Issue 2

Content Curation, Raising Your Prices, Open-source Intercom Alternative

September 04, 2020

Content of the Week:

1) Curators Are the New Creators

by Gaby Goldberg - Article 📰(6 min)

An excellent piece that dives into the growing demand for curated content. The author covers the “how” and “why” of content curation, in a succinct fashion. More demand for content curation allows for new niche businesses like Channel Stack, that provide a way to monetize the plethora of content on the internet. The other facet of this, is that these new communities built around focused curation, are excellent places to market your small business, as many are fledgling and are usually very targeted.

With more creators, more content, and more choice than ever before, consumers are now being consumed by a state of analysis paralysis. The real scarcity isn’t content anymore. It’s attention.

Side note: Gaby has another excellent article (11 min read) around the effectiveness of hype and exclusivity for product launches that I highly recommend checking out.

2) Raising Prices & Re-writing Your Codebase

by Rob Walling via Startups for the Rest of Us - Podcast 🎧(32 min)

Mike Ritchie, talks through his experience pivoting his business SeekWell, away from pursuing VC funding and instead focusing on becoming profitable. Great insights on deciding whether to refactor your codebase and also around successfully raising prices for your product. SeekWell switched from basing their pricing off of user count, to instead basing it off a tier of actual usage (running reports). The key takeaway is tying your pricing to the value metric that your product is providing.

Startups for the Rest of Us is a podcast by Rob Walling, founder of MicroConf, that focuses on valuable lessons around building and growing a small B2B SaaS company. Highly recommend it for people that are fans of the Indie Hackers Podcast.

3) First tax year with Stripe Atlas

by Jamhur Mustafayev - Blog Post 📰(3 min)

If you have considered using Stripe Atlas for your business, this post provides some useful information from someone who just recently went through their first year incorporating with Atlas.

4) Chaskiq, Free open-source alternative to Intercom

by Miguel Michelson - Product 📦(FREE)

Miguel shared his project on Indie Hackers, which could be a great option for small tech businesses looking for functionality similar to Intercom, but looking to avoid adding additional burn rate to their products. I checked it out myself, and it is feature-rich and looks to be a viable alternative.

In the News: Palantir IPO

Palantir, a somewhat mysterious software company founded by Peter Thiel in 2003, is preparing for their IPO. As potential investors eagerly mine over Palantir’s released documents, we get to learn a bit more about this secretive company. Despite some large government contracts, Palantir has had heavy losses in the past few years, nearly $600 million in 2019. It will be interesting to see how the IPO plays out given the unique nature of this company. Even though most of us are not looking to build a massive public tech company, I find news like this are good reminders of the fundamental differences in principles between big tech companies and small ones.

From the Archives: Why I Quit a $500K Job at Amazon to Work for Myself

by Daniel Vassallo - Blog Post 📰 (6 min)

An inspiring post that really keys into what pushes a lot of us to try to start our own small tech businesses. Financial motivation is an undeniable motivation for many of us, but after a certain point it becomes less important. What pushes us then? For myself it is balance, and the freedom to define the balance that I want in my life.

What motivates you?

The things that don’t wear off are those that I’ve been doing since I was a kid, when nothing was forcing me to do them. Things such as writing code, selling my creations, charting my own path, calling it like I saw it. I know my strengths, and I know what motivates me, so why not do this all the time? I’m lucky to live in a time where I can do something independently in my area of expertise without requiring large amounts of capital or outside investors. So that’s what I’m doing.

Written by Justin Chu, a software developer based in Seattle, WA. He is currently building his own small tech business, Mobo Games.
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