Josh talks about how he took Baremetrics from idea to over $1M in ARR, as well as the 50+ projects/businesses he has built over the past 15 years.
Davis Baer: What is Baremetrics, and how long have you been working on it?
Josh Pigford: Baremetrics is a revenue growth platform. We provide analytics and growth tools for subscription companies. I started it in 2013 initially to scratch my own itch and it quickly grew past a little side project in to something that’s been used by thousands of businesses and now does over $1M a year in revenue.
I saw that you live in Alabama. Is that where you grew up?
I grew in Mississippi then lived in Colorado for a while and ultimately ended up in Alabama when my wife and I had our first kid. All of our family is in in the southeast so moved here to be closer to them.
I don’t know that growing up Mississippi itself shaped me any differently than anywhere else would have. I was a typical suburban kid who lived in a quiet neighborhood and spent a ton of time outside playing, exploring and building things.
I think that freedom to explore and build things shaped me more than anything, which really is a testament to my parents. Them trusting me and allowing me to do those things fostered a pretty deep love and desire to always explore and build.
What did you do prior to Baremetrics?
I’ve been mostly self-employed for nearly 15 years. I started building things on the web in the late 90’s and started making money on the web in the early 00’s. Since then I’ve started 50+ projects/businesses that have led to where I am with Baremetrics today.
Directly preceding Baremetrics were a couple of SaaS products in the survey space, but I’ve dabbled in everything from ecommerce to social networks to SaaS products and everything in between.
Did you do anything to validate the initial idea before building Baremetrics?
Not a single thing. It started as this little internal tool that I needed and as I started talking to some other founders about it most of them immediately wanted to use it as well. So, I took I basically just took the internal tool and put a logo and credit card form on it and that was the first version.
How did you find your first few customers, and what have been your growth channels since?
The first 100 customers all came from word-of-mouth via Twitter. I was essentially live-tweeting my process as I got the first version out the door and that brought in those first customers pretty easily.
Back in 2013 there was nobody else doing “Stripe analytics” but Stripe was really taking off then, so there was a lot of demand and a perfect opportunity for me to step in an offer something.
Since then we’ve expanded outside of Stripe to other platforms and data sources and provide a whole lot more than just analytics, but being hyper-focused on “Stripe” served us amazingly well in the early days.
Since then most of our growth comes from content marketing.
I saw on Twitter that you are working on some side projects. What can you tell us about that?
I’m a habitual maker. I’ve always got some sort of random side project going. I thrive on learning how to do new things and get bored extremely quickly if I’m not exploring new ideas. Hobbies and side projects are a way for me to sort of facilitate that desire to always learn new things.
What’s your advice for entrepreneurs who are just starting out?
Do your best to start charging right away. Money is a fantastic validator as it can’t be masked with nice words. People will either pay you or they won’t. The longer you wait to charge for your product, the longer it will take to get meaningful feedback. The value of the feedback from free users is, on a certain level, commiserate with the amount they’re paying you…zero.
What’s a book that you recommend every entrepreneur read?
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. Lots of entrepreneurs get stuck in their head and become their own biggest barrier.
Where can we go to learn more?