Why I decided to bootstrap SendOwl

One of our main competitors Gumroad has just announced big lay offs. Looks to me like they’ve been scuppered by the VC model: grow massively or die.

I’ve been meaning to write about why I bootstrapped SendOwl for a while, but the Gumroad situation has really helped me crystallise my thoughts. Here they are: https://www.sendowl.com/blog/sendowl-gumroad-and-bootstrapping.html


Nice to hear that you are doing things the sensible way…I heard you being interviewed on a podcast recently, and you came across as a level-headed business person. SendOwl wasn’t quite right for my current product (desktop software with 30-day trial), but I’m keeping it in mind for possible future stuff. Like that ebook I’ve been on the verge of writing for the last two years.

Oh dear.

I am one of those people who use Gumroad a lot. Love its ease of use, its simple pricing, everything about it really.

Hope this doesn’t affect their service quality.

Thanks Steve - appreciate the kind words

Nice article. Especially the part about having regular exercise.

There is so much bullsh*t around this field, macho nonsense like work 90 hour weeks, Oh, I only sleep 3 hours a night.

Thanks for writing this! This is definitely one of the best blog posts lately.

Adding your blog on my rss feed.

Thank you for sharing your opinion on this so thoughtfully. I highly admire the way you do business & the way you approach competition in you tough field. This is another time I see you handling the situation so gracefully, the first being VAT issues last year.

Even though I’m very much supporting Gumroad in their hard times. It’s sad to see how a bootstrapped community backfires on someone who went the (obviously wrong) VC route and then decided to shrink back to a bootstrapped-size business. Shouldn’t we support Sahil instead?

This is somewhat a “Peldi-style” business that you built, and I’m sure you’re there for long-term, organic success. Was nice to meet you at MicroConf personally. Kudos!

Couldn’t agree more. What’s important is the work you produce - not how long/where you work

Thanks so much for your kind words!

Hi George - great post and interesting service. I have to ask - how can you simply charge a monthly fee and not a percentage of sales? Doesn’t your payment processor always take 1-2% of any transactions??

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You need to add on the payment processor fees as well as our fee - so anywhere from 1.9% to 3.4%, or lower if you have high volumes

Makes sense now. Might want to clarify that on your pricing page, as the FAQ on there made be think otherwise. https://www.sendowl.com/pricing