Listen: Stairstepping Your Way to SaaS with Christopher Gimmer
"I'm rob today with Chris Gamer. We're here to share our experiences to help you avoid with the mistakes we've made welcome back to the show. Thanks for joining me this week. Pretty interesting story this week. Christopher Dimmer did talk at microcosm starter back in April and and he and his co founder really stair stepped. They launched an APP that had one time sales. It was a marketplace. They grew that to where it plateaued. which wasn't isn't enough that they could live on and they saw an opportunity and started almost like a beat AC- type stock photo site not but kind of beat a small B.? And then use that to parlay into Sassa. So I don't want to Belabor it because we get into Chris's entire experience in the interview and one thing I really. We like about Christmas story. Is that he and his co founder. They learned small things. I and they didn't try to go play in the major leagues. When they didn't have the skills to do that they went and played little league and then they went and played high school ball and they played college ball and they played minor leagues and then they played major leagues? And that is that repeatable. Meticulous disciplined way that I've always believed in starting startups. It's not trying to raise hundreds of millions and take this big gluck shot that you may or may not have the skills or the confidence or the whatever to do but after listening to Christmas story you know that. Even if he were to his company today that he has a skill set that he can take with him to the next thing to the next thing and it becomes this these repeatable startups building real products selling them to real customers for real money so without further ado. Let's dive into our conversation. Christopher plummer thank you so much for joining me on the show today. Thanks for having me. We're here today. Data talk about snape your startup. That's at snape. Dot Com and your headline is Create Online graphics in a snap whip up graphics for social media ads blogs and more. Even if you're not aw graphic designer you did talk about nine months ago at Microcosm Star and it was a really interesting tale of your journey with your co founder across six or seven years multiple APPs to how you got to where you are today where snape you were just talking before the call that you expect to hit a million dollars dollars in a are in the next month or two. So congratulations on that base for much and snape you guys launched it in November of two thousand fifteen. You had four thousand dollars mirror. The end of the first month is that right. Yes so we had built up a bit of a a a list before we officially launch and we had you know kind of like Beta period so we had an audience launch to and then yeah within a month of launching we did hit about four thousand dollars. Mr which is off so good and we're going to dig in to that in this episode about how you got there and how you Kinda parlayed stair stepped your way up multiple APPs. It's a pretty pretty interesting story. And by April Twenty nineteen which again was about nine months ago. You guys were at Abou Sixty Two K.. Mara that's what you mentioned in the talk and then you're just about to hit the magic eighty three thousand three hundred thirty three dollars and thirty three cents and for those who aren't in. No that is one million air art which is a mark. It's it's a funny. It sounds odd when you say the Mirror but in eras is so cool to say. Yeah I run a seven-figure business you looking forward to that day. Yeah I mean it's it's something that I remember when Marcus is my co-founder and I remember when we first started snap. Were like man. If we can just get to ten Kate Mara like lifelessly magical goal and then you know obviously you end up hitting that and then you know everyone just talks about the Melania rare in the seven figures and so kind of once. We you vera kind of fulltime on snape and we're making a living off it that kind of next yardstick for I mean super arbitrary but it was always like. Yeah I'd love to get to about millionaire are so we'll we'll definitely celebrate what when we hit Most likely next month yeah. That's cool. Do you have plans of of what you'll do are you. When you're co-founder remote or able to get together and have a glass of champagne together? We both live in Ottawa. Were pretty much best friends so we hang out a quite a bit so oh yeah well we might do something special planned exactly. What yet? But we'll definitely do something good. Yeah if there's anything I've learned from my wife who is folks don't know Sherry walling. She's a psychologist and she works with. Founders is to celebrate those wins because they are unfortunately few and far between and there's a lot more struggle then there is the wins and I was never. I've never been good at celebrating the winds and she has has forced me to do it. And I think it's a good thing for everybody and frankly the wind is not it. Just you and your co founder. It's like take your wife out to dinner. Your your fiancee out to a great dinner or on a great trip or not. That's the thing it's like. The whole family had had to put up with me when I was growing my APP. I'm sure your girlfriend now. Fiancee S to had to put up with a lot of crap from you as well. So it's like I. I think we all deserve to kind of have have those winds when they come amen. Yeah definitely show. She'll be excited to hear that. Totally something about your story I it lines up with both stair stepping that I talk about a lot but also so this concept of this quote that I keep doing things in public creates opportunity. You went through multiple APPs to get to where you are now and you had one in two thousand twelve. That's kind of unrelated but in two thousand thirteen where you launched Bootstrap Bay two thousand fourteen twenty fourteen okay and that was a theme marketplace get place for bootstrap which is a framework. And tell me about how you guys thought like what the goal was there in launching. That was it. We WanNA launch launch a business very much. The the dream of all of us. It's to get to the point where it's supporting US fulltime. Yeah that was definitely the goal of stripe as so mark in La so we actually elite. Were both working in the in the government. That's that's how we met and it's funny because we were related to the youngest guys in the office and you know naturally we just started hanging hanging out and and became friends and then one day like mark had kind of pulled me into his office and he's like they wanna see something and it was. It was almost a zillow type of website like a real estate website. And I was like well. You can actually program like I. I had no idea because he was doing something unrelated at work. And so that kind of kicked off like the journey him just trying to figure stuff out and see if we can launch a business that could enable us to quit our jobs so so yeah the goal of bootstrap it was It was just a something that we could do while we're still working our jobs full-time and hopefully the the the idea was that that we can make enough money from it as that. We can quit angle fulltime on. It wasn't necessarily like a project like super passionate about and that we were planning on running for the next ten or twenty years. That's interesting so why started as a marketplace where you have essentially buyers and sellers rather than build out a bunch of your own themes themes and just sell it sell them like basically you're a digital product company instead of a marketplace. Yeah so essentially funny enough you would started breeding Keyword Research Seo and initially. We're actually looking for things that we can drop ship. Or whatever and then market con assembled across oss the bootstrap beans Putra templates as a keyword. which was getting a lot of search volume and at the time didn't have crazy competition like theme forest and even have its its own bootstrap category and there was kind of one major marketplace at the time which was which was called rat bootstrap? I think it's still really big today. And for variety reasons and and being super naive we thought like Oh. We can build something better uh-huh so in order to see the marketplace you know mark had kinda designed the first I like three or four themes but we thought it would be more salable if we were able to get other seem authors on board and kind of add more supply to the marketplace a good place than we can generate on her own. So that's kind of how it happened. WAS BOOTSTRAP Bay a successful business. Like can you give us an idea of how much revenue abroad and for you. So the the peak month was I think it was doing about like eight to ten K.. Or something so once we paid out like all the theme authors something I think we're profiting may be four K.. or or something so it was maybe a decent like side-hustle business but we essentially got to the point where we're having trouble growing strictly through Seo and because our margins and the lifetime value wasn't high enough we just couldn't put any money into a paid ads and we just started plateauing towing after a year and we knew it was gonna be an uphill battle in there which was kind of why we we started thinking about other stuff that we could orange. Yeah yeah no recurring revenue and the funnel is only so wide right. There is only so many people searching for for bootstrap themes and the other problem was like had mentioned the the tall marketplace could place. And as you know like first mover and this is something I learned out for. The fact is when you're kind of the dominant marketplace and you've got the first mover advantage is just so hard to due to unseat them so we we were ranking like number two or three and and the number one guy was just cleaning up so we we knew it was going to be a really really really tough battle and one that we didn't really want to keep fighting"