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Kalzumeus Software

Patrick McKenzie

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Kalzumeus Software

Kalzumeus Software

Patrick McKenzie

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Plays
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Patrick McKenzie (patio11) blogs on software development, marketing, and general business topics.

Latest Episodes

Kalzumeus Podcast Episode 14: Running A Business Portfolio with Jonathan Siegel

Jonathan Siegel is a buddy of mine who lives in Tokyo. I can’t decide whether I’m more floored by the fact that he runs five businesses at once or has eight kids. He recently wrote a book The San Francisco Fallacy, mostly to share his experience with running software businesses for the last two decades with folks who might be getting a wee bit too much of their advice from Techcrunch. I think this makes an interesting companion interview to the last one we did (~6 months ago) with Thomas Smale, who runs the firm which helped me sell both of my businesses. Jonathan is an operator but he’s also a buyer of businesses, as opposed to me (an operator who recently sold businesses) or Thomas (a broker of them). [Patrick notes: As always, the below transcript occasionally has my thoughts inserted in this format.] What you’ll learn in this podcast: Why folks with successful businesses sometimes sell them (and how this creates opportunity for buyers) Why to make good decisions as a busines...

50 MIN2017 MAY 10
Comments
Kalzumeus Podcast Episode 14: Running A Business Portfolio with Jonathan Siegel

Kalzumeus Podcast Episode 13: Selling Online Businesses With Thomas Smale

I sold Bingo Card Creator, the business I’m probably best known for, through FEI last year. Thomas Smale, the principal of that brokerage, is now a buddy of mine, and he agreed to chat with me a bit about what goes into buying and selling online businesses. I think it is of particular interest to those of you with SaaS businesses already, but it might also be interesting for those of you who might found one eventually, as you can make early decisions (like e.g. technology stack) which built improved saleability into the business from day one. I’ve previously written about the BCC acquisition here. Note that this interview doesn’t go into much depth about that acquisition per se, partially because that isn’t a new topic for me and partially because I’m NDAed with regards to specifics. [Patrick notes: As always, the below transcript occasionally has my thoughts inserted in this format.] What you’ll learn in this podcast: Why SaaS businesses (and others with recurring revenue) re...

49 MIN2016 AUG 26
Comments
Kalzumeus Podcast Episode 13: Selling Online Businesses With Thomas Smale

Kalzumeus Podcast Episode 12: Salary Negotiation with Josh Doody

Several years ago I wrote a blog post on salary negotiation for engineers. This probably created more value than anything else I’ve ever written — I have a folder in Gmail with thank-you messages from people, and my running total is something north of $2.3 million in added salary per year, mostly in $15k to $25k chunks. A buddy of mine, Josh Doody, has decided to thoroughly own this area, and published a book (Amazon link) on the topic. I rather enjoyed the book, and thought I would have him on the podcast to talk about the topic in more detail. [Patrick notes: As always, the below transcript occasionally has my thoughts inserted in this format.] What you’ll learn in this podcast: How to avoid the “What is your desired salary?” question How to trade off across multiple axes when doing a salary negotiation (salary, vacation days, equity, etc) How to get raises after being hired A brief announcement: Keith Perhac and I have parted ways with regards to the podcast, amicably, large...

50 MIN2016 JUN 3
Comments
Kalzumeus Podcast Episode 12: Salary Negotiation with Josh Doody

Kalzumeus Podcast Episode 11: Bootstrapping vs. Raising Money

Keith and I arejoined by special guest Jay Winder, CEO of MakeLeaps, in this 11th episode of the podcast. We talk a bit about doing business in Japan, raising money vs. bootstrapping as a SaaS company, how AngelList is going to eat the world, andthe usual eclectic mix of topics. [Patrick notes: The transcript below has my commentary inserted like this, as usual.] What you’ll learn in this podcast: Why you should negotiate from a position of strength and abundance. How to raise a round of funding through AngelList while not being in Silicon Valley. Why AngelList Syndicates are the future of seed stage fundraising. How to manage relations with investors when you have lots of them. How running a bootstrapped SaaS company is different than one which has raised early investment rounds. How the SaaS market is different in Japan. A bit about Jason’s new project, Sales for Geeks. A brief announcement: Keith and his co-founded Rachel launched a new product recently called Segmetrics. It’s...

61 MIN2015 FEB 26
Comments
Kalzumeus Podcast Episode 11: Bootstrapping vs. Raising Money

Kalzumeus Podcast Episode 10: Putting the “Family” in Family Business

Keith and I are back with the 10th episode of the podcast. This time we’re talking about our wives and kids, how much they mean to us (lots!), and how we try to fit being good husbands/fathers around our mutual desire to keep growing the businesses. [Patrick notes: The transcript below has my commentary inserted like this, as usual.] What you’ll learn in this podcast: What Keith has been up to with Summit Evergreen and what Patrick has been up to with Appointment Reminder. How having children changed how we run our businesses. How delegating tasks is key to making sure we can spend appropriate amounts of time/brainsweat on being good husbands and fathers, as opposed to optimizing Nginx config files. How Japan’s poor systematic answers to the question of work/life balance decreases the birth rate here. (Who said this podcast wasn’t educational?) Podcast:Putting the “Family” in Family Business MP3 Download (~53minutes, ~50MB): Right-clickhereand click Save As. Podcast format: ei...

53 MIN2015 JAN 15
Comments
Kalzumeus Podcast Episode 10: Putting the “Family” in Family Business

Kalzumeus Podcast Episode 9: Customer Onboarding With Samuel Hulick

Samuel Hulick, one of the guys I trust most with regards to SaaS user onboarding,joined us for this episode of the podcast. I met Sam first when he was writing a book on the topic. The best evidence I can give you for the proposition “Sam knows more than the vast majority of people about user onboarding experiences” is the fact that he’s written up 25+ of them publicly (e.g. Basecamp’s) and that the writeups are of very high caliber. Check them out sometime. [Patrick notes: The transcript below has my commentary inserted like this, as usual.] What you’ll learn in this podcast: What mistakes SaaS companies frequently make with regards to user onboarding. How to start preparing users for success pre-signup, using site copy and appropriate expectation setting in marketing. How SaaS companies often botch product tours, and how you can make yours serve the user rather than serving the product team. How to use lifecycle emails to make customers more successful. How organizational iss...

75 MIN2014 OCT 15
Comments
Kalzumeus Podcast Episode 9: Customer Onboarding With Samuel Hulick

Kalzumeus Podcast Episode 8: High Touch Software Sales with Steli Efti

I recently met Steli Efti, founder of Close.io, in Palo Alto, and did a podcast episode with him. Transcript and links below as per the usual. Sidenote: Ilisten to a lot of podcasts and have been usingMarco Arment’s Overcast app recently to do so. It was the best $5 I ever spent. Give it a whirl. [Patrick notes: The transcript below has my commentary inserted like this, as usual.] What you’ll learn in this podcast: Why engineers speak a different language than sales people. How we can get overour reluctance to do salesto sell more software (without selling our souls). Tactics for getting over the pain of rejection when doing sales calls (and sales generally). How to qualify prospects so you don’t waste time pursuing deals which you’d never, ever close and can instead concentrate on the deals which your personal attention will cause to close quickly. Why Steli shuttered a multi-million dollar consultancy to focus on Close.io’s SaaS product. If You Want To Listen To It MP3 Downlo...

77 MIN2014 JUL 24
Comments
Kalzumeus Podcast Episode 8: High Touch Software Sales with Steli Efti

Kalzumeus Podcast Episode 7: Launching New Products

Keith and I recorded a new episode of the podcast last year, but we didn’t get around to releasing it. [Patrick notes: The transcript below has my commentary inserted like this, as usual.] What you’ll learn in this podcast: How to pick a small, self-contained product, which isgood to cut your teeth on as a dev-turned-entrepreneur. How Keith extracted Summit Evergreen out of his consulting work (improving infoproduct businesses). How to use concierge onboarding to increase conversions and decrease churn of SaaS businesses. That it is possible to build a very successful consultancy without being quote-unquote Internet famous. How to use Standard Operating Procedures documents to have employees do repetitive tasks without needing to actually automate them, while you’re still exploring for the best procedure for completing those repetitive tasks. If You Want To Listen To It MP3 Download (~115 minutes, ~85MB): Right-clickhereand click Save As. Podcast format: either subscribe tohttps:...

114 MIN2014 JUN 20
Comments
Kalzumeus Podcast Episode 7: Launching New Products

Kalzumeus Podcast Episode 6: Teaching As Marketing

Happily, there are many ways to productize your relationships with customers or your expertise as a consultant. [Patrick notes: The transcript below has my commentary inserted like this, as usual.] What you’ll learn in this podcast: Why vegetarians do not give great advice on pricing hotdogs, and Hacker News comments about the inadviability of selling information very rarely come from people with actual budget to buy information Why having multiple packaging options (for example, at an X / 2X / 5X ratio) increases total revenue from products Why you don’t have to be “Internet famous” to build an audience via teaching, and perhaps use that to sell things down the road If You Want To Listen To It MP3 Download (~90 minutes, ~82MB): Right-clickhereand click Save As. Podcast format: either subscribe tohttps://www.kalzumeus.com/category/podcasts/feedin your podcast reader of choice or you can search for Kalzumeus Podcast in the iTunes Store. [powerpress] Transcript:Teaching As Marketi...

88 MIN2013 AUG 27
Comments
Kalzumeus Podcast Episode 6: Teaching As Marketing

Kalzumeus Podcast 5: Quitting Consulting Via Productization

Keith Perhac and I are back with the 5th epsiode of the Kalzumeus podcast. Keith and I both have experience working as consultants in software development and online marketing. People often ask us how to transition away from the feast-or-famine nature of freelancing, where you do very well when you’re delivering engagements and getting them paid quickly, and then do very poorly when work dries up or you have invoice collection issues. One way to improve on this is building recurring revenue for your consultancy, via products. A lot of folks think that the only way to do this is spinning a SaaS out of your consultancy. While I have an abiding love for SaaS, building SaaS businesses takes a metric truckload of time and largely is not a good option if you have e.g. a personal burn rate of $6,000 which you need to cover next month. Happily, there are many ways to productize your relationships with customers or your expertise as a consultant. [Patrick notes: The transcript below has my ...

74 MIN2013 JUL 17
Comments
Kalzumeus Podcast 5: Quitting Consulting Via Productization

Latest Episodes

Kalzumeus Podcast Episode 14: Running A Business Portfolio with Jonathan Siegel

Jonathan Siegel is a buddy of mine who lives in Tokyo. I can’t decide whether I’m more floored by the fact that he runs five businesses at once or has eight kids. He recently wrote a book The San Francisco Fallacy, mostly to share his experience with running software businesses for the last two decades with folks who might be getting a wee bit too much of their advice from Techcrunch. I think this makes an interesting companion interview to the last one we did (~6 months ago) with Thomas Smale, who runs the firm which helped me sell both of my businesses. Jonathan is an operator but he’s also a buyer of businesses, as opposed to me (an operator who recently sold businesses) or Thomas (a broker of them). [Patrick notes: As always, the below transcript occasionally has my thoughts inserted in this format.] What you’ll learn in this podcast: Why folks with successful businesses sometimes sell them (and how this creates opportunity for buyers) Why to make good decisions as a busines...

50 MIN2017 MAY 10
Comments
Kalzumeus Podcast Episode 14: Running A Business Portfolio with Jonathan Siegel

Kalzumeus Podcast Episode 13: Selling Online Businesses With Thomas Smale

I sold Bingo Card Creator, the business I’m probably best known for, through FEI last year. Thomas Smale, the principal of that brokerage, is now a buddy of mine, and he agreed to chat with me a bit about what goes into buying and selling online businesses. I think it is of particular interest to those of you with SaaS businesses already, but it might also be interesting for those of you who might found one eventually, as you can make early decisions (like e.g. technology stack) which built improved saleability into the business from day one. I’ve previously written about the BCC acquisition here. Note that this interview doesn’t go into much depth about that acquisition per se, partially because that isn’t a new topic for me and partially because I’m NDAed with regards to specifics. [Patrick notes: As always, the below transcript occasionally has my thoughts inserted in this format.] What you’ll learn in this podcast: Why SaaS businesses (and others with recurring revenue) re...

49 MIN2016 AUG 26
Comments
Kalzumeus Podcast Episode 13: Selling Online Businesses With Thomas Smale

Kalzumeus Podcast Episode 12: Salary Negotiation with Josh Doody

Several years ago I wrote a blog post on salary negotiation for engineers. This probably created more value than anything else I’ve ever written — I have a folder in Gmail with thank-you messages from people, and my running total is something north of $2.3 million in added salary per year, mostly in $15k to $25k chunks. A buddy of mine, Josh Doody, has decided to thoroughly own this area, and published a book (Amazon link) on the topic. I rather enjoyed the book, and thought I would have him on the podcast to talk about the topic in more detail. [Patrick notes: As always, the below transcript occasionally has my thoughts inserted in this format.] What you’ll learn in this podcast: How to avoid the “What is your desired salary?” question How to trade off across multiple axes when doing a salary negotiation (salary, vacation days, equity, etc) How to get raises after being hired A brief announcement: Keith Perhac and I have parted ways with regards to the podcast, amicably, large...

50 MIN2016 JUN 3
Comments
Kalzumeus Podcast Episode 12: Salary Negotiation with Josh Doody

Kalzumeus Podcast Episode 11: Bootstrapping vs. Raising Money

Keith and I arejoined by special guest Jay Winder, CEO of MakeLeaps, in this 11th episode of the podcast. We talk a bit about doing business in Japan, raising money vs. bootstrapping as a SaaS company, how AngelList is going to eat the world, andthe usual eclectic mix of topics. [Patrick notes: The transcript below has my commentary inserted like this, as usual.] What you’ll learn in this podcast: Why you should negotiate from a position of strength and abundance. How to raise a round of funding through AngelList while not being in Silicon Valley. Why AngelList Syndicates are the future of seed stage fundraising. How to manage relations with investors when you have lots of them. How running a bootstrapped SaaS company is different than one which has raised early investment rounds. How the SaaS market is different in Japan. A bit about Jason’s new project, Sales for Geeks. A brief announcement: Keith and his co-founded Rachel launched a new product recently called Segmetrics. It’s...

61 MIN2015 FEB 26
Comments
Kalzumeus Podcast Episode 11: Bootstrapping vs. Raising Money

Kalzumeus Podcast Episode 10: Putting the “Family” in Family Business

Keith and I are back with the 10th episode of the podcast. This time we’re talking about our wives and kids, how much they mean to us (lots!), and how we try to fit being good husbands/fathers around our mutual desire to keep growing the businesses. [Patrick notes: The transcript below has my commentary inserted like this, as usual.] What you’ll learn in this podcast: What Keith has been up to with Summit Evergreen and what Patrick has been up to with Appointment Reminder. How having children changed how we run our businesses. How delegating tasks is key to making sure we can spend appropriate amounts of time/brainsweat on being good husbands and fathers, as opposed to optimizing Nginx config files. How Japan’s poor systematic answers to the question of work/life balance decreases the birth rate here. (Who said this podcast wasn’t educational?) Podcast:Putting the “Family” in Family Business MP3 Download (~53minutes, ~50MB): Right-clickhereand click Save As. Podcast format: ei...

53 MIN2015 JAN 15
Comments
Kalzumeus Podcast Episode 10: Putting the “Family” in Family Business

Kalzumeus Podcast Episode 9: Customer Onboarding With Samuel Hulick

Samuel Hulick, one of the guys I trust most with regards to SaaS user onboarding,joined us for this episode of the podcast. I met Sam first when he was writing a book on the topic. The best evidence I can give you for the proposition “Sam knows more than the vast majority of people about user onboarding experiences” is the fact that he’s written up 25+ of them publicly (e.g. Basecamp’s) and that the writeups are of very high caliber. Check them out sometime. [Patrick notes: The transcript below has my commentary inserted like this, as usual.] What you’ll learn in this podcast: What mistakes SaaS companies frequently make with regards to user onboarding. How to start preparing users for success pre-signup, using site copy and appropriate expectation setting in marketing. How SaaS companies often botch product tours, and how you can make yours serve the user rather than serving the product team. How to use lifecycle emails to make customers more successful. How organizational iss...

75 MIN2014 OCT 15
Comments
Kalzumeus Podcast Episode 9: Customer Onboarding With Samuel Hulick

Kalzumeus Podcast Episode 8: High Touch Software Sales with Steli Efti

I recently met Steli Efti, founder of Close.io, in Palo Alto, and did a podcast episode with him. Transcript and links below as per the usual. Sidenote: Ilisten to a lot of podcasts and have been usingMarco Arment’s Overcast app recently to do so. It was the best $5 I ever spent. Give it a whirl. [Patrick notes: The transcript below has my commentary inserted like this, as usual.] What you’ll learn in this podcast: Why engineers speak a different language than sales people. How we can get overour reluctance to do salesto sell more software (without selling our souls). Tactics for getting over the pain of rejection when doing sales calls (and sales generally). How to qualify prospects so you don’t waste time pursuing deals which you’d never, ever close and can instead concentrate on the deals which your personal attention will cause to close quickly. Why Steli shuttered a multi-million dollar consultancy to focus on Close.io’s SaaS product. If You Want To Listen To It MP3 Downlo...

77 MIN2014 JUL 24
Comments
Kalzumeus Podcast Episode 8: High Touch Software Sales with Steli Efti

Kalzumeus Podcast Episode 7: Launching New Products

Keith and I recorded a new episode of the podcast last year, but we didn’t get around to releasing it. [Patrick notes: The transcript below has my commentary inserted like this, as usual.] What you’ll learn in this podcast: How to pick a small, self-contained product, which isgood to cut your teeth on as a dev-turned-entrepreneur. How Keith extracted Summit Evergreen out of his consulting work (improving infoproduct businesses). How to use concierge onboarding to increase conversions and decrease churn of SaaS businesses. That it is possible to build a very successful consultancy without being quote-unquote Internet famous. How to use Standard Operating Procedures documents to have employees do repetitive tasks without needing to actually automate them, while you’re still exploring for the best procedure for completing those repetitive tasks. If You Want To Listen To It MP3 Download (~115 minutes, ~85MB): Right-clickhereand click Save As. Podcast format: either subscribe tohttps:...

114 MIN2014 JUN 20
Comments
Kalzumeus Podcast Episode 7: Launching New Products

Kalzumeus Podcast Episode 6: Teaching As Marketing

Happily, there are many ways to productize your relationships with customers or your expertise as a consultant. [Patrick notes: The transcript below has my commentary inserted like this, as usual.] What you’ll learn in this podcast: Why vegetarians do not give great advice on pricing hotdogs, and Hacker News comments about the inadviability of selling information very rarely come from people with actual budget to buy information Why having multiple packaging options (for example, at an X / 2X / 5X ratio) increases total revenue from products Why you don’t have to be “Internet famous” to build an audience via teaching, and perhaps use that to sell things down the road If You Want To Listen To It MP3 Download (~90 minutes, ~82MB): Right-clickhereand click Save As. Podcast format: either subscribe tohttps://www.kalzumeus.com/category/podcasts/feedin your podcast reader of choice or you can search for Kalzumeus Podcast in the iTunes Store. [powerpress] Transcript:Teaching As Marketi...

88 MIN2013 AUG 27
Comments
Kalzumeus Podcast Episode 6: Teaching As Marketing

Kalzumeus Podcast 5: Quitting Consulting Via Productization

Keith Perhac and I are back with the 5th epsiode of the Kalzumeus podcast. Keith and I both have experience working as consultants in software development and online marketing. People often ask us how to transition away from the feast-or-famine nature of freelancing, where you do very well when you’re delivering engagements and getting them paid quickly, and then do very poorly when work dries up or you have invoice collection issues. One way to improve on this is building recurring revenue for your consultancy, via products. A lot of folks think that the only way to do this is spinning a SaaS out of your consultancy. While I have an abiding love for SaaS, building SaaS businesses takes a metric truckload of time and largely is not a good option if you have e.g. a personal burn rate of $6,000 which you need to cover next month. Happily, there are many ways to productize your relationships with customers or your expertise as a consultant. [Patrick notes: The transcript below has my ...

74 MIN2013 JUL 17
Comments
Kalzumeus Podcast 5: Quitting Consulting Via Productization
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