Build Your SaaS

In this episode, Justin speaks with Aaron Francis about being a new parent and trying to bootstrap a startup. Aaron argued the other side of Justin's tweet thread: "Wait until your kids are older to start a company." Aaron is well-positioned to talk about this because he has twins and is also bootstrapping Hammerstone with his co-founder Colleen. The whole conversation is a nuanced take on the topic and full of important insights, especially on:
  • the risks involved (especially if you're not working a full-time job)
  • the kind of foundation (mentally, financially, emotionally, relationally) you need to be able to take the risk
Highlights from this episode:
  • (00:12) - Welcome Aaron
  • (01:16) - Topic introduction
  • (02:28) - What's Aaron's story?
  • (05:34) - What is a maximum effort era?
  • (11:02) - What are you willing to sacrifice?
  • (15:23) - What's your daily routine like?
  • (17:36) - Context matters in all of this
  • (28:07) - Are you sacrificing social connections?
  • (30:59) - Blind spots can affect you on your journey
  • (33:29) - Pain vs risk
  • (37:49) - Being on the same page as your partner
  • (41:53) - Going to therapy sooner
  • (43:57) - Building a good foundation
  • (48:57) - Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats
  • (54:00) - Sometimes it's easier to try getting a better job
  • (01:02:48) - Where can people reach Aaron?

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Creators & Guests

Justin Jackson
Co-founder of
Aaron Francis
Educator at @planetscaledata. Tweets about Laravel, MySQL, and building things.
Chris Enns
Owner of Lemon Productions

What is Build Your SaaS?

Interested in building your own SaaS company? Follow the journey of as they bootstrap a podcast hosting startup.