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Bootstrapping with Services: Codesigned CEO Jake Weaver (Part 4)

Posted on Monday, Sep 14th 2020

Sramana Mitra: Just so you know, we have a whole methodology in our program around Bootstrapping Using Services. It’s something that we do a lot of in the program.

It’s something we have numerous case studies on. We have encountered what you’re talking about several times before. It works. I think you will go on to tell us that it will work.

Jake Weaver: It does eventually work. I still stand by this. If you can get it right, it is so nice to start a services company that you can instantly generate revenue with, build your base on a services revenue model. Your overhead cost is next to nothing.

At the same time, you’re getting incredibly close to the customer. If you watch the market, you’ll pick up on what customers are asking you for over and over again. That is your true understanding of the product that needs to be developed. I do see other companies that take on all this money and all this debt upfront.

I think to myself maybe I haven’t done it the right way. If you guys provide a methodology and how you take it and transition that through, that’s the icing on the cake for people. If you can start a professional services firm, identify a product and build it, that’s the Holy Grail for me.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s come back to your story. In 2017, you have the product in the market. You have talked to the customer. What happens next?

Jake Weaver: Not only did we switch from professional services to product, but we also switched over to recurring revenue. It was a double-horror transition. A lot of the work done early on was switching the revenue model over. We had not utilized what we had to make it a truely enterprise-ready product.

In late 2017 to early 2018, the entire company was focused on rebuilding the code, bug stopping, and truly getting into the enterprise-grade product that we needed. We started to acquire some really good grand names. Companies like Inspire Brands that owns Arby’s came into the platform. Texas Roadhouse came into the platform.

The size of these companies and the sales cycles that we’re in, we’re not going to do a hundred of these a year to get these big brand names the amount of care and attention they require.

In 2018, we got a lot of that backend stuff cleaned up. We acquired some really good brand names. We got a couple of healthcare systems. Lately, we started to transition more into financial services. 2018 was a lot about clean up and getting things right.

In 2019, all those customers come into play. We had the team rebuilt. 2020 was the year where it was all about the growth of the customer base and the product. 

Sramana Mitra: What kind of revenues were you tracking at this point?

Jake Weaver: During the transition period, our revenue didn’t change that much.We were balancing out trying to build a product with the expenses and revenues coming in from keeping the services. We stayed at that $4 million level for a couple of years. Last year, we got close to $5 million. 2020 would be the year that we target the bigger growth pattern. 

This segment is part 4 in the series : Bootstrapping with Services: Codesigned CEO Jake Weaver
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