of runway before I go whole hog, whether that's savings or VC funding. It's also a good idea to find your family's minimum comfortable burn rate (with wiggle room for emergencies). It might be less or more than you think.

Also it's important to have a good sense of how you get customers. I'm still working on that, but I truly had no clue when we started. It's a lot harder to get the word out than I thought, the internet is extremely noisy, attention is extremely scarce, and using the internet for advertising has changed considerably just in the last 5 years. Next time I will probably try to bootstrap to cost-neutral revenue before going full time. We quit our jobs before we were making any money, and just built the product for a while. It has been awesome in many ways, but we'd be in a better spot if we'd started selling sooner and waited until we had revenue to go full time.

I can think of no worse advice than this. I really hope this is intended to be tongue-in-cheek.

Stripe is US only and very bad charge back fees and worst dispute resolution. After losing a lot of money by using Stripe as a small time side projector, I recommend using PayPal, they have all that Stripe provides. I don't understand why people go behind Stripe. Because Stripe is cool ? Paypal has everything Stripe has plus zero dispute fees. Stripe has 15$ fees. You will feel the burn when you have lot of disputes which are common. Stripe has statistically favoured customers in disputes as far as my sales. So I ditched Stripe way back. Let Stripe be equal to PayPal. Otherwise using Stripe do not give you much advantage.

Edit: Stripe is not US only, but the countries that they support is very limited. Not recommended if your product has worldwide customers.

Stripe is not US only, it's available in 25 countries: https://stripe.com/global

It was when I tried it way back. Didnt care to check back. My customers are from everywhere around the world. Not only from those petty list of countries that Stripe supports. I cant tell them, sorry you cannot buy my product because the payment processor dont support your country. What a turn off it will be for the customers.

Those 25 countries are where to _seller_ can be based. Stripe allows purchases from over 135 countries.


Don't you understand ? Using Paypal anyone can sell from anywhere in the world. Why are you still insisting on Stripe ? "Stripe allows purchases from over 135 countries". I want my product to be sold all over the world. Stripe don't do that. Stripe has a good API than Paypal and it ends there. I ditched Stripe for Paypal and I never looked back, sales from everywhere in the world, rather than customer's emailing me..."It says cannot accept my card"

Well I have the same problems with Paypal that you have with Stripe. Its also not true that you can use Paypal everywhere.

As a German citizen I cannot use Subscriptions with Paypal for my company for example.

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