Bootstrapped 39: Take them to Hooters

This week we discuss profanity, Microconf, Peersconf, business evolution, Andrey Do-gooder, product trials, Notch and motivation beyond money, Minecraft, multiple saas apps, acquiring products and building vs buying, coder vs marketer, Andrey should do an ebook

We also have an After Dark this week:

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I think some of the feedback is bullshit. Fucking people. :smile:

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It’s a real thing though. I had a few people e-mail me to object to the profanity in my Chasing Product podcast. One person went so far as to say they would refuse to recommend my podcast to others because of it.

Granted, I did have one episode that featured a super-raw, emotional rant, and that episode did have more profanity than usual in it, but overall? Eh. These shows are for grown-ups, and will sometimes feature grown-up language.

I think people are big babies sometimes.


I understand. However, I find it inappropriate for people to impose their values on others. This show is for grown-ups. One of the reasons I listen to these two is because of their raw candidness. and that includes the occasional profanity.

It might be a real thing, but I don’t believe it’s a real problem.


Yea I do the PHP Town Hall podcast and we’ve gotten the same feedback. We cuss and drink during ours and aren’t ashamed of it, that seems to offend a lot of people. It’s what we enjoy and how we choose to handle it. If someone doesn’t like it we aren’t forcing them to listen.

You can’t please everyone and it is a mistake to even try.

Some of my customers love that there is a skull and cross bones icons to denote 2 people that can’t sit together in PerfectTablePlan. Others have commented that it is ‘unprofessional’. I don’t intend to change it.

Better to be a little bit polarizing than completely bland IMO.


See now PHP Town Hall is a cuss fest :slight_smile:

Yeah @andy gotta keep a little flavor

Ian mentioned he was surprised there were no mentions of Growth Hackers/Growth Hacking at MicroConf…to my memory, that term has not been used in talks at any of the previous 4 MicroConfs. The term seems to be more aspired to in the high-growth/VC-backed startup sector.

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Guys, the end of the episode was hilarious! Loved that :smiley:

@ian, it was awesome to talk with you in person at Microconf. Isn’t that weird to talk with so many people you never met before who know details of you life?

I was quite frustrated that “frumpy” @andrey wasn’t there. When I knew Ian was giving a talk I just stupidly assumed Mr. Butov would be there as well… silly me… like if you were this strange duo entity.

I also want to add that I agree with Ian about the ebook idea. Either you both intended or not, you managed to build this growing audience who knows @andrey has this freaking ability with mobile development (and act if it was no big deal). Why not capitalize on that?

You don’t need to write the book now… just make a landing page with a book title, small description, 3 price tiers (1X, 2.2X and 5X, right?) and pre-sale it with some kind of discount or something.

I wish @andrey did that… but while I was writing that I realize it is not very @andrey-ish.


I think the term is pretty new also at least it’s wide acceptance. None of those types of people would go to Microconf anyway :slight_smile:

Maybe it is a cultural thing but I’d never even noticed any swearing! I think in general Brits tend to be less fussed about swear words.

I’m ok with hosts expressing their emotions with swearing. One f-word worth 1000 pictures.

I wonder though why nobody… errr… very few :slight_smile: people use f-words in this thread, or, more generally, this forum? Is written swearing word a larger taboo because of the paper trail? And vice versa, the hosts swear on the air because they can get away with it? :smiley:


It’s cause we all love the corporate world, and would like to go back to it, first chance we get. :smile:

It does lead to the question (sorry Im hijacking the thread): Is swearing bad for business? I used to swear a bit, but after similar criticism, started self censoring, till everything is PG12 now. Mainly because I’m not as brave (or rich) as Ian and Andrey.

Sometimes, swearing may be the best way to get the point across. Eg,

“Doing that will really mess up the servers. Dont do it.”

“Doing that will really fuck up the servers. Dont do it.”

Is there a good cause to speak in a PG12 mode, if one isn’t selling to corporate types?

It depends entirely on context. I wouldn’t post a swear word on our business sites, there’s no upside there and plenty of downside. In our podcast where we’re talking to or more specific audience in a more personal way I think it’s more appropriate.

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Swearing in front of your peers is fine in some contexts.

I can’t think of any context where swearing in front of customers (or potential customers) is a good idea.

Although (somewhat contradicting myself a bit) I have used some moderately colourful language to get across a point on my training course.

FWIW, I’ve actually unsubscribed from a few podcasts due to the excessive swearing (when I feel it gets to the point that it becomes classless). However, I have never felt that way about the Bootstrapped Podcast. A little colorful language can be like salt to the meal, dumping it on isn’t always a good thing, but the right amount adds flavor. I wouldn’t worry about it and just keep on with business as usual.

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I once got burned by writing as much as “screwed up” in the communication with a client. You never know who’s going to read it and what’s their tolerance level – and powers.

Funny story - I just got back from Railsconf. When the AV guy was setting me up we were chatting. He was saying that he’d never worked at a conference where people were dropping so many f-bombs. :slight_smile:

Of course this was right after DHH gave a quite controversial keynote. People were riled up.

In general, if there is swearing on a podcast I unsubscribe. It adds zero value and only makes the person using the language as uneducated. Some people seem to swear as part of their everyday talking.

I honestly can’t recall any swearing or inappropriate dialog in Bootstrapped. One podcast I won’t listen to is the one from Anthony of DNSimple and Steven from Less Accounting. Anthony is a class act, yet Steven is not…the two differing set of values cancels the other out.

If I can’t listen to a podcast while family is around (not that I do that), then it’s not a podcast worth listening to.

Anyway, I love Bootstrapped…keep it going.

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