Discuss Home · Bootstrapped Podcast · Scribbleton Personal Wiki · HelpSpot Customer Service Software · Thermostat NPS

Guide: What you should know as a founder of a software company


I tried to distill the essence of my entrepreneur experience into a single guide:

Hopefully it’s ok to continue posting some of my articles here because many of them will be bootstrapping-related, but I can stick to one forum thread in the future if it’s too self-promotional to create a new one for each.

Guide to improving focus

Almost one month to the day since you published your previous article. Do I sense a strategy to release one long blog post every month? :slight_smile:

If you don’t mind sharing, do you think your previous article caused a boost in Qbserve sales?


Almost – I don’t want to publish anything in November or December when big companies occupy all the media channels and people shift their attention to holidays. The goal is one blog post and one guest post monthly in 2018.

The previous article is an outlier because it’s relevant to everybody. I don’t think we can repeat this level of virality with something centered around productivity. But the result is 80k unique visitors and +$5k in sales already. I wish I had some app for Windows too. :roll_eyes: What’s also important: it led to hundreds of quality backlinks.

We also made a side project in a week. I haven’t promoted it except for Product Hunt and a couple of subreddits but it got its own article in Lifehacker and there’s a Qbserve banner in the extension options:


Its a very good article and certainly chimes with my experiences over the last 12 years.


Some provided resources are very cool!

However, I felt that the post was way too long, and still (not a surprise for such a huge subject) failed to cover all the bases. It left a feeling of jumping from topic to topic. I feel if split into a few posts it could have provided better details and read more clearly.


Yes, I was editing out a lot to keep the section lengths balanced. But I don’t think it’s too long (under 4k words) compared to many guides I’ve read.

So, it feels a bit like running a company? Then it’s a feature, not a bug! :slight_smile:


Oh, you’re trying to make it a guide? Then it should be better structured - content table and whatnot. Without a way to navigate the structure it is just a post, and for a post it is lengthy and doesn’t make only one point (as a post should do).

Note: I’m not questioning the quality of info - which is very good! - just the accessibility and format. I believe you’d make more service for a reader and get more Google juice if you split the data in separate pages, navigable from a main “guide” page.


Thanks, a content table sounds great for a post with 10 subheadings. I think we’ll explore each topic in a separate post in the future and update the guide with links to them. From what I’ve read, Google likes 2k+ words articles nowadays – so the current amount of content is not enough to split it into pages.


Congrats Ivan, it’s great work and your illustrations are amazing. Glad to read that it’s paying off!

About writing ressources, I find the Hemingway App very helpful. Without it, I keep writing massive hard-to-read sentences and using the passive voice.


Thanks! Yes, I check one of the final drafts with Hemingway and it usually finds a few simpler words.

For writing itself I like Bear despite some early flaws (no revisions and tables yet):


Back to the blog! The article from the first post is getting close to 30k unique visits.

Meanwhile, I tried to extract my approaches to learning:


A new article, for those who are looking for better places to live.

And a bit of off-topic that I wrote because I’ve been explaining it again and again to my friends:


Ivan - love your writing, very clear and to the point.

Do you mind if I ask where you’re from originally? I had guessed that you’re not a native English speaker but you would never be able to tell from your writing.


Thank you! I’m from St. Petersburg, Russia.


Interesting article.

Have something to add about Germany though: It’s not only high income taxes but also absurdly high (mandatory) health care contributions that are at 15% of your GROSS income (though they’re capped at ~780 EUR/Month). The problem is that once you start a business they automatically assume that you have an income of at least ~2500 Euros so the minimum you have to pay is around 400 Euros/month even if you have in fact 0 income still. (No, you can’t get a lower rate than that. That’s the bottom rate for self employed people who are not on social security assistance).

This makes bootstrapping a nightmare in Germany.

(Now this is for the public health insurance. There are private health insurances that don’t have this fee structure but from experience they get more expensive if you’re past the age of 30.)


I got stuck in coding and haven’t been writing anything for half a year. :frowning:

So here’s an article with a TL;DR “don’t spend too much time on the tech stuff”.


There’s some really good stuff in this latest article, Ivan.

I wonder if a developer ever truly understands some of your points until they actually try themselves to start a software business…


Thanks! Yes, I’ve already got a couple of very angry comments with the famous “good software sells itself” in them. :smiley:


Ivan, +1 on your post - I like your structure (and content): the Recommendations: subheading helps to make the content more actionable.