Allan Branch Co-founder of Less Accounting

Episode № 10

During a time when seemingly everyone is trying to build a product and move away from consulting, Allan is doing just the opposite and moving from SaaS and recurring revenue back to good old-fashioned consulting. We talk a little about the process of selling LessAccounting, the ups downs of trying to grow a SaaS application, and some ways to take a step back and make sure that you're working on things you're passionate about.

Garrett Dimon: We’re here today with Allan Branch of formerly LessAccounting, the co-founder, and now into a little bit of LessEverything, literally, is the name of his company.

Allan, I’m going to let you dive into a little more of the details about what you’re working on right now and what you’ve done since selling LessAccounting and where things are heading.

Then, if you can, weave in there a 30-second background of how you got to here, over the course of all this.

Allan Branch: I’ll start with the last question, which is, the quick story is in 2008, we launched LessAccounting, my business partner and I.

We bootstrapped it until it was profitable in about 2011, which means we slowly weaned down our consulting projects because we were building software for people.

We had a team of eight or nine at the time. We were a product company from 2011-ish until recently, in June or July, when we sold LessAccounting. Now we’re back to building software for people, and that’s under the umbrella of LessEverything, we went back to the umbrella of LessEverything.

Building software for clients, anyone who wants to focus on reoccurring revenue, mostly existing companies adding additional revenue streams is what we’re finding.

Also our video company, we started a video company in 2011 called LessFilms. I’m helping out LessFilms writing scripts and talking to clients and doing some marketing.

They make explainer type videos, any type of video that helps you improve conversions in your Web app, lots of things. That’s the then, now, present, whatever that is.

Garrett: What you’re saying is you went from consulting to the Holy Grail of having a SaaS product that generates recurring revenue.

Then you jumped ship to get back into consulting, that everybody else in the world is trying to get away from. What’s wrong with you?

Allan: We ran a product company for four years. Everyone thinks it’s the Holy Grail, it’s just the grass is always greener. It was great running a product company with steady revenue, and a lot of the organic search traffic with very little fires to put out. There was no downtime on the servers or lawsuits or anything.

We just found out, we worked on the product for eight years and we were just tired of working on the same problem and beating our head against the wall. It was time to shift to some new problems.

It’s been a good decision, of course there’s been regret and worry, “Oh, my gosh, I’ve made the worst decision in my life,” but so far, so good. Back to product, back to building software for clients.

We just found out, we worked on the product for eight years and we were just tired of working on the same problem and beating our head against the wall. It was time to shift to some new problems.

Garrett: It’s about a change of pace.

Allan: Just new problems. We sold LessAccounting and that was eight years. It’s not like we were quitters, like we gave it the old college try. It was eight years.

Garrett: Were you all passionate about accounting in that area beforehand, or did you all just stumble into it because you hated using QuickBooks and wanted to build something for yourself?

Allan: All of the above. My accountant said, “You should use QuickBooks.”I was like, “I really just need an expense tracker.” He’s like, “No, you need QuickBooks.” We love small businesses because Steve and I, both are third generation entrepreneurs and so we do love that as well.

I love solving boring problems. I love HR Software and I love all that stuff. That was fun, like real business problems. It’s not some new interface for some photo sharing app. It’s real problems to help people in a business situation

Garrett: You sold it. Can you walk through the process of deciding to sell, committing, and then going through that to how it unfolded in terms of… you ended up working with FE International like I did with Sifter?

Obviously, some of that stuff you can’t share, but how much of it can you tell how it all unfolded, how it went down, your regrets, your feelings, excitement, and all that through the process?

Allan: You asked 17 questions in 1.

Garrett: I know. Just tell the story and give us all the insight and the dirt.

Allan: Right, wrap it up in a beautiful FE International sale monolog.

Garrett: Well, you don’t have to do that.

They are good guys, though.

Allan: Yes. Steve and I are product people. I’m a designer. He is a tech guy, much like… we know code, right? I don’t know investment banking. I don’t know how to sell a company. It was always like, “What’s our company worth?” $79 million or maybe it’s worth $50,000? I don’t even know.

We just didn’t know people bought these things. Then our friends started slowly selling their products and we’re like, “Oh, what was that like?” And we’re like, “Oh, when are we like that?” There is a way to exit. It wasn’t like we were desperate to do it or that was the plan. It was just merely, we were ignorant of the process.

It’s almost the same reason why we tried bootstrapping. I don’t know how to raise money. It’s not that it was some really conscious choice. I know a product, we build a product. FE International popped on the radar a couple of years ago, and we were like, “Oh.”

So we started talking to them and the process took about a year. My business partner really handled most of it. The team that took over are super cool, we were handed a bunch of letters of intent at the same time.

David at FE International just shields you from so many conversations that people who can’t buy the product, who just want to talk to you and people who’re just sniffing around. They do a really good job of protecting your time. They’re good guys, they can evaluate the products properly, I think.

No regrets with FE International. They’re stellar, awesome dudes. No regrets, there are surely some days I wish I could just… with LessAccounting, I literally took off at the beginning of this year, almost three months, and just sat at the boat, I worked on my boat.

Yeah, having the product company is great, it’s great. When you can’t measure your time equals money, it’s also like, “Well, ah fuck, I’m just not going to work today.” Because you can’t really tell if you’re doing things that matter, that actually change the needle. Because there’s such a long tail dollar bill sign from the time.

FE International was great. We didn’t know how to sell the product, so we contacted them. They walked us through it and it was… work from there.

Garrett: Looking back…

We just didn’t know people bought these things. Then our friends started slowly selling their products and we’re like, “Oh, what was that like?” And we’re like, “Oh, when are we like that?” There is a way to exit.

Allan: I’m giving you the world’s longest answers.

Garrett: No, no it’s good. Looking back, you weren’t so hands-on with the sale and the sale process. But looking back, if you all could’ve done something different, what did you all learn during the process of trying to sell that made you kick yourself, like, “Oh, man, we should’ve done this better. It would’ve been easier to sell. It would’ve been less painful”? That kind of thing.

Allan: Our books, they weren’t in good condition. That’s usually the first thing people talk about, it’s like, “Oh, my bookkeeping was just nuts.”

Garrett: When you sell accounting software, I would hope…

[laughter]

Allan: It wasn’t really that bad. They had to add a couple extra reports because LessAccounting didn’t have some larger accounting filters. We ended up… Just SQL queries for that and building some reports that for some reason you need when you buy a business. Some advanced balance sheet stuff I think it was. Something like that.

But no, there’s no big lesson to be learned. I don’t wish I’d sold it sooner. I think we sold it at the right time. So, no, I don’t have any regrets. I wish I had some big life lesson. Now, that’s cool, I wish we got more money, whatever.

Garrett: I’m pretty sure you did it right, because you sold your company and then you literally are just posting selfies of you on a sailboat all day.

Allan: It’s not all day. The misconception is that I don’t work. I do, I’m purposeful about… I love sleep, I can sleep until 8:30 every day. But I wake up at 5:45 to have my whole afternoon off. Realizing I don’t get much daylight and then much time with my kids so I’ll get there before everyone else does and get more work done. So it’s being like deliberate…

Garrett: I’m the same way. Not so much by choice, just gravitated that way with kids. You get earlier, earlier, and you’re like, “Eh, five o’clock, that’s not early.”

Allan: Right, and so people always go, “Oh, you just work on your boat all day.” I know you weren’t, but some people do that. I’m like, “No, I work an eight-hour day.” Seven-and-a-half, eight hours. But I’ll cut out at two o’clock and go have fun for a couple of hours.

Garrett: Absolutely. With deciding to sell, circling back real quick. Did a switch just flip one day or had that been building up and building up and you all just didn’t know how to sell? And then once you realized it was an option, you were like, “Well crap, we’re out of here.”

Allan: Yeah, it was immediately, “What? FE, what?” We have been talking about it for several years. We worked on it for eight years. Probably in 2014, we had some conversations about what does an exit look like and who would exit from us.We had some talks with some people but it was always just like, “Ah, I don’t know.”

Once we got into the FE sales funnel we knew we wanted to sell. It was almost like, once you make a big decision, you’re like… Our tipping point wasn’t at the sale, it was really contacting FE International. It was like, “OK, yeah, we’re just going to do it. Fine. Let’s go.” We talked about, and then we had a few friends there, and then it was like, “OK,” and then the ball was just going.

Garrett: It’s funny how much that parallels, how it was with Sifter. I was like, “I don’t know, maybe, I don’t know, maybe.” Then I talked to them and I was like, “All right.”

Allan: Yeah. It was like, “It’s done. We’re selling.”

Garrett: Yeah.

Allan: It’s kind of like, if you’re thinking about trading in your car or something, and you knock a mirror off on a mailbox and go, “Ah, fuck it, we’ll just get rid of it.”

Garrett: A lot like that.

Allan: No, don’t put that in there. We did care.

Garrett: Going back to the SaaS life, what was the most difficult, stressful thing that you all went through running an app?

Allan: It was a self-imposed stress of… at least I feel that way. Always second-guessing every feature, thinking it’s the next thing. That was the biggest… The revenue is very steady, as opposed to a consulting, which you get a big check, where it’s a very emotional high, and then you have a cash flow issue.

SaaS is very… there wasn’t peaks and valleys. It was very slow stress. On the level of 1 to 10, it was a four or three, but a four or three the whole time. There was never any major stress. We didn’t have any… It was always just going, “Damn it, why aren’t we growing faster?”

We got tired of asking ourselves those questions. It was a self-imposed, like, “We should be doing better.” I always feel like we should do better. It was a form of self torture, almost.

Garrett: It really is, right? No matter how fast you’re growing, it’s not fast enough. There’s always, you could be growing more, and the question is, “What am I doing wrong that I’m not growing more?” We all talked to each other, and somebody else’s growing a little bit faster, it’s like, “How come I’m not doing that? What do I need to change? What am I doing wrong?”

Allan: Then there’s these blog posts of, “This is how I raised my conversion 746 percent in two hours.” You’re like, “I’ve just got to figure out what that one little thing is for us.” That’s all it is.

Garrett: Absolutely.

Allan: We compare ourselves to these people who are giving this false reality of how it really is.

Garrett: I think it’s definitely too easy to get caught up in those comparisons. I know in the first few years, I definitely got sucked into that, and it took me a while to be like, “You know what? I’m doing well. I’m happy. Why do I care if we’re growing or not? Where we are is good.”

I think that’s a difficult thing to accept, though. When you go into it, you expect, and you have these hopes that it’s going to be everything and more.

When it falls even slightly short of our completely unrealistic goals, we’re disappointed. It’s like, “Wait a minute. Should we be disappointed, or was it our goals were crazy going in?”

Allan: The tech industry, because we’re scalable, we think we can run at 40x of what a normal business would. A normal business can’t handle 10 percent growth, unless there’s some inventory warehouse component, where it’s logistical. Like a car wash can’t handle 10 percent, a restaurant, they only have a certain number of tables.

If you told them, “Oh, you’re going to grow 20 percent next year, 10 percent,” they’re going to be like, “Oh, my God, yes.” Or “You’re going to be in business next year,” just you’re going to be in business. They’re like, “Oh, thank God.” My family ran the car washes. They don’t do that. They don’t go up 3x in a year.

We have these unrealistic expectations on ourselves, because we heard about this one urban legend guy that did that one thing. It’s crazy. It’s a warped industry.

Garrett: There’s a lot of room for more realistic expectations throughout, for sure. For sure. Going back to, even before launching, if you could just pick one key thing, and it could be a big thing, it could be a little thing, that you all would do differently, what would it be?

Allan: You mean…

Garrett: Anything.

I would just say slow down, slow down, and focus on growing traffic, and not features. Even though features is a thing you know how to build, grow traffic faster and sooner.

Allan: In the psychological sense, I could say lower your expectations. We beat ourselves up constantly like, “We should grow faster.” Just go, “Allan, be prepared for a five-year fight.” It always felt like we needed that one feature. I would just say slow down, slow down, and focus on growing traffic, and not features. Even though features is a thing you know how to build, grow traffic faster and sooner.

It’s not, “Build it, they will come,” that kind of stuff. It’s all conventional stuff that Amy Hoy teaches now, that in 2008, nobody was talking like this in 2008 and 2010. It was just like, “What?” No one knew until 37signals started talking about getting real, and those kind of things. I feel like all of my wisdom now is common knowledge. I’m the old man who’s like, “Oh, drink water.”

Garrett: It’s common knowledge for you, there’s so many people who are just now starting to think about, “How can I create an app?” Whether they didn’t have enough experience, and now they feel like they’re there. They know how to build things, but they don’t know how it actually unfolds and plays out. I think there’s a lot of help there.

I wish somebody had slapped me in the face and said, “Look, it’s going to take you five to eight years before things are comfortable.” At the time, I would’ve been like, “Whatever, that’s ridiculous. It’ll take me six months, tops.” I think having realistic expectations is a huge part of it, and it’s the thing that everyone overlooks.

We know technology, but none of us think about that, the more soft side of building a business, the resilience that it takes, and all that. I think the more people hear that, and understand that they’re not going to blow up in six months, the more it helps people have realistic expectations. They don’t want to try and quit their job in a blaze of glory and say, “I’m out of here, I’m going to be a millionaire tomorrow.”

Allan: I talked to a guy, he’s a senior in college. He works with my sister-in-law’s mom, and he’s a CS major, and he’s interning right now at some place in Auburn. He’s like, “I want to build an app,” or, “I want to build my own development agency.” I was like, “Well, realize what that actual job is.” He loves code.

You start a big company, you’re not going to be coding. You’re going to get moved into a marketing sales role, growing a company. Even if you have a consultancy, you turn into the salesperson, or the manager. Realize what your job is going to be when you do that thing. You can build a cool product that you like, but build a job that you hate.

Build a job that you really want. For a few years, I had a job I didn’t really want. So realize what the actual job is.

Garrett: We all want to believe that we build a product, and the product will be great, and it will sell itself, but that can only get you so far. It takes a lot more than that. One of my favorite questions that I hear a lot, and I like this question because it’s different for everybody, where did your first customers come from? How did you all reach them?

Allan: First customers is like 2007, which is right when Twitter came out or something. Blogs was like, people were using BlogSpot, and Typepad, and so our first customers were emailing. Basecamp is all the people we can think of that was an obtainable thing. It was like, “We’re going to be the Basecamp for accounting. We’re going to be simple like Basecamp.”

That was our tagline. We made up a splash page, but it wasn’t called a splash page or a landing page. It was just called a website with a form to collect emails. That’s what it was called. You remember that, it was probably a PHP form or something, and probably had no CAPTCHA on it, or anything like that. We just emailed like, “Web 2.0 bloggers and podcasters.” They were like, “Oh, sign up for this beta.” It was like, “Get on a beta list. Get on a beta list.”

We emailed a bunch of those people. I’m sure one of those guys or gals was one of the first paying customers, months later. Yeah. It was just straight up, old email. The email list was like 500 people or something.

Garrett: Now, that’s much, much more difficult, because there’s just so much noise. Everybody is like, “I’m not signing for yet another beta list. I’ve got a million of these already.” It’s definitely a lot more difficult to pull that off.

What was my question? Through all of this, building SaaS, doing consulting now, what is it that gets you out of bed? That makes you excited everyday to get to work on something?

Allan: I also realize, I don’t skip out of bed. I do jump out of bed. I’m not like, “Ugh,” [sighs] or it’s not like, “Wee!” It’s more like, “What’s going on today? What’s going to happen?” I got a way to plan my day out. I have calls and stuff. But I’m not like, I know exactly what I’m going to work on. There’s sort of the suspense of, what am I working on today? What emails have come in?

What I have are actually things I need to accomplish over the week, but I don’t plan the actual days. Just the excitement of knowing a product is going to be launched, or…I don’t know. There’s just energy that brims within the company that I’m excited to experience and do. It’s sounds like super weird, I’m almost happy. I’m just like, “What are we going to work on today?”

I like everyone I work with, so it’s like, “What are we going to work on? What are we going to do again? What do you want to do? What do you want to do?” It’s fun.

Garrett: I don’t think I would accept that answer from anybody other than you. In your case, I think it was…

Allan: Well, I’m just like, “Oh, I don’t want to work today.” I’m like, “Fuck it, I’m not going to work.” We’re not going out of business tomorrow, so if there’s a day where I’m really like, I don’t want to work today… Mostly it happens when it’s a really pretty day outside. It’ll be like 72 degrees, blue skies. I’ll be like, “I don’t want to work today.” I’ll be like, “We won’t go to work.”

I’ll just go do something else. I don’t really have truly days where I’m like, [groans], I just don’t work. There’s afternoons where I’m feeling I’m in a shitty mood, I just don’t work. It’s toxicity. Nothing I do is going to be creative if I’m in a shitty mood.

Garrett: That’s not going to be… Yeah, It’s tough.

Allan: I’m bringing toxicity into the company, and so I just don’t work. That doesn’t happen very often. I’m a pretty positive person.

Garrett: You are. You are. For sure. I want to talk about marketing a little bit. You all did a lot of content marketing for LessAccounting. Just the other day, I Googled for how to build my own office in the backyard. Guess who was at the top of the results?

You’ve got this down, right? You’ve spent a lot of time doing that. Is that something that you knew would pay off? Is it something where you started seeing results, and built on it? Or you just always are trying something new? What’s your strategy behind all that?

Allan: There’s a couple of answers I could say. I think content marketing is awesome. Doing content marketing can be awesome, if you enjoy writing the articles. Again, it’s about having a job you like. If you like writing, but you’re writing crappy articles, you’re not going to like that job. It’s always been, “How can I use these businesses?” Literally, I use, as in use and abuse.

Steve is the exact same way. How can we use this business to have a life that we want? It wasn’t like my backyard office articles. There are articles, if you Google shed quarters, or backyard office, I wrote a whole guide on literally the construction of building a backyard office. Like, building it with wood. That wasn’t because I was like, “There’s an SEO opportunity in here.”

It was literally, I wanted a backyard office. How can I get the business to pay for this? How can I use this thing that I’m doing in my job, and as a job? How can I take off weeks and weeks and work on it, and call it working? We wrote a lot of content, but if you look at the content, there’s things like health insurance.

When the ObamaCare stuff came around, I was like, “I need to learn about ObamaCare.” I don’t know anything about insurance. Nothing. I spent two months calling insurance agents, reading things, and listening to podcasts. I wrote a whole guide on buying insurance. It wasn’t like I was going, “What’s the SEO opportunity?” I was writing something I really, genuinely wanted to know.

Then it just so happened there were some SEO opportunities that got us traffic. The problem with that traffic is, they’re not prime…, I’m not like, “Oh, goody. I was looking to do a backyard office, and now I’m going to sign up for accounting software.” They’re not prime. You then shift your focus from getting that person back, get them on the email list… because you could sell them a $3 t-shirt, $10 t-shirt, but not accounting software on their first visit.

It takes several points of touch. Content marketing worked great for us. It brought a lot of traffic, and some conversions. It gave us a much higher metric for who we sold the product to. Because the marketing… we had 110,000 unique visitors a month, which is for free. That brought a lot of value. They knew the marketing was turnkey at that point. They could do keyword research.

So, yeah. Content marketing was great for us. We did it on our own terms.

Garrett: There’s two things there that really resonate with me, just based on my experience. One is, create content that you care about. So many people are like, how can I game the system, how can I write something that’s going to have the right headlines to get traffic, versus, I’m passionate about this, I can write about this.

How does that tie back into what I’m doing everyday? That’s going to help you create better content to begin with, because your motivation’s in the right place. If you’re just trying to game the system, it’s not going to work. You’re just going to be completely beat down, exhausted, and drained. The other aspect is the value of that marketing for the business. Obviously, it’s valuable to a business generating traffic.

But then when you’ve got to sell, it’s actually getting you a stronger multiple, simply because they know that traffic is reliable. Because that organic traffic, that reliability…it was the same with Sifter. Because I’ve done so much writing about bug and issue tracking, and all of that, that there was plenty of organic traffic. It helps make a clear path, and some continuity.

It’s not like, “Oh, what happens if we turn off the marketing?” The marketing is not going to get turned off overnight. Organic traffic can fade, but it’s not going to disappear and dry up overnight.

It’s one of those things where we get so caught up as developers and product people, we want to just design and build things. But there’s a very clear value to the marketing, both for the business while you’re running it, for selling it, for everything.

Allan: It’s one of those things where we get so caught up as developers and product people, we want to just design and build things. But there’s a very clear value to the marketing, both for the business while you’re running it, for selling it, for everything. I think, as developers, that’s something that’s hard to remind ourselves of, because we just want to go code, commit code, ship code, and then wait for the money to roll in.

Instead, you really got to tell people about it. If you launch an app, and you don’t tell anybody, nobody cares. If Slack launched, and never told anybody, Slack wouldn’t be where they are. You have to tell people. There’s marketing involved.

Allan: Oh, yeah. I would take good marketing and a bad product, before I’d take a great product with no marketing. Marketing sells a bad product. Quickbooks, right? They’re the industry leader.

Garrett: They’re an unpleasant product. People wouldn’t use it if there was…

Allan: Well, sure.

Garrett: Yeah, for sure. It’s a little of both. In hindsight, I think back now, that launching Sifter, I should have spent half my time on building it, and half my time on marketing it. As much as I didn’t enjoy marketing, the reality is, you have to do that, or nobody’s going to know about it. Nobody’s going to buy it.

Allan: There are some wins you can do at SEO, I’m not going to say we didn’t write some SEO articles. I wasn’t writing them. I would do a little bit of keyword research. We can hire someone to do keyword research, but I wouldn’t put a lot of onus in SEO. SEO is a long-term, one to two-year type of a play that you can do a little bit of, if the product is right.

There was lots of articles we could write and wrote about accounting-ish things. A lot of verticals don’t have that advantage. But when you start playing the SEO game, it’s an arms race. If you have competitors, and you do an SEO, they do an SEO, there’s no differentiator in that, unless you’re writing really swayed to your personality.

That’s why content… The one thing Quickbooks doesn’t have, and Xero doesn’t have, is us. If we’re just straight-playing the SEO game, they’re going to win, because they spend $70 million a year. We were spending like $380, or something.

Garrett: I’m not going to remember the exact wording, but on your homepage it used to say… I don’t know if it still does, “All accounting software sucks. We just suck less.” So many people too are afraid to have that personality, that point of view, and just put a stake in the ground and be like, here it is. I’m sure I’m not the first person to comment on that either.

I don’t know how much you could quantify how that affected growth, or anything like that. I think it’s having that opinion, and having that stake in the ground, being able to make a statement, and differentiate yourselves from all the other big players that are trying to be buttoned-up accounting software, there’s value in it.

Everybody, their taglines on all the software is, such and such simplified, or all these really, really crummy, dry taglines as opposed to something like what you all did, which is just embrace it and say, “Hey, here we are.” Have that point of view, I think, it goes so far with marketing too.

Allan: Yeah. I mean, we can’t beat them with dollars, or people, or resources, so we can only beat them with us. We certainly probably lost a few customers because of that, but we vetted the people we didn’t want to have. Sometimes your marketing, if you do it right, can scare away the right people, before they become bad customers.

I’m big into the right people need to be following you and contacting you, not everybody.

Sometimes your marketing, if you do it right, can scare away the right people, before they become bad customers.

Garrett: To that end too a lot of people, a lot of the questions are, how am I ever going to compete against, in your case Quickbooks, Xero? It’s like, don’t play their game. By going the other way, and playing a different game you’re putting yourself in a spot that they can’t ever compete with you in, because they’re huge. A lot of founders feel like, “Oh, I’ve got to be out there. I’ve got the be the face of the company.”

That’s not necessarily true. You could still have a personality and stake out a brand, without having your face all over the software. Being the voice of the software. There’s a lot of value for people to realize that, to get a little more gutsy and say, “You know what? Let’s be different.” How can we be different? Go your own way.

Allan: Yeah. Then not try to… My flavor isn’t everyone else’s flavor. Don’t copy. Do what makes you feel comfortable. There’s a guy named Carlos. Carlos is an amazing Colombian Rails developer. He plays the accordion. But he doesn’t tell anybody he plays the accordion. On my website, I would have me playing the accordion. Because he plays the accordion!

I mean, how unusual is that, and amazing? I’d be like, “Hey, my name is Carlos. I’m a Rails developer, and I play the accordion.” That’s how I would introduce myself. But some people are scared to be… he’s basically a closeted accordion player.

Garrett: A lot of people are coming from backgrounds where they’re working for large companies, and the company literally, not necessarily stifles them, but the company doesn’t care if they’re outspoken or have a personality. Then all of a sudden, you get in this situation where you’re in charge.

It’s hard to all of a sudden flip a switch, and feel comfortable going in a different direction than what you’ve spent your whole career doing.

Allan: That’s true. That’s natural. We tend to do things that feel natural to us. I’ve always been this way, and Steve’s been himself. It feels natural. That’s why it’s hard for me to teach that, and tell peopleyou should, just because that’s the way it feels like I should be.

Garrett: You don’t want to copy somebody else. You just want to find your own voice and embrace it, rather than trying to be somebody you’re not, because that’s just as bad.

Allan: I agree.

Garrett: Right on. Well, we could probably end up talking all night. But we’re about at the ending point here. The last question is, based on everything you’ve learned, if you could give one tip, one piece of advice, to somebody else who wants to do something similar, what would it be? It can’t be “don’t do accounting software.””

Allan: I wish it actually would, because it’s a big market. Maybe that’s it, don’t attack with big markets. No one was saying this obvious thing. I feel like, in 2007 no one was saying, “Go to a vertical and find a niche.” I think, that’s mainly why I talk about small products. And for products. I would be looking very small, and then looking for what makes me successful in my eyes, what makes me feel good instead of the actual numbers, and realize it’s going to take a long time, and be kinder to yourself.

More like sustainability, personality-wise, physically, and mentally, would be my advice. Riveting those things. Be yourself. All the things we’ve talked about tonight. I don’t really have like, make sure you ask for the credit card first, and then the trial should be 16 days, not 14.

I don’t have one of those really good tips. I think it all that depends on the business you’re doing. It’s all bullshit.

Garrett: I think the tips you’re giving are definitely the ones that people need to hear, because that’s what people aren’t talking about. I agree.

Allan: That’s all I got. I don’t have any really deep insight, just like, take a vacation, be nice, go for a walk, that kind of stuff.

Garrett: Yeah, for sure. Well, this has been awesome, man. I really appreciate it. Thanks so much for taking the time. I’ll get all this sorted out,get the logistics up, get the video out. I’ll keep you posted.

Allan: Cool.

Garrett: Thanks again, man. I really appreciate it. I’m sure everybody else will get a lot out of this too.

Allan: We’ll see. We’ll see.

Garrett: All right. Thanks.

Allan: Awesome. Yeah, man.

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