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BuySellAds.com - $0 to $1.5 million in 11 months while working a 9 to 5 (Todd Garland)

BuySellAds.com - $0 to $1.5 million in 11 months while working a 9 to 5 (Todd Garland)



Slides from talk at MicroConf

Slides from talk at MicroConf



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    BuySellAds.com - $0 to $1.5 million in 11 months while working a 9 to 5 (Todd Garland) BuySellAds.com - $0 to $1.5 million in 11 months while working a 9 to 5 (Todd Garland) Presentation Transcript

    • $0 - $1.5 million in 11 months(while working a 9 – 5)
      Todd Garland
    • Background
      • Founder, BuySellAds.com
      • Early employee at HubSpot
      • Freelance web designer / developer
      • Mindfire.com
      • We help aliens buy and sell ads online
      • Acquired domain for $2,160
      • Sold our first ad February 2008
      • 1 man show for first 8 months, nights and weekends
      • $0 --> $1.5mm by end of 2008 (11 months)
      • $0 spent on sales & marketing
    • The BAD News
    • The GOOD News
    • … it IS out there
    • Your Product
    • Potentially Insightful Tweet Bait #1
      “Silver bullets don’t exist… unless you build your own – it’s called your product.” via @toddo #MicroConf
      I’m relatively unsophisticated
    • Testing
      Playdom (Disney Interactive)
    • “Yes, it’s true that a team at Google couldn’t decide between two blues, so they’re testing 41 shades between each blue to see which one performs better. I had a recent debate over whether a border should be 3, 4 or 5 pixels wide, and was asked to prove my case.”
      - Douglas Bowman
    • Potentially Insightful Tweet Bait #2
      “Figure out what works for YOUR business. Testing is useful, but instincts and intuition are more important” via @toddo #MicroConf
    • FEAR
    • 6 Months
    • You overcome fear by doing
    • Potentially Insightful Tweet Bait #3
      “He who is afraid of making mistakes is afraid to succeed.” via @toddo’s dad #MicroConf
    • The dreaded 9 to 5
    • If you have a 9 to 5…
      You have an EXTREME
      Competitive Advantage
    • You become more efficient
    • Typical day…
      6am – 8am: work on BSA
      8am – 8:15: shower
      8:45-ish: arrive at HubSpot
      6pm: return home from HubSpot
      7pm: Dinner
      Option A:
      9pm – midnight: work on BSA
      Option B:
      Hang out with wife, pull the “fake sleep” move,
      and then work on BSA from ~ 11:30 – 2:30
    • Let’s break down the $1.5 million
      125K / month
      4K / day
      40 orders per day
      1 order every 36 minutes
    • It’s not easy,
      but you can build aREAL business
      while working
      a 9 to 5
    • If users ask about your odd hours…
      Just tell them you’re Australian
    • Potentially Insightful Tweet Bait #4
      “Constraints breed creativity. Embrace your constraints and use them to your advantage.” via @toddo #MicroConf
    • Family
    • Don’t work long hours
      Work SMART hours
    • “Americans live to work, and
      Europeans work to live”
    • That’s not healthy
    • Potentially Insightful Tweet Bait #5
      “The first rule in any company should be family first. Without family we have nothing.” via @toddo #MicroConf
    • Automate
    • Automate
    • Automate
    • Automate
    • Automate
    • Why are you in the software business?
    • No one-offs
    • Potentially Insightful Tweet Bait #6
      “2 rules: Automate everything, and NO one-offs. This is the key to scaling your revenue per employee.” via @toddo #MicroConf
    • How did we get our first users?
    • We Invited Them
    • People don’t like being sold to
    • Hi Joe,
      I run a company called BuySellAds.com. I’d love to have your site included in our inventory. You would be in good company, and we’ll work really hard to help you sell more ads. Here’s an invite code if you are interested & thanks for your time:
    • We focused on the non-consumers
    • Potentially Insightful Tweet Bait #7
      “Don’t overlook the non-consumers. They are waiting for the OPPORTUNITY to buy.” via @toddo #MicroConf
    • Invest in
      Customer Happiness & Good Vibes
    • Asynchronous Ad Code
    • Potentially Insightful Tweet Bait #8
      “WOWing your customers has to be authentic. It isn’t transactional. It’s a way of life.” via @toddo #MicroConf
    • Branding
    • Incredibly hard for small companies to measure the effects of branding efforts
    • It’s OK to invest in stuff that’s not measurable
    • Potentially Insightful Tweet Bait #9
      “Don’t underestimate the value of branding.” via @toddo #MicroConf
    • Momentum
    • MAY 2011
      Where are we today?
      average ads sales (in dollars) per day, month over month
      FEB 2008
    • Where should we stop?
      Should we try to grow forever?
    • What if you don’t
      have momentum?
    • “If you're not working on your best idea right now, you're doing it wrong.”
      • David Heinemeier Hansson
    • Questions?
      (free t-shirts)