Edit Notes

Brian Casel is a veteran of the bootstrapping game, having left his full-time job back in 2008. You might have heard him on the Boostrapped Web podcast where he shares his journey starting and building software products. Over the years Brian has pretty much done it all, built software businesses, courses, productized services and even sold some along the way. Most recently, Brian has been working on ZipMessage, a new way to communicate asynchronously.

In this episode we talk about why he started ZipMessage, a framework for going from a freelancer to productized service and why Brian never pursued his passion for music as a business.

There is a 1 hour long version of this conversation available on the Indie Bites membership, where Brian gives some great advice why young indie hackers should have a portfolio of projects, some more details about how the calm company fund works and expands upon some of the things discussed in this episode. Head to bites.fm/membership, or click the link in the show notes to listen to that.

A quick thank you to Fathom Analytics for sponsoring this episode. For the longest time, website analytics software was seriously bad. It was hard to understand, time-consuming to use, and worse, it exploited visitor data for big tech to profit. I've spent countless hours in Google Analytics dashboards trying to figure even out the most basic metrics.

This is exactly why I signed up for Fathom as soon as I heard Paul Jarvis and Jack Ellis were building it.

Fathom is simple website analytics that doesn't suck. It's easy to use and respectful of privacy laws, with no cookies following your users around the web. They're also a bootstrapped, sustainable business so I love supporting them. Yes, it might feel strange paying for analytics at first, but once you realise the real cost of free Google Analytics and realising how easy to use Fathom is, you won't go back. You can install the lightweight code on as many websites as you want and quickly see the performance of all your sites.

Head to usefathom.com/bites or hit the link in the show notes to give it a go.

Thank you for listening to this episode of Indie Bites, I'd recommend going away and listening to Brian's pod Bootstrapped Web to hear more from him. If you enjoyed this, I think you'll love the hour long version on the Indie Bites membership, the link of course is in the show notes. And to round off with another thank you to the sponsor of this episode, Fathom Analytics. See you next week.

What we covered in this episode:

  • Where did the idea of ZipMessage come from?
  • How Brian validated ZipMessage
  • Brian's unconventional approach to validation
  • Why Brian raised funding from Calm Company Fund
  • How can people go from freelancer to productized service
  • The importance of building processes in productized services
  • Why Brian didn't follow his passion for music