You’d like to build a web app but aren’t sure where to start. For every question you have, there’s two more you don’t know to ask. There’s a lot to know, and it's overwhelming.
Design. Development. Support. Validation. Funding. Pricing. Billing. Email. Spam. Fraud. Chargebacks. Marketing. Hosting. Background processing. Monitoring. Alerting. Backups. Release management. Downtime.
You’re already an expert in some areas, but there’s a handful of other areas you’re unsure about.
That’s ok. We can fix that.
Starting & Sustaining will help you make more informed decisions and save you days or weeks by avoiding the mistakes I made.
(It also gives you $900+ worth of discounts to help keep costs down in the early days, but I’m getting ahead of myself.)
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
Howdy. I'm Garrett Dimon, and I spent eight years building and supporting a web application as a sole founder. About five years in, a minor surgery set some things in motion. A few years later, I sold the business and had my left leg amputated below my knee. Don’t worry, though. I’m doing great!
It was a wild ride for sure, but it was a journey that gave me tons of insight. Losing a leg and going through months of due diligence while selling your business is a painfully fun way to gain perspective and understand what you did right, and what you did wrong.
I ended up joining another SaaS company working on several other products and learning even more about what it takes to build a successfel SaaS business.
The result of this wild ride?
I gained the kind of insight that might normally cost an arm and a leg. Thankfully, I got it half price, and now I’d like to pass it on to you so you can benefit.
If Starting & Sustaining doesn't help you save enough time and money to more than cover the cost of buying it. Just let me know. I’ll give you a full refund.
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
Starting & Sustaining won’t help you become an expert in everything. Instead, it focuses on two things to give you enough context recognize the gaps in your expertise so you can learn how to fill the gaps or team up with experts who can help.
It’s operational—not technical. Starting & Sustaining won’t teach you to code. There’s not a line of code in the book. It will, however, help you understand how to build and run a robust and sustainable software business from scratch.
It’s informative—not instructive. Your business will be unique. Every business is. Starting & Sustaining won't prescribe a specific way to build your business. Instead, it serves as your trail guide. It won’t tell you which path to take, but it will give you the information you need in order to decide which path is right for you.
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
What kind of questions will it help with?
While it won't outright answer the questions, it will give you plenty of context so you can make a great decision for your business.
- When should you quit your day job?
- How much money will you need?
- How do you find co-founders?
- Do you even need a co-founder?
- Should you bootstrap or raise money?
- Should you use tried and true tools or go for the bleeding edge?
- How should you manage support?
- What's involved in customer communication?
- When should you launch?
- What should do about competitors?
- How can you validate your idea?
- How robust should your architecture be initially?
- How do you know when your backups are thorough enough?
- What process and services should you monitor and how?
- How should trials or demos work?
- How should you handle payments and failed payments?
- How should you build anticipation?
- When should you launch?
- What should you do when your growth plateaus?
- How do you know what you should work on?
- How should you handle significant outages or lost data?
- Should you spend money on advertising?
- How much is your business worth?
- What are buyers looking for when evaluating your business?
- How long does it take to sell a SaaS business?
These are just some of the high-level topics we’ll address. There’s an incredible amount of subtlety and prioritization that comes into play so you can decide where and how to spend your time and make the biggest impact on your business.
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
It's so much more than a book…
Reading the book will get you a long ways, but it can't cover every detail. That’s where the other resources come in. So what are the pieces of Starting & Sustaining?
- 1. A Book
At 70 chapters and more than 90,000 words, the book covers a lot of ground, but don't take my word for it. Take a look at the table of contents where you can read any chapter online. (I suggest the payment processing chapter.) It's available in Kindle (.mobi), iBooks (.epub), and PDF formats.
- 2. An Audiobook
Narrated and edited by yours truly, the audiobook is just over ten hours of SaaS advice that's great for listening to on your commute to the day job as you make plans for launching your business. It makes a great companion to refresh your memory around the concepts in the book.
- 3. A Playbook
A book is great, but sometimes it's hard to remember all of the little details once you sit down to get to work. The playbook provides an exhaustive checklist of the countless details that are easy to forget. What started as a short checklist accidentally evolved into 20,000 words of actionable advice. It's almost a book unto itself.
- 4. $900+ in Discounts, Credits, and Hookups
As an added bonus, I reached out to a handful of other products that I use and highly recommend to pull together $900+ worth of discounts from 16 products to help lower the costs (and more than pay for the cost of Starting & Sustaining).
- 5. A Worksheet
Reading advice is one thing, but you still have to run the numbers. The worksheet makes that process easier with a jumpstart on your financial planning. The best part? You don't even have to buy the book.
- 6. Podcast
Starting & Sustaining isn't just about my experience, and the podcast covers those additional perspective as a series of interviews with other folks from the SaaS world focusing primarily on trials and tribulations and overcoming challenges. The podcast was on hold for a few months while I focused on finishing the book, but it's back now.
For those looking to get into SaaS applications: Starting and Sustaining by Garrett is a must read. Nathan Barry Founder of ConvertKit
Let's talk discounts, credits, and hookups…
The full package includes more than enough value to pay for it several times over. These are all products that I used or unflinchingly stand by. And all of the teams that give great support and go out of their way to take great care of customers. You'll be in great hands with any of them.
- Churn Buster
- Help Scout
- HTML Email
- Travis CI
As you might imagine, the discounts are all limited to new customers for each product/service, but if you're just getting started, these discounts can make your first year a whole lot less expensive.