Why be transparent about money?

I’ve been super transparent lately about a lot of things — perhaps to a fault. In particular I’ve been sharing a lot of specific numbers around money. The live financials for my business are available on a public dashboard. I wrote pretty openly about how I paid my bills over the last few years. I walked through the painful details of raising money for my solar startup and then shutting it down. All of this lead a few people — including at times myself — to ask, um, why am I doing this? A few people have asked me why I do it. I’ve also had a few people talk about others who publish their financials — not know that I did too — and criticize it. Calling it bragging. I can see how some people might find it off-putting. Particularly when you have some entrepreneurs who do it solely to give the…

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Storemapper 2015 Roadmap: 100K to 4HWW

Hi there! Before you dive into the post, a quick announcement: I'm writing an ebook on building micro-SaaS businesses. Why? Because I've never written a book before and it will be fun for me and hopefully helpful in some small way. It will be free and here in 1-2 weeks. Why not check it out? back to the post Almost exactly a year ago I moved Storemapper from a neglected side project to real business focus. It’s fitting that it just hit a pretty cool milestone: $100K in annual recurring revenue. Pretty good for a simple little widget. The business is very high margin so that number equates to probably around $90-95k in net income, which is honestly about as much money as I really could want to support my lifestyle without any dependents. Anything more is gravy. This will be an interesting…

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Storemapper,bootstrapping

Struggling

I’ve been struggling lately with what to do next in 2015. In 2014 I had mostly to choose from a limited selection of hard choices. We had to make the decision to shut down SolarList. I then had to find a way to get back some of the enormous amount of money I lost on the project. I spent a good chunk of the year turning my side project into a full time income and building an ecommerce/startup consulting practice. In 2015 I’m very slightly moving up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. My safety and (largely financial) security are in a decent place. My attention is shifting (back) to things that maximize my ability to do something that matters in the world. Systematizing the things that make money is increasingly freeing up more and more of my time, leaving me to figure out what exactly to do with…

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Closing SolarList: a cleantech post-mortem

The punchline first: SolarList is basically closing. We haven’t been actively operating the core business since the end of 2013. The founders are currently working on other projects. We spent most of 2014 trying to find a suitable partner for the business and software, but we currently do not see a way forward. We would still love to find someone to work with to help more people go solar. As you’ll see from the rest of the post, we still fundamentally think it’s a great idea. But the fact for now is we’re closing up shop. What’s next We have built a ton of cool software and learned a lot about finding, educating and turning homeowners into happy solar customers. If you are interested to work with us, license our technology or have a compelling non-profit use case. Please give us a shout. T…

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bootstrapping,cleantech,startups,SolarList

Storemapper Update: 50% revenue growth in 3 months

Three months ago I published a deep dive into Storemapper, a tiny SaaS product that I run. I thought the post (now on Medium) was too long and delved too much into the gory details to be broadly interesting but I was blown away by the response. The post sat atop hacker news for over 24 hours and my typically sleepy blog saw something like 50,000 uniques in a few days. So, here I am, back with another update. The impetus for the original post comes from Baremetrics, the insanely simple SaaS metrics dashboard for Stripe that I use. As paragons of transparency, Buffer, Baremetrics itself, and several other cool startups had made their dashboards completely public. Josh from Baremetrics asked if I wanted to do the same for Storemapper. I had been meaning to write a tell-all about bootstrappin…

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Storemapper,bootstrapping