Was there ever an inflection point where you thought, "Oh, it's all gonna have been worth it!"
Even though it was slow, things mostly moved in the right direction. There weren't Indie Hackers working in public then, so I didn't even realize it was slow. I thought we were doing fine. But yeah, around year 3 was when it really felt like it was getting real.
Thanks for sharing. I'm sitting in a position where things are looking like they will grow very slowly. I find myself in a tough spot of trying to figure out if the slow growth is market friction, or just lack of time in the field.
It's hard to know when you see startups growing at insane rates from day 1. Reaching 10k mrr in a short period.
What made you realise after year one... or even 2... that it was worthwhile continuing (vs maybe we've taken the wrong path)?
I honestly didn't know any better. People weren't working in public back then, so I had nothing to compare myself to. I was having a great time, and the numbers were moving in the right direction (just slowly) so it didn't occur to me we might be on the wrong path.
How did you persevere? I would probably get demotivated after the first year
1) Back then, people didn't work in public. I had nothing to compare myself to. 2) I loved the work. 3) Even though it was slow, things consistently moved in the right direction. I might have lost motivation if I couldn't see signs of it working.
Do you think it was working because customers needed a very basic CRM and not a bloated one? Surprisingly today still looks like they need a simple one
Yes, I think it was partially that. Also price and customer service. In 1999, Salesforce innovated by putting CRM online, but the product was still fundamentally only for huge companies. Even today, most SaaS companies ignore the smallest businesses.