Hi, I'm Garrett. I've been working on the web since 1998. In 2008, I left my full-time job to freelance and bootstrap a hosted web application as a sole founder. In December of 2008, I launched Sifter, a bug and issue tracker. It eventually grew to a comfortable-six-figure revenue and provided a great living.
About five years into running Sifter, I had a minor surgery, and my recovery got a little sideways. I spent the next three years juggling surgeries (ten in all, including a below-knee amputation), physical therapy, doctor appointments, and Sifter. During that time, Sifter kept on trucking, and I began to recognize the value of SaaS and recurring revenue.
Despite my progress, in late 2015, exhausted from years of surgeries and recoveries, I decided to sell Sifter and move on. I simply didn't have enough left in the tank. I joined Wildbit, where I still work every day with SaaS applications like Postmark, Beanstalk, DeployBot, and Conveyor. The only difference is that now I'm surrounded by a large team.
Through this roller coaster, I've learned an incredible amount about SaaS. I look back at what I knew when I got started compared to what I've learned, and I wish every day that I could go back and share all of this knowledge with past Garrett. I can't do that, but I can write it all down and share it to help others.
I spent years making plenty of mistakes and learning lessons the hard way. Starting & Sustaining is everything I learned about building and operating a SaaS business.
Starting & Sustaining is a book, projections worksheet, playbook, and series of interviews with SaaS founders that pulls together all of my experience and that of the countless other founders I've talked to in order to help you build, launch, and sustain your SaaS business.
The book itself is entirely free on the web so anyone can learn and benefit. Each and every chapter from Starting & Sustaining is available on the site right now. The projections worksheet is availabe on Google Sheets for free as well. No strings attached.
What have people been saying?
There's no need to take my word for it. I've collected some of the comments from around the web so you can see what other founders of SaaS applications think about the book.
Had been looking forward to @garrettdimon's launch of @start_sustain and have not been disappointed. Audio book is really solid so far. If you've got the idea in your brain somewhere to build a web app, give it a look. Gregg Blanchard Founder of PeakFeed
If you’re starting a new web business, I recommend Starting & Sustaining by @garrettdimon. Great read by a great guy. Des Traynor Cofounder of Intercom
This is the first book I’ve ever eagerly awaited, and I was blown away by a draft Garrett sent me. Buy this right now. Brennan Dunn Founder of RightMessage
For those looking to get into SaaS applications: Starting and Sustaining by Garrett is a must read. Nathan Barry Founder of ConvertKit
Can't recommend @garrettdimon's Starting & Sustaining enough. He's presented a thorough, practical guide for getting your business off the ground (in the right way). Matt Goldman Partner/CEO at Churn Buster
The spreadsheet in Starting & Sustaining is easily my favorite SaaS business tool for budgeting...ever. Josh Pigford Founder of Baremetrics
Starting & Sustaining by @garrettdimon is solid. If you are starting a new company, it will save you a TON of time. Todd Garland Founder of BuySellAds
I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to get a SaaS app off the ground. I read the first version in its entirety before starting Feature Upvote. I believe the book’s advice was instrumental in helping me reach a sustainable level so quickly. Garrett writes well, and the book has plenty of practical tips. Steve McLeod Cofounder of Feature Upvote
Slides 59 and 60 are worth $X0,000+ to SaaS companies. Run one? Want to? Buy the book, too. Patrick McKenzie (patio11) Working for Stripe on Atlas
One of the smartest things you can do is read this. Worth 10x the price. Joshua Platt
Just started a SaaS company or are considering it? This new book from @garrettdimon is loaded with practical advice. Dave Greiner Cofounder of Campaign Monitor
OK, I haven't even had a chance to crack open the book yet, and I'd already pay twice this price—just for the spreadsheet alone. I built a crappy version of this spreadsheet for myself and it took me hours. This is a steal for anyone who's even half-way serious about a SaaS business. Amy Hoy Cofounder of Freckle
I’ve been using Starting and Sustaining to help me launch my new web apps, and it’s a great resource. Scott Nixon Cofounder of Meal Mentor
As an early stage start-up founder myself, I'm finding all of Garrett's insights extremely helpful. It's saved us hours of disruption, and wasted time. If you are ready to take your idea, or side project to the next level and beyond, do yourself a favour and grab a copy. Worth every penny. James Deer Founder of GatherContent
You must read this book if you are starting a SaaS business. Packed with advice and lessons learned by Garrett. Chris Nagele Cofounder of Wildbit
As a founder of a successful startup, this book highlighted so many gaps in the way I went about setting up my startup initially. For my next startup, I'm following this recipe to save time, money and loads of rookie mistakes. Adii Pienaar Founder of Conversio
Even if Garrett wasn't a friend and Sifter wasn't a part of our workflow, I'd still tell you to go pick this up. Aaron Mentele Partner at Electric Pulp
The new playbook for launching your web app: @garrettdimon's ebook is loaded with practical and applicable advice. Tyler Rooney Cofounder of Format
…the accompanying spreadsheet has to be seen to be believed. While it's an incredibly useful tool for planning and measuring your business, it's also the most beautifully designed spreadsheet I've ever seen. Wade Winningham Developer at Updrift
I'm thinking of turning a moderately successful web app of mine into a business. Garrett's "Starting and Sustaining" book/kit launched today, and it should help, so I got the Audiobook on sale. Todd Duetschendorf Mac App Creator at Celestial Teapot
Starting+Sustaining by @garrettdimon is an invaluable resource for when starting and/or running a web project. Teddy Zetterlund Head of Product at Lägenhetsbyte.se
If you’re thinking about starting a SaaS company then @garrettdimon Starting and Sustaining product is what you need. Paul Scrivens Developer and Marketer Obstacle
Finally found space to read @garrettdimon's Starting & Sustaining. Very good. Worth the cash, worth the time. Paul Love
If you're into building software products, Starting & Sustaining by @garrettdimon is a no-brainer. There's something in there for everyone. Nick Zadrozny
I highly recommend Starting & Sustaining by @garrettdimon if you’re interested in building and launching a web app in 2018. Super practical - I would give much of the same advice! Nelson Joyce Cofounder at Tettra
Started (and finished) @garrettdimon’s book today, and it’s really really good. Marc Amos Partner at The Outfit
If you're building or running a SaaS product, @garrettdimon's book is a must-read. Luke Miler Founder of Little Big Make
Think the package is expensive? I can tell you the included spreadsheets alone are worth the price, and will pay for themselves. Kyle Fox Product Developer at Podia
If you’re starting (a software business), this is the right package for you. Dimitar Mihaylov
Just got to laugh at Starting & Sustaining from @garrettdimon, insane value for money if you're launching/running a web app. Chad Tomkiss
I spent about six hours doing a basic P&L for a SaaS product I was considering building. Garrett's sheet is far more detailed and would have saved me hours of time. He's truly thought through it all. A steal at twice the price! Brandon Savage Author of Mastering Object Oriented PHP
Just finished reading Starting and Sustaining. Great book on all the things to consider when launching. Brandon Hilkert CTO at Bark
Just finished Starting and Sustaining by @garrettdimon. Highly recommend it. Andy Johnson Cofounder of Harpoon
Starting & Sustaining is easily the best book I’ve read about running a web app so far. Andreas Zecher Founder of Promoter