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The Longcut: A SaaS Business Podcast

Ryan Crispin Heneise | SaaS Entrepreneur | Web Pro

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The Longcut: A SaaS Business Podcast
The Longcut: A SaaS Business Podcast

The Longcut: A SaaS Business Podcast

Ryan Crispin Heneise | SaaS Entrepreneur | Web Pro

2
Followers
0
Plays
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About Us

The Longcut breaks down the illusion of the overnight success by sharing the stories of those who have successfully created, launched, and grown software businesses to solve a problem.In the fiercely competitive world of SaaS, Ryan introduces you to the brilliant minds behind the businesses we admire. You’ll hear perils and pitfalls, stories of staggering success, candid conversations, and what drives these owners, entrepreneurs, and innovators forward. Key themes we’ll explore include product validation, getting your first customers, how much of a MVP to develop, how to know when an idea is worth pursuing, how to run a SaaS company, tactical insights into creating an MVP, what to do if you don’t have a technical co-founder and any other of your SaaS related questions. If you like Akimbo by Seth Godin, Tropical MBA, SaaStr, Startups for the Rest of Us, Rework, or the Startup Chat, you’ll love The Longcut

Latest Episodes

011: How to build an MVP | Ryan Heneise

Episode 011: How to Build an MVP Welcome, Episode 11 of the Longcut Podcast, where we're busy poking holes in the myth of the overnight success. I'm your host Ryan, and today we're doing something a little bit different. I don't have a guest today; instead, I thought it would be fun to talk about MVPs and let you in on some of the secrets that we use to successfully create brand-new web products. I also want to give you an update on the podcast, because I'm going to be changing the format a little bit. It turns out, making a podcast is really time-consuming. In the past couple of weeks, I've had a little bit of a hard time balancing my regular job, which is building MVPs with my agency Booster Stage, and landing new leads for the podcast, doing interviews, etc. all that goes into producing great content. I'm not going to lie, I got a little behind. So, dear listeners, I hope you'll forgive me, but I'm going to take a couple of weeks sabbatical from the podcast to catch my breath. Wh...

9 MIN2018 SEP 26
Comments
011: How to build an MVP | Ryan Heneise

010: Selling Your Byproducts | Nathaniel Talbott

Takeaways: Sell Your Byproducts: Sometimes you have to operate a particular business for a while to recognize that a hole that exists in the market. If you're watching for it, you may realize that the hole is more valuable than the business you're actually operating. Don't be afraid of a big pivot. Spreedly started out as a subscription management service, similar to Stripe. Several years into it, they realized that what customers really wanted was a way to store credit cards in a PCI-compliant payment vault. They eventually decided to sell the subscription product, which had until then been their bread and butter. What are your customers telling you? Your customers are talking to you; listen to what they have to say. It's tempting, especially for startup founders, to double down on what we perceive is the problem that needs to be solved. Instead, open up to the idea that you may be wrong, or that there may be something that you haven't thought of yet. Full shownotes: https://thelon...

38 MIN2018 SEP 12
Comments
010: Selling Your Byproducts | Nathaniel Talbott

009: The Long, Slow SaaS Ramp of Growth | Mason Hale

Today on the Longcut we’re talking with Mason Hale. Mason is the founder of TeamTopia. TeamTopia’s flagship product is SwimTopia, which helps teams streamline and manage the logistics of running a swim team. Proactively narrow down your niche audience. Many entrepreneurs have a product or service that they try to apply to as large of an audience as possible. Instead, niche down and narrow your focus - you can’t meet the needs of everyone, everywhere. You’ll be enabled to communicate and connect with your market in a way that is really hard to do if you're trying to do it all. Charge your customers right away. Don’t have reservations about asking your customers to pay for your idea - build something that they will pay for, as is. If no one is willing to pay upfront for what you’re providing, it’s a critical sign that your business will not be self-sustaining in the long run. Don't take failures personally. Business owners are wired to be emotionally attached to their enterpris...

44 MIN2018 SEP 5
Comments
009: The Long, Slow SaaS Ramp of Growth | Mason Hale

008: Do You Need a Startup Accelerator? | Kevin Koym

Takeaways: What to look for in a venture accelerator. Much of the value in the top-tier programs—the most famous and sought-after accelerators like Y-Combinator and TechStars—has to do with the halo effect. You'll have contact and mentorship opportunities with people who can really help move your business forward. Second-tier programs can also offer a lot of value in the community. Beware of programs whose primary emphasis is on the mechanics and structure of the business process. Entrepreneurship is a skill that can be learned. The post-industrial economy is here. Many corporate jobs are migrating to outsourced skilled labor. This is going to necessitate the learning of very diverse skillsets by self-employed people and entrepreneurs who are working increasingly in a decentralized and meshed economic environment. Full Shownotes: https://thelongcut.fm/kevin-koym Links mentioned in this episode: TechRanch Austin Venture Forth.co @TechRanch KevinKoym.com @kkoym Kevin Koym on LinkedI...

41 MIN2018 AUG 28
Comments
008: Do You Need a Startup Accelerator? | Kevin Koym

007: In Search of the Perfect Business Model | Allan Branch

Takeaways: Beware of entrepreneurial enthusiasm. It can definitely drive your momentum in the early days, but it can also be exhausting. Do ride the wave when you catch it. But channel that energy into creating a sustainable business that will continue beyond the initial wave of entrepreneurial enthusiasm. Younger entrepreneurs may have a longer wave to ride; as we get a little older, and especially once we begin a family, it’s important to balance our energy. It might be tempting to work 14-hour days for a while when you’re single and unattached, but it’s not ok to do that for very long when you have a family. That’s not to say that if you missed the wave of entrepreneurial enthusiasm in your youth, the opportunity is passed. Far from it: a recent study published by the Harvard Business Review found that the average age of a successful startup founder is 45. Build products that have a high value. Even though accounting software is the backbone of any business, Allan and Steve f...

38 MIN2018 AUG 21
Comments
007: In Search of the Perfect Business Model | Allan Branch

006: Is Your Next Business a Productized Service? | Brian Casel

Takeaways: Whether you realize it or not, you’re modeling entrepreneurship to your kids. That’s a good thing. Brian was an entrepreneur before he knew he was an entrepreneur. His upbringing in many ways prepared him for a career of self-employment. For all you parents out there listening; take this lesson to heart: don’t be afraid to bring your kids into your confidence about your business. The lessons you’ll teach them just by watching you will change the way they see the world, and will probably inform their own career choices. Entrepreneurial enthusiasm is the fuel that drives us. Brian experimented with several different businesses, and you can still hear his enthusiasm for those early wins. Small things, like getting his first customer, and earning his first $59 from his Wordpress theme, were like gas in his entrepreneurial engine. Productized services can be easier to launch than SaaS products. A productized service is a service that you offered in a tightly defined packag...

43 MIN2018 AUG 14
Comments
006: Is Your Next Business a Productized Service? | Brian Casel

005: How to Validate Before your MVP | Ada Ryland

Takeaways: The very earliest days of a startup's life are some of the most exciting, but they're also arguably some of the most risky. Decisions must be made in the early days about all sorts of things that will affect the future of the business: what products to offer, what kinds of customers to serve, what marketing channels to use, what sort of company culture to build, and on and on. Although for many startups the table stakes (investment of time and money) are relatively low, there are plenty of funded startups with a substantial amount of capital on the line. Whether the investment is time, capital, or both, there are ways to reduce the risk involved in starting a business. Today's guest, Ada Ryland, works with early-stage entrepreneurs to help de-risk their startup enterprises. Success or failure in business really comes down to whether or not you can create (and keep) a customer. One of the most common mistakes we see early stage startups making is focusing too much energy o...

38 MIN2018 AUG 7
Comments
005: How to Validate Before your MVP | Ada Ryland

004: Nathan Barry | Why Direct Sales is the Best Way to Grow a Small Software Company

Nathan Barry is the founder of Seva (formerly ConvertKit). I had heard about ConvertKit's story from Nathan before, and it really stuck with me. ConvertKit is an amazing company. They've had incredible growth recently, and it's easy to look at where they are today and think it was a foregone conclusion. Little did I know that there was a time when Nathan considered giving up on the idea. I sat down with Nathan to ask him about why he didn't give up on the idea, and what it was that helped him turn it around. Takeaways: Are you serious? Nathan had to be confronted with a decision: either shut down the company or go all in and invest in it. Fish or cut bait, as my dad would say. Nathan asked himself hard questions, like: have I really given it a fair shake? And the answer that he came up with was no; he hadn't. Listen to Nathan describe his thought process and why he decided to go "all in". Your niche is probably not narrow enough. ConvertKit was an email marketing tool, but there was...

30 MIN2018 JUL 31
Comments
004: Nathan Barry | Why Direct Sales is the Best Way to Grow a Small Software Company

003: Brennan Dunn | How You Think About Sales Makes a Big Difference

Brennan Dunn is the co-founder of RightMessage, and the founder of Double Your Freelancing, a community of freelancers and agencies, offering courses that help freelancers increase their rates and charge what they're worth. Brennan's latest venture, RightMessage, is a tool that helps marketers build highly targeted messaging for website visitors. The idea behind RightMessage is that you want to talk to people differently depending on who they are and what their needs and interests are. RightMessage allows you to change the content on your website to speak directly to the person who's visiting your website. It's an extremely powerful tool that lets marketers do things that, until recently, were only available to the most sophisticated internet marketers. If you've been following RightMessage since they launched in February 2018, you might think it looks like an overnight success. As usual, that's not the case. The idea of personalizing website content for your visitors is not new, an...

42 MIN2018 JUL 24
Comments
003: Brennan Dunn | How You Think About Sales Makes a Big Difference

002: Shelley Delayne | Why Community is So Important for Entrepreneurs

ShelleyDelayne is the owner and proprietor at Orange Coworking in Austin, Texas. I wanted to catch up with Shelley because she is someone who has remarkable insight into the psychology and the mental landscape of independent entrepreneurs. Shelley opened Orange Coworking partly out of her own need for a place to work outside the house. But she quickly realized that the need for community—to be around other entrepreneurs and self-employed knowledge workers in a supportive environment—was something that many other people felt. Takeaways: Most business failures happen in the head or the heart of the entrepreneur. Founders, especially solo founders remote workers, need community and support. Sometimes more than we realize. We need to be around like-minded people who understand the unique kinds of struggles that we face. Self-motivated people are really bad at self-congratulating. It's important to pat ourselves on the back—or let someone else pat us on the back—every now and then. C...

33 MIN2018 JUL 24
Comments
002: Shelley Delayne | Why Community is So Important for Entrepreneurs

Latest Episodes

011: How to build an MVP | Ryan Heneise

Episode 011: How to Build an MVP Welcome, Episode 11 of the Longcut Podcast, where we're busy poking holes in the myth of the overnight success. I'm your host Ryan, and today we're doing something a little bit different. I don't have a guest today; instead, I thought it would be fun to talk about MVPs and let you in on some of the secrets that we use to successfully create brand-new web products. I also want to give you an update on the podcast, because I'm going to be changing the format a little bit. It turns out, making a podcast is really time-consuming. In the past couple of weeks, I've had a little bit of a hard time balancing my regular job, which is building MVPs with my agency Booster Stage, and landing new leads for the podcast, doing interviews, etc. all that goes into producing great content. I'm not going to lie, I got a little behind. So, dear listeners, I hope you'll forgive me, but I'm going to take a couple of weeks sabbatical from the podcast to catch my breath. Wh...

9 MIN2018 SEP 26
Comments
011: How to build an MVP | Ryan Heneise

010: Selling Your Byproducts | Nathaniel Talbott

Takeaways: Sell Your Byproducts: Sometimes you have to operate a particular business for a while to recognize that a hole that exists in the market. If you're watching for it, you may realize that the hole is more valuable than the business you're actually operating. Don't be afraid of a big pivot. Spreedly started out as a subscription management service, similar to Stripe. Several years into it, they realized that what customers really wanted was a way to store credit cards in a PCI-compliant payment vault. They eventually decided to sell the subscription product, which had until then been their bread and butter. What are your customers telling you? Your customers are talking to you; listen to what they have to say. It's tempting, especially for startup founders, to double down on what we perceive is the problem that needs to be solved. Instead, open up to the idea that you may be wrong, or that there may be something that you haven't thought of yet. Full shownotes: https://thelon...

38 MIN2018 SEP 12
Comments
010: Selling Your Byproducts | Nathaniel Talbott

009: The Long, Slow SaaS Ramp of Growth | Mason Hale

Today on the Longcut we’re talking with Mason Hale. Mason is the founder of TeamTopia. TeamTopia’s flagship product is SwimTopia, which helps teams streamline and manage the logistics of running a swim team. Proactively narrow down your niche audience. Many entrepreneurs have a product or service that they try to apply to as large of an audience as possible. Instead, niche down and narrow your focus - you can’t meet the needs of everyone, everywhere. You’ll be enabled to communicate and connect with your market in a way that is really hard to do if you're trying to do it all. Charge your customers right away. Don’t have reservations about asking your customers to pay for your idea - build something that they will pay for, as is. If no one is willing to pay upfront for what you’re providing, it’s a critical sign that your business will not be self-sustaining in the long run. Don't take failures personally. Business owners are wired to be emotionally attached to their enterpris...

44 MIN2018 SEP 5
Comments
009: The Long, Slow SaaS Ramp of Growth | Mason Hale

008: Do You Need a Startup Accelerator? | Kevin Koym

Takeaways: What to look for in a venture accelerator. Much of the value in the top-tier programs—the most famous and sought-after accelerators like Y-Combinator and TechStars—has to do with the halo effect. You'll have contact and mentorship opportunities with people who can really help move your business forward. Second-tier programs can also offer a lot of value in the community. Beware of programs whose primary emphasis is on the mechanics and structure of the business process. Entrepreneurship is a skill that can be learned. The post-industrial economy is here. Many corporate jobs are migrating to outsourced skilled labor. This is going to necessitate the learning of very diverse skillsets by self-employed people and entrepreneurs who are working increasingly in a decentralized and meshed economic environment. Full Shownotes: https://thelongcut.fm/kevin-koym Links mentioned in this episode: TechRanch Austin Venture Forth.co @TechRanch KevinKoym.com @kkoym Kevin Koym on LinkedI...

41 MIN2018 AUG 28
Comments
008: Do You Need a Startup Accelerator? | Kevin Koym

007: In Search of the Perfect Business Model | Allan Branch

Takeaways: Beware of entrepreneurial enthusiasm. It can definitely drive your momentum in the early days, but it can also be exhausting. Do ride the wave when you catch it. But channel that energy into creating a sustainable business that will continue beyond the initial wave of entrepreneurial enthusiasm. Younger entrepreneurs may have a longer wave to ride; as we get a little older, and especially once we begin a family, it’s important to balance our energy. It might be tempting to work 14-hour days for a while when you’re single and unattached, but it’s not ok to do that for very long when you have a family. That’s not to say that if you missed the wave of entrepreneurial enthusiasm in your youth, the opportunity is passed. Far from it: a recent study published by the Harvard Business Review found that the average age of a successful startup founder is 45. Build products that have a high value. Even though accounting software is the backbone of any business, Allan and Steve f...

38 MIN2018 AUG 21
Comments
007: In Search of the Perfect Business Model | Allan Branch

006: Is Your Next Business a Productized Service? | Brian Casel

Takeaways: Whether you realize it or not, you’re modeling entrepreneurship to your kids. That’s a good thing. Brian was an entrepreneur before he knew he was an entrepreneur. His upbringing in many ways prepared him for a career of self-employment. For all you parents out there listening; take this lesson to heart: don’t be afraid to bring your kids into your confidence about your business. The lessons you’ll teach them just by watching you will change the way they see the world, and will probably inform their own career choices. Entrepreneurial enthusiasm is the fuel that drives us. Brian experimented with several different businesses, and you can still hear his enthusiasm for those early wins. Small things, like getting his first customer, and earning his first $59 from his Wordpress theme, were like gas in his entrepreneurial engine. Productized services can be easier to launch than SaaS products. A productized service is a service that you offered in a tightly defined packag...

43 MIN2018 AUG 14
Comments
006: Is Your Next Business a Productized Service? | Brian Casel

005: How to Validate Before your MVP | Ada Ryland

Takeaways: The very earliest days of a startup's life are some of the most exciting, but they're also arguably some of the most risky. Decisions must be made in the early days about all sorts of things that will affect the future of the business: what products to offer, what kinds of customers to serve, what marketing channels to use, what sort of company culture to build, and on and on. Although for many startups the table stakes (investment of time and money) are relatively low, there are plenty of funded startups with a substantial amount of capital on the line. Whether the investment is time, capital, or both, there are ways to reduce the risk involved in starting a business. Today's guest, Ada Ryland, works with early-stage entrepreneurs to help de-risk their startup enterprises. Success or failure in business really comes down to whether or not you can create (and keep) a customer. One of the most common mistakes we see early stage startups making is focusing too much energy o...

38 MIN2018 AUG 7
Comments
005: How to Validate Before your MVP | Ada Ryland

004: Nathan Barry | Why Direct Sales is the Best Way to Grow a Small Software Company

Nathan Barry is the founder of Seva (formerly ConvertKit). I had heard about ConvertKit's story from Nathan before, and it really stuck with me. ConvertKit is an amazing company. They've had incredible growth recently, and it's easy to look at where they are today and think it was a foregone conclusion. Little did I know that there was a time when Nathan considered giving up on the idea. I sat down with Nathan to ask him about why he didn't give up on the idea, and what it was that helped him turn it around. Takeaways: Are you serious? Nathan had to be confronted with a decision: either shut down the company or go all in and invest in it. Fish or cut bait, as my dad would say. Nathan asked himself hard questions, like: have I really given it a fair shake? And the answer that he came up with was no; he hadn't. Listen to Nathan describe his thought process and why he decided to go "all in". Your niche is probably not narrow enough. ConvertKit was an email marketing tool, but there was...

30 MIN2018 JUL 31
Comments
004: Nathan Barry | Why Direct Sales is the Best Way to Grow a Small Software Company

003: Brennan Dunn | How You Think About Sales Makes a Big Difference

Brennan Dunn is the co-founder of RightMessage, and the founder of Double Your Freelancing, a community of freelancers and agencies, offering courses that help freelancers increase their rates and charge what they're worth. Brennan's latest venture, RightMessage, is a tool that helps marketers build highly targeted messaging for website visitors. The idea behind RightMessage is that you want to talk to people differently depending on who they are and what their needs and interests are. RightMessage allows you to change the content on your website to speak directly to the person who's visiting your website. It's an extremely powerful tool that lets marketers do things that, until recently, were only available to the most sophisticated internet marketers. If you've been following RightMessage since they launched in February 2018, you might think it looks like an overnight success. As usual, that's not the case. The idea of personalizing website content for your visitors is not new, an...

42 MIN2018 JUL 24
Comments
003: Brennan Dunn | How You Think About Sales Makes a Big Difference

002: Shelley Delayne | Why Community is So Important for Entrepreneurs

ShelleyDelayne is the owner and proprietor at Orange Coworking in Austin, Texas. I wanted to catch up with Shelley because she is someone who has remarkable insight into the psychology and the mental landscape of independent entrepreneurs. Shelley opened Orange Coworking partly out of her own need for a place to work outside the house. But she quickly realized that the need for community—to be around other entrepreneurs and self-employed knowledge workers in a supportive environment—was something that many other people felt. Takeaways: Most business failures happen in the head or the heart of the entrepreneur. Founders, especially solo founders remote workers, need community and support. Sometimes more than we realize. We need to be around like-minded people who understand the unique kinds of struggles that we face. Self-motivated people are really bad at self-congratulating. It's important to pat ourselves on the back—or let someone else pat us on the back—every now and then. C...

33 MIN2018 JUL 24
Comments
002: Shelley Delayne | Why Community is So Important for Entrepreneurs
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