23 rules to run a software startup with minimum hassle

There’s a lot to agree/disagree with in this article:

The important thing to remember is the “with minimum hassle” clause in the title!


I think everyone should follow every single one of these rules to the letter.

I also think everyone should do the opposite of all of the rules, and measure the difference.

In short: this blog article is useful not because of its conclusions, but because of the opportunities it suggests.

Have any of you tried Paddle? I’m using stripe but it can be interesting to not have to handle subscriptions and have less bookkeeping.

Less money but less stress :sweat_smile:

I have used them for one of my apps, that I sold a few years ago. Two words: they’re great. For me it was worth having a complete billing system at the markup they charged on each transaction.

They also took away a lot of the VAT related complexity as they just pay one amount every month (= less accounting costs).


Did you use Paddle with subscriptions?

No, just one off license sales. But given how smooth everything worked I would use them for subscription billing as well.

Rule #5. Don’t do freemium.
Guys do you agree with it? I don’t use freemium yet but I really want to try. IMO freemium allowes to sell products better where the product value is not clear for users from the start. I guess there are signs for such things. For example we have poor conversion rate, but big percentage of users pay regularly for upgrades.

Rule #16. Don’t do partnerships.
When you are small It is hard to resist. We have many, maybe dozens of different partnerships. But only 2-3 were really fruitful and beneficial. But you cannot reject reseller requests when you desperately need sales.

Rule #10: Use an answering service
Does anybody have a good experience with such services? Would be nice because we are not in US time zones.

Don’t reject a sale via them - but don’t mistake it for some partnership and give discount. https://successfulsoftware.net/2009/03/18/the-two-types-of-reseller/

Sometimes it is not easy. Imagine a big company says they are a distributor with more than 10000 resellers and they arrange Skype/zoom conference with you and talk about how they are interested in promoting your software in their country. And all they need is a huge discount because they are distributor and use 3 tier scheme. So they get their discount and nothing big happens at the end. :grimacing:

I think it’s impossible to give a hard and fast rule on freemium. It depends on product (B2B vs B2C, How long until customers see value, can the customer onboard themselves, how much value can you provide until they pay, etc). For my B2B app, instead of a free plan, I decided to have a very cheap but functional entry level plan. If a company can’t spare $30/month to try the platform (no lockin, easy to cancel, etc) I do not want to deal with support questions and other complaints from non-paying customers. YMMV.