Episode 36: White hat growth hacker

Check out the latest episode where we discuss more growth hacking scum, the podcasts 1 year birthday, building a business for more than money, SaaS vs download, SaaS thriving off dead accounts, code builds, game console emulators, open source doc and design quality, open source vs open source and free, publishing, conference talks.


Only listened to half of it, but already nodding my head. At one point I wanted to say “Hell yeah!”, till I realised I was at work, and people would stare.

The point that set me off was when you guys said something like (paraphrasing from memory):

“Nowadays, everything is being forced into the Saas model, even if it doesn’t fit. Everything has to be shoehorned into saas, because that’s the only profitable model in the world.”

Even things like online training is now offered as a Saas (I’m specifically looking at the gimmicky Codeschool.com). Back in the day, when you bought a book, you bought it. You could go back to it a year later, and still pick something up. But now you don’t own the knowledge, you merely “rent” it month by month.

A few months ago, I was thinking of a few business ideas, but couldn’t go anywhere because they couldn’t be forced into a Saas model. I really wish I had heard this podcast then.

Well it was only a month ago, it’s not too late! :slight_smile:

Yeah, for some things SaaS makes loads of sense, for others not so much or at least you should consider all the alternatives. Lots of people with great businesses that aren’t SaaS.

I’m about 20 minutes into this episode, and wanted to clarify a point:

Andre mentions an email from me (Rob at HitTail) at the start. Then a few minutes later Ian mentions someone spamming these forums and that their product was hard to cancel. Since there isn’t a clean transition there it could sound like they are still talking about my product HitTail, but they aren’t. Ian didn’t mention the name of the second company (the one who was posting to these forums and made it hard for him to cancel).

Absolutely. The major benefit of SaaS is the recurring revenue. But it comes with its own set of hassles. There is definitely room for non-SaaS software products today, especially when the masses all seem to be headed in that direction. Zigging when everyone else is zagging.

I’m going to give some thought to putting together an episode about benefits/drawbacks of SaaS from my perspective.

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Oh man, sorry about that. I didn’t even catch that when I listened to it. The first was obviously a joke by Andrey regarding my railing against growth hacking, but of course the spam wasn’t you at all. We’ll make a correction on the next podcast and of course all the folks who read this should be clear it wasn’t HitTail doing anything wrong here at all.

Sorry, Rob. We ( I ) have a tendency to run off on quick tangents during the podcast; the transition wasn’t clear there.

Well, just to be more clear here’s the post I was talking about regarding growth hacking on the podcast:

I really hate to give them more publicity as obviously that’s the only goal to this stuff so I didn’t want to mention the company or link to them further but I feel really bad about this and just want to be as clear as possible here.

I did just relisten and I think there was enough space that it’s clear they’re not the same but like I said hopefully we can make that more clear here and on the next podcast. Hittail and Rob are A OK in my book, I’ve actually experienced several of Rob’s products and they’re all on the up and up.

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Yeah, no worries. I know how it goes when you’re recording and bouncing around from topic to topic.

If it makes anyone feel any better, I could tell that you guys were discussing a product other than Rob’s from the context. Enjoyed the episode, this on going discussion of the downsides of SaaS is interesting given how dead set the mainstream (and myself, to be honest) are on the SaaS model.

@robwalling Most of the regulars here who know of your work would not make the mistake at all (that you’d spam people or use naughty tricks to get them to stay).

But I guess random listeners from the Interwebs might not know better…

Thanks David! Yes, it’s definitely something that doesn’t get enough attention.

Guys, you debated whether one can “publish” a blog post. I love etymology, so I looked it up:

“to publish” originates in “to make generally known, to make public”

Seems like the perfect word for making a blog post available to the public.

So now I can say I told you so to @andrey :slight_smile:

I think “debated” would imply some kind of thoughtful conversation. I think it was more like, blabbed nonsense while thinking of more interesting topics to talk about. :smile:

I think it was more like, blabbed nonsense while thinking of more interesting topics to talk about.

Aw geez, Andrey, you’ve ruined the illusion I had that the whole podcast was a carefully thought-out and constructed work of brilliance!

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Welcome back guys. I thought, especially after episode 35 aka “Hate the SaaS!” that you’d kind of had enough. I was wrong as you bounced back with renewed ire at the modern world. Good stuff. Personally the fact that you’re less enamoured with SaaS and thinking more ziggily than zaggily (does that work?) is really interesting to hear.

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We probably needed a week off :slight_smile:

Ziggily, Zaggily !!!

@ian you talked about how optimizing conversions and retention to the point where they are hiding “delete account” buttons or whatever is slimy (can’t remember the word you used).

There is a term for that: “dark patterns”, and there is a site that collects them: darkpatterns.org.

Ah, very cool! I like slimy, but ‘dark patterns’ sounds nice and sophisticated :slight_smile: