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Why I decided to bootstrap SendOwl


#1

One of our main competitors Gumroad has just announced big lay offs. Looks to me like they’ve been scuppered by the VC model: grow massively or die.

I’ve been meaning to write about why I bootstrapped SendOwl for a while, but the Gumroad situation has really helped me crystallise my thoughts. Here they are: https://www.sendowl.com/blog/sendowl-gumroad-and-bootstrapping.html


#2

Nice to hear that you are doing things the sensible way…I heard you being interviewed on a podcast recently, and you came across as a level-headed business person. SendOwl wasn’t quite right for my current product (desktop software with 30-day trial), but I’m keeping it in mind for possible future stuff. Like that ebook I’ve been on the verge of writing for the last two years.


#3

Oh dear.

I am one of those people who use Gumroad a lot. Love its ease of use, its simple pricing, everything about it really.

Hope this doesn’t affect their service quality.


#4

Thanks Steve - appreciate the kind words


#5

Nice article. Especially the part about having regular exercise.

There is so much bullsh*t around this field, macho nonsense like work 90 hour weeks, Oh, I only sleep 3 hours a night.


#6

Thanks for writing this! This is definitely one of the best blog posts lately.

Adding your blog on my rss feed.


#7

Thank you for sharing your opinion on this so thoughtfully. I highly admire the way you do business & the way you approach competition in you tough field. This is another time I see you handling the situation so gracefully, the first being VAT issues last year.

Even though I’m very much supporting Gumroad in their hard times. It’s sad to see how a bootstrapped community backfires on someone who went the (obviously wrong) VC route and then decided to shrink back to a bootstrapped-size business. Shouldn’t we support Sahil instead?

This is somewhat a “Peldi-style” business that you built, and I’m sure you’re there for long-term, organic success. Was nice to meet you at MicroConf personally. Kudos!


#9

Couldn’t agree more. What’s important is the work you produce - not how long/where you work


#10

Thanks so much for your kind words!


#12

Hi George - great post and interesting service. I have to ask - how can you simply charge a monthly fee and not a percentage of sales? Doesn’t your payment processor always take 1-2% of any transactions??


#13

You need to add on the payment processor fees as well as our fee - so anywhere from 1.9% to 3.4%, or lower if you have high volumes


#14

Makes sense now. Might want to clarify that on your pricing page, as the FAQ on there made be think otherwise. https://www.sendowl.com/pricing