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Hackers Incorporated

Author: Ben Orenstein and Adam Wathan

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Ben Orenstein and Adam Wathan on surviving the transition from dev to founder.
4 Episodes
Last summer, Tailwind UI moved from selling individual content packages and upsells to a one-time purchase, lifetime access pricing model. Since then, the business has doubled. Having seen this in action, Adam recently convinced his friends Sam and Ryan to try lifetime pricing for their product Build UI, and the results are starting to come in. In this episode, Adam and Ben dive deep into the world of lifetime pricing, why it's not something to be afraid of, and how it can be an absolute game-changer for the right type of business.Discuss this episode on Twitter →Timestamps (00:00) - Intro (00:14) - Why are we talking about this? (03:28) - Moving from package pricing to lifetime all-access pricing for Tailwind UI (06:03) - What about when you run out of new customers? (10:17) - "Everything You've Learned at MicroConf is Wrong" by Chad DeShon (13:33) - The myth of starting from zero every month (16:04) - Would Tailwind UI work as a subscription model? (18:09) - Characteristics of a lifetime-suitable product (20:50) - Subscription LTV vs. lifetime pricing (22:47) - Subscription friction and the death of the impulse purchase (25:42) - The brutality of churn in content businesses (27:21) - Why your lifetime price can actually be higher than your subscription LTV (29:01) - Ben's experience running Upcase at thoughtbot (32:42) - The hidden costs of the content treadmill (36:20) - Hitting a subscription plateau with Upcase (38:34) - Cookie Clicker game — how to make perceived value go up over time (42:31) - Why aspirational, impulsive purchases are more likely with lifetime deals (45:22) - Pricing decisions aren't forever (49:13) - Turning Build UI from a grind into an instant success by flipping the switch on pricing (54:17) - Using lifetime pricing to buy yourself flexibility and time to focus Links Adam on Twitter Ben on Twitter Tailwind UI all-access Everything You've Learned at MicroConf is Wrong, Chad DeShon's lighting talk at MicroConf Growth 2018 Build UI, Sam and Ryan's new UI training site that recently switched to lifetime pricing
Jason Cohen’s talk “Designing the Ideal Bootstrapped Business” from 2013 is a classic in the bootstrapper canon. In this episode, Jason joins Adam and Ben to see how the talk holds up a decade after its creation. Timestamps00:00 Intro00:27 Designing the ideal bootstrapped business06:53 Recurring revenue vs one-off sales13:30 Getting all the LTV up front18:31 Product validation24:56 Creating a cash machine26:05 Where does growth come from?41:25 Annual prepays46:41 Increasing your prices51:56 What new advice is there since this talk?59:00 What about freemium?01:03:39 What happens next?01:08:58 Picking an idea that's compatible with the life you want to live01:12:16 Ideas for TailwindLinks Adam Ben Jason
“How come Dave Grohl is still playing guitar and writing songs and singing but I'm filling out DMCA takedown notices, answering customer support emails and responding to GitHub issues?” Timestamps00:00 Intro03:05 Bringing on a band manager07:34 Why the band metaphor works11:54 Make things for your fans, not for your critics14:49 Always do the things you want to do18:04 Turning over your rep over time19:33 A band needs a frontman22:14 Showing behind the scenes25:23 Doing one thing at a time30:57 Don't interview people, audition them35:38 We don't make movies to make money, we make money to make moviesLinks Adam Ben
Ben Orenstein (Tuple) and Adam Wathan (Tailwind CSS) are back on the mics. Today they reflect on 2022 and lessons they’ve learned. Ben has some thoughts on delegation, priorities and enterprise sales, while Adam explains how he made time for proof of concepts and has figured a way to actually follow his to-do list.Timestamps00:00 Intro02:11 Setting priorities05:11 Shaping up08:27 Don't allocate everyone to every project15:46 Top down management17:13 Delegation gone wrong can still be a success22:06 Don't make your to-do list a chore list24:00 Declaring calendar bankruptcy27:43 Don't make promises future you has to pay for30:09 Make decisions quickly32:54 Making time for proofs of concept37:25 Bluffing in enterprise sales40:38 Doing things the way you want to, as much as you can afford toLinks Adam Ben
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