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EmberGrep - Back In Bootstrapping


#1

It’s been over a year since I’ve been active in the forums here, and I have to say that the activity is REALLY exciting!
I wanted to reintroduce myself since it’s been so long and update those that were around in the early days in terms of what I’ve been doing.

I originally had started a bootstrap company called iOffertory that was a online donation tool focused at mobile donations fast transactions and user engagement.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have the savings, patience, or sales skills to bootstrap the company with its business model.
I attempted to get some income working part time, but found that I didn’t really like having to fight time freelance vs my own product.

Around September of last year, one of my contract employers offered me a full-time position after two weeks of me saying “I’ll work as much as I can fit in this week” and putting in 40-50 hours a week.
I actually was really hesitant about taking a full-time position for another company since I still liked the ownership of my own company.
But, in the end, financial security and the realization that my current company was unlikely to be profitable for a while ended up having me accept the offer.

Since then, I’ve been working as a senior developer at my company and have been through multiple clients as well as quite a few company changes.
Then the bootstrap bug came back to me.


Around May of this year, I began thinking of creating my own screencasts site for teaching Single Page Application development in the same vein as what Laracasts does for Laravel and PHP.
I had started by looking at selling content to an existing site like Envato or Pluralsite but never really felt right about the end-user engagement that these platforms offered and wanted something to call my own.

So, at the end of the day, I ended up creating EmberGrep.com and released my first course last week.
It’s been an interesting ride so far, and I hope to share more of this story with you all and hopefully get some opinions on next steps.


#2

Ryan: CONGRATS ON SHIPPING! Freaking awesome. Way to go!

Tiny suggestion: consider making a teaser video available for free (or maybe just that very first one on installing Ember CLI). That way, people can get some idea of what the content will be like before committing. Less friction :smile:

Again, congrats on shipping!!


#3

@tnorthcutt, Thanks for the suggestion!

I’ve actually be working on an introductory video and was just writing up a newsletter update that says that the video is in the works.

I wanted to get the video out sooner, but unfortunately the day after shipping I was traveling then was hit by the flu when I got home so I’m just really getting back into the swing of things.


I also need to thank @mattstauffer for some of his time helping me get this shipped and teaching me a good deal about trust signals on my site.


#4

Congratulations!

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the savings, patience, or sales skills to bootstrap the company with its business model.

What’s different, this time around?


#5

iOffertory was a payment service running on 1% business model targeting large non-profits which is a really crazy political nut to crack and was based on heavy touch sales.
The cost of acquisition was incredibly high.


EmberGrep instead is smaller purchases and works on content marketing and social marketing and is selling larger chunks that can be resold.
Each lesson and course takes a good deal of time to create but then can be sold indefinitely with just the cost of S3 hosting and running a small hosting fee.


#6

Makes sense - good luck!


#7

This is much needed for the Ember community. One of the reasons I left Ember for Angular (right before 1.0 release) was lack of learning resources. If this were around then, I might have had a fighting chance of building more than a to-do app. I would recommend at some point creating a huge 10+ lesson tutorial on how to build a serious production app with real-life features including authentication / authorization, complex model relationships, charting, form builders, etc. Also, some folks are starting the Atlanta Ember meetup back up - you should come down and present! Good luck on the venture.