Software Social

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In this episode Colleen and Michele look back at their 14 months on podcasting to see how far they've come, and look forward to see where they want to go.

Show Notes

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Colleen: Hello, Michelle. 

MIchele: I feel like it's been awhile.

Colleen: It has been a while. It's been a few weeks. I 

MIchele: Yeah. But like, so we haven't really liked formally talked or not formally, but, you know, but we have been like, I feel like we have been talking constantly about this podcast for the past couple of weeks at the same time.

Colleen: I would agree. There's been a lot of discussion about that. 

MIchele: And we've been meaning to do like kind of a catch-up episode for a while too. And so it kind of felt this kind of feels like a good time to sort of pause and have a little bit of a meta episode where we sort of, I guess, talk about where we've come from and why w why do we do this in the first place and, and where are we going?

Colleen: Okay. I like it. 

MIchele: So let's let's rewind. So if, if this were a fancy produced podcast, this is when you would insert harp noises. So just imagine that there's a harp playing in your head. So let's rewind back to July of 20, 20, Colleen. What were you doing in July of 2020?

Colleen: Oh, geez. Well, let's see July. So we were a couple months into the pandemic. I believe I was working a full-time job and I had a desire, a strong desire to launch a product. 

MIchele: Were you consulting full time for one client or I thought you were consulting.

Colleen: Maybe I was still, yeah. Good thing. We have

MIchele: I feel like you can 

Colleen: to. 

MIchele: I feel like I remember sometime I think it was right around when COVID was heading. And I feel like I remember standing on your, like your like porch or your steps like talking through whether you should take a job and like, yeah. Like that was like right around that time.

But, and I think you didn't. 

Colleen: I think 

MIchele: And I, 

Colleen: The first time they offered it to me, I think I said, 

MIchele: And then I think you were consulting, 

Colleen: I believe you're correct. I believe I was consulting for one client. So it was kind of that cadence of a more permanent job. But at that time I was not a quote full-time employee. I had not launched a 

MIchele: I think you're like compromise with them. Was that like you would work for them. Four days a week as a consultant, and then you would get one day a week to work on like your stuff. But actually it had been like that for a while. Like, I feel like you would have this sort of, this is my phrasing here, this like Friday fun day where you got to just like do your own projects for a while.

Colleen: Yeah. that sounds right. 

MIchele: Yeah. Yeah. But that was very much, I mean, now looking back on it, I guess that was like, The end of what I term your wandering through the forest period. Wondering. 

you know, you know, if this was, if this is frozen too, for all the parents out there, this is when your power ballad of lost in the woods is playing.

Colleen: Lost in the woods. Yes. would be my lost in the woods. Power ballad period. Indeed. Agree. 

MIchele: It was a pivotal moment. And then I think. I don't know if it was like August. Oh, so of 2020 that you were kind of on, I mean, I guess we could listen to our own show and figure this out. Again, this worry, fancy produced podcast with harp noises. We would know that and there would be a clip of it right now.

But I think it was like in August that you were like F like, I need to just. Decide, unlike one of these things. Cause like we had been meeting for a while. So like just context is like we were, we were meeting up every week for coffee for a long time. At a, so we used to live in the same place. We now live on opposite sides of the world, but we used to live in the same place, like a neighborhood over you were the only person I had ever like met in my daily life who was also doing this weird internet.

Business thing who was like in that world. And also like our kids went to the same school and we lived like two minutes from each other and it was like just perfect. Yeah. So, and then we started meeting up at a coffee shop called Northside social, which is actually how we ended up getting the name for this show.

And the show basically was, you know, I moved to Denmark to Denmark. then for us this year, you moved to California. So now we're really all over the place to keep us talking to each other, to keep those conversations happening. for a long time, we had been meeting up and you were playing around with like all of these different ideas and, and playing as like you were, you were taking it very seriously.

Like it wasn't play. There was some con like there's like a content analytics idea. I feel like, like, there's a one point. It was like, you were thinking about some sort of like, Competitor to H refs that was like for SEO consultants to like measure the value of their work. There was the, the, there was the stay at home moms doing babysitting and daycare for other the childcare thing.

And then, but like, so August of 2020, I feel like there was kind of this moment in early. Like I just gotta like pick something and go for it. And it's going to be this file upload thing, which annoys me.

Colleen: that's, that's pretty accurate. And I remember. Why was it in that stage of back to lost in the woods? It felt like every time we met, you would draw me that pain frequency graph. And, and I just, I was like, I don't know, like I just don't know where any of these ideas fall on the pain frequency graph.

So I'm going to take what feels like the smallest lift, which is a JavaScript widget, right. Something I feel like I can make in a constrained period of time. And I'm just going to do. I'm going to do everything wrong, but I'm just going to do it.

MIchele: And then you did it and then so 

Colleen: yeah, But we launched the podcast before I had a product. So part of the McColl was like, oh man, now I'm telling the world about this. So I better freaking do it like a podcast with never having launched a product would not be. 

MIchele: And so then last fall to goes through. You building it and balancing that with consulting and with parenting too, was all of the like, cause I guess your kids were in school, like part like the whole co COVID

school, like 

Colleen: some COVID school, situation. 

MIchele: And then, I think it was, was it December that simple file upload.

I remember you gave me that you gave me like a walkthrough of it in like September or October of last year, but then it was available in the Heroku marketplace and alpha in like October or so November. And then it went into beta in November, December, right? 

Colleen: Betas when you can start charging. Oh no. You're right. Cause You have to do out. No, 

MIchele: had to get like a. 

Colleen: So you have to do alpha and then you have to do beta. 

MIchele: it's like one thing where you had to get like 10 people, then you had to get a hundred or something.

Colleen: yeah, that's right. So Alpha's 10 people. Beta's a hundred. And then after beta, you going to general availability. So I think that timeline sounds a bit.

MIchele: So then you went into beta in December, and then you went into general availability in February, which is when you bought yourself a $20 bagel.

Colleen: Yes. I was still a good bagel.

I still think about it. 

MIchele: And then at some point last spring, you got to this point where you were at like a thousand dollars MRR for like a couple of months there, but, you know, life and everything is kinda kinda happening and whatnot, and you needed more than that. And so you decided to take a full-time job. But then you took the full-time job and people are like, calling's on the market.

Like what? Hold on a minute. Like, and then like a bazillion people sent you job offers, including like your dream job of being a founder with people. So now you are, so it was a, we started this, this podcast, you were a consultant and not founder of anything. And now you are no longer a consultant and you are a founder of two things.

Colleen: Yes, it sounds so ridiculous when you, when you timeline 

MIchele: That's pretty amazing. You've had quite a 

Colleen: of 

MIchele: 14 months. 15 months. 

Colleen: man. I didn't think I did anything during COVID either, but apparently I'm kicking ass over here. 

MIchele: Yes, you are.

Colleen: Oh yes. So I did end up at one point taking a full-time job and then kind of, as you described. A lot of opportunities came my way. So I left it to do the, to join hammer stone and we're funded for about a year. So that's super exciting. So Yeah.

I'm doing all the things, huh? Cool. You know, it's, it's funny in retrospect because you're like, man, I haven't made any progress, but if You really look back a lot has

MIchele: You really have. Yeah. 

Colleen: Yeah. 

MIchele: Yeah.

Colleen: So, that's my backstory. Let's talk about your backstory.

MIchele: So, okay. All right. So I told you a story. Okay. So now you tell my story. Okay. 

Colleen: Do I get to tell your 

MIchele: You do. Okay. Okay. But wait, hold on. Here's okay. This is Anne again, insert the harp noises. Okay. Calling.

Colleen: Duh. Okay. So as you said, we were meeting and you guys were going to go to Denmark for a month. 

MIchele: Well, well, okay. Well, the original idea was that we would go to the Denmark for the summers and then COVID happened. And then we're like, if we can get to Denmark, we should just stay there for like a year. So, so I think like the last time I actually physically saw you. I was like may of 2020. Cause I feel like I dropped some baked goods off of your house.

Colleen: That was yes, but that was pandemic had started, so we couldn't hug 

MIchele: right, right. Oh my God. I get to hug you at founder summit. 

Colleen: I'm so, oh my gosh. I'm so excited. I get to see you in one week. Oh, Okay. Continue on. 

MIchele: Oh wait, no, you're telling this story.

Colleen: Oh, right. I get to tell it. Okay. So you were going to go to Denmark for a year and you got there and it was such a good fit for your family. You decided you're going to stay for 10 years, which is a 

MIchele: Oh, yeah, that was, yeah. 

Colleen: in the United States. You basically decided you were going to stay for a while. And so we started the podcast and I think.

What's really important for people to know. about you is you and your partner founded geocoded, which is a very successful SAS, which we don't talk about as much as we should. Why don't we talk about it more 

MIchele: I don't know. I

feel, 

Colleen: so successful, it just runs itself. 

MIchele: it doesn't run 

Colleen: You should brag. We need to talk more about geocoding on this show, but it does.

Are you comfortable giving some kind of lower limit of what kind of revenue it 

MIchele: Yeah. I mean, I feel like I have to give like something just so, yeah. I think in the book, you know, we Mathias and I agreed that we can say that we are over a million in annual revenue, which kind of seems to be like a, a key metric for people. You know, people talk about, you know you know, every SAS, founder you know, knows what, what the number 83,333 means which is multiply that by multiply that by 12 and that's a million dollars in annual revenue.

So so you were we're north of that mark, but that's as much as we're comfortable saying.

Colleen: Got it. So point being you and your, and it's just the two of you, which is really kind of spectacular. So you have basically already achieved the sass dream before we even started the podcast. Like you're living the SAS dream and, and I think that's important for people to know. So you're in a totally different stage of your company in terms of, if you want to hire, if you don't want to hire.

Ha, you know, day-to-day operations expanding to new markets, that kind of stuff. And, and so I think we started as a very, very, I mean, we're obviously very, very good friends, but we also started as a very mentor mentee dynamic on the podcast 

MIchele: Yeah, I guess so. 

Colleen: and Yeah.

I think so, like I was being, I was like whining about how hard it was and you're like, yeah, You should talk to people. My favorite dynamic though, is what I'm like. Don't you want to sell it for like $10 million? And you're like, no, I don't want to start over. It was hard starting over. 

MIchele: This is the podcast you come to for encouragement.

Colleen: Right. Starting from the beginning. Sucks, man. Why would I sell my business? It's my favorite one. Anyway, so we have a bit of a dynamic. I feel like where I'm like, okay. What should you do to optimize for your happiness, where you are, and you're trying to help me get off the ground, especially when we started.

And now, I mean, you've learned so much, you guys have had geocode you've been full time for six 

MIchele: four years 

Colleen: It's okay. But the 

MIchele: company's been around. It'll be eight years in January, 

Colleen: a lot of

MIchele: wild.

Colleen: And so through, I think through our conversations and the feedback we got from, we mostly engage with people on Twitter. So the feedback we got from Twitter, we started talking more and more about customer interviews, which is such a hard thing for developers. And you have this depth of knowledge in that field based on running your own business and previous jobs you've had.

And somehow you wrote a book and like five months, like one day we were like, you should write a book and then you just wrote one. That's how I remember it going. No, you started a newsletter first. So you started the newsletter, right? And then you basically, I mean, the way you churned out content was just.

It was mind blowing to me like it was, what did you say? Like you had everything in your brain and you just needed to get It 

MIchele: It was like cleaning my mental attic. 

Colleen: It was like twice a week. You were sending these 

MIchele: It was actually more than that. And people were like, please stop sending them, like I'm buried. And I was 

like, 

Colleen: can't read them. I used to have to flag them to be like, read later. I don't have time to read these 5,000 words today. So you brain dumped into a newsletter and you turned that brain dump into a book, which gosh, when did you publish the book? So the newsletter started in like end of February. And 

okay. February 20, 21. 

MIchele: And then the pre-order went live in July. No. Like early June. And then the book was basically done by early July, but then there was like all of the, like not book stuff to do. It's like, kind of like when you build a SAS and you're like, oh wait, oh, I need to do like billing and like user account management and like, like set up emails, like all that kind of stuff.

It was like, I had like buy an ESPN and all that stuff. And like, you know, you need a cover. So you need a cover. It's annoying, but books need 

With one of the listeners of this podcast, Damien like was like, Hey Aman, do you need help with that? And I was like, I don't know how to do graphics. So so it was like July 20. Ah, 24, I think is what it says on Amazon. That it like went live that you could, you could buy it. Yeah,

Colleen: And this is October and you're basically crushing all of these records in terms of business books. You've sold many copies, it's been wildly successful. And you're now doing an audio podcast as a companion to the book? Yes. Okay. 

MIchele: Yeah. I know I am. 

Colleen: of quiet. I was like, you're right. 

MIchele: episode. Yes. Yes.

Colleen: So somehow you are living in a foreign country where you're just learning the language.

You have a child, you have a business that does over a million dollars. ARR. 

MIchele: Yeah.

Colleen: fine. It's totally normal. You know, it's someone said to me, okay, I

have to tell you this, Michelle, someone who listens to our podcast, who I will not name was like, this person likes to watch like trashy TV on Netflix. And this person was like, I don't think Michelle would watch this.

I bet she stays up all night reading business books. It's like, I think she does.

MIchele: I

Colleen: I'm like over here watching the vampire diaries or something and you're like reading customer books. 

MIchele: I do watch TV. I will have, you know, Colleen, I do watch telephone.

Colleen: Sure you do. No one believes you. You're like I watched five minutes on Saturday.

MIchele: I watched Ted lasso every week. But now that the season is over, I will be reading more books. You know what, something, you know, you mentioned that, you know, we have this the early days, like the sort of mentee mentor kind of dynamic, but I think another dynamic that stands out to me is. For me, I feel like in so many ways you have been my cheerleader and you have really pushed me, especially when it comes to the book and been so encouraging.

And you know, and I'll be like, oh, I don't know if I should do this. I don't know if it's going to work. And you're like, it's obviously going to work. Like, why are you even questioning? Like, I like your perception of me is just like, so wildly different than my own perception of like my own abilities.

That, that, like, I feel like you're, you're like, you know, one of my biggest supporters and have been so enthusiastic for me as I went through that transition. Cause I feel like, I feel like launching an info product is very different than launching a SAS and going into this, you know, I feel, I feel very confident as a SAS business owner, like.

know, I, of course there's things I don't know, and I'm learning all the time, but like, I feel like I know how to figure those things out. feel confident in my abilities to run that business. And I thought that I was just confident as a business person in general. And then I started writing a book and I learned that I have no confidence when it comes to writing a book and launching an info product and felt just completely like a fish out of water and sort of constantly questioning the approach to it and marketing it.

Cause it's just like, everything is just so different and it was so many new. Skills that I, or things I hadn't really done in a long time or hadn't just, or just different. And and I feel like you have just kind of been the one, like standing in my corner being like, yeah, like you can, you can do that.

Like you can figure this out. Like you know, just kind of keeping me.

Colleen: oh, that's great to hear. I'm glad. I'm glad. I have been there for you. I really appreciate you sharing that with me. Cause that means a lot to me. Cause sometimes I feel like I don't bring as much, I mean, outside of our friendship. Right. Which obviously we're like best friends, but sometimes I feel like in our podcast and like our business relationship, if you want to call it that I don't bring as much to the table.

So I'm glad to hear that. 

MIchele: Yeah. I feel, I feel just as much, I don't think mentored is. Word, because that implies somebody who has like, done that specific thing before. But I do feel like I have gotten so much guidance from you and encouragement and you, you have really been a force in my life for, for helping to make that happen.

And. 

Colleen: that's awesome. 

MIchele: Yeah. You know, on a sort of related to that, like I've had people, I think it was be like tweeted out. Like I wonder if you know Michelle and Colleen, like talk to each other outside of the podcast? Yes. If anyone else was like wondering, and we don't have that same dynamic, I think in our like personal life.

But like we're in like a group chat with like other friends of ours. She is so funny thing, like how, when we met it turned out that like one of our best friends was your study buddy in college. And you guys hadn't seen each other in 10 years and I like met you for the first time. Cause some other friends we knew through this, like, you know, Indy like SAS business world connected us when you moved.

To Arlington, where we used to live and I added you on Facebook. And I was like, wait, how do you know him? And you were like, we went to college together. How do you know him? And I was like, what? Like mutual best friend. This is weird. Okay. This is great. That was wild. I mean, because we were really, I was really good friends with that person in college. Hadn't taught, literally hadn't even thought about him in 10 years and you're like, oh, they're our best friends. I was like, what? It's like the stars aligned there. That was so wild. 

Yeah, so, and ho, ho. Yeah. So, so now here we are. So we've been doing a lot of thinking about this podcast and, you know, as I thought about it, You know, an original reason for the show. And especially for me was, you know, to keep us talking to each other, like, and, you know, I had just moved to another country where I didn't have any friends.

And. You know, talking to you every, it was, you know, like I needed to schedule something to like force me to, to talk to people, you know, of course I'm on Twitter all the time, which I think is also related to like being in another country and, and not sort of physically having friends nearby, but of course, with COVID for like long time, you know, that's, that's kind of everybody's in that position to less so than it was.

But and so that was a big thing for me. Andy still valuing that. And then also kind of feeling like, I think, I guess I just, as this has like grown and it's not just us, like I remember in the beginning, like you were like, you should like get a mic. And I was like, we don't even know if anyone is going to listen to this, except our husbands.

Like, I'm not going to buy a mic, like.

Colleen: a Mike. I remember you saying that you're like.

I don't need a mic. I was like, I think so. I feel like you should get one. 

MIchele: And so I love talking to you and something else we have also talked about is that we also love talking to other entrepreneurs and like other people who are doing this like weird internet business thing. And so like you went in a couple weeks ago, you were, you were. Telling me that I had to listen to the episode with Nadia from story graph.

And so I did, I did listen to that and I loved it. Like I was listening to it. And first of all, like this, like she's such a compelling speaker. Like I, and like I kept expecting to hear like the, how I built this, like music chime in. Cause I was like totally enraptured in it in the same way that I am with w with how I built this.

But also you're a great interviewer. And I was like, I like listened to that. And I was like, I want to listen to more of the show. Like I liked the show, like, how do I get more of this? And, and it was like kind of fun that it was like our show, but I didn't know what was going to happen in it. And like you and I would like, she would be talking and I would like have this question in my head.

And like, you would ask that question. And I was like, oh my God. Like it was so fun for me to listen to it. And so we've kind of been talked about like bringing more friends and people onto the show more. But I think also to kind of give ourselves a break too, a little bit. So we're both not in front of the mic ever.

Like we're still talking regularly, but recording every week for a year and a half 

does 

Colleen: we've done this every 

MIchele: Yeah. We haven't missed a 

Colleen: is a lot. 

MIchele: I'm very proud of 

Colleen: There's a couple of things I wanted to talk to you about this. I love having guests on, and I think having a podcast, like what's the point in having a popular podcast? If you can't talk to people, you internet stock. I mean, that sounded really creepy, but I mean like all the people you follow on Twitter that are like, 

MIchele: people who are doing cool things that you like talking to. 

Colleen: Right. So I love having a podcast cause both I've had two guests on and I cold DMD. Both of them, Derek and Nadia. And presumably they didn't ignore me because I had a podcast. I mean, I'm sure 

MIchele: Yeah. It's like an excuse to get interesting people to talk to you.

Colleen: So yeah, it's an excuse to get interesting people to talk to you. But there's two things.

I just like, if we go this direction, I just want to like be mindful and put out there. I, this might be all in my head, but I am curious to see if like there's a power dynamic with you.

and I, that, like, you're kind of, I mean, you are objectively more successful in this field than I am. So like both times I invited a guest on, I was very clear that you would not be there.

And I'm just wondering if like, people are going to be like, Oh,

I don't want to be on software show, show Michelle's now.

MIchele: I don't think so.

Colleen: I don't think so.

but I'm just letting you know. I mean, since we're gonna, you know, just chat on this podcast now that is something that's in my head that I'm like a little bit nervous about that someone's going to be like, oh, is Michelle going to be there? And it'd be like, no, and they're gonna be like, oh yeah, I'm not available.

Has not happened to me.

MIchele: I'm glad you shared that with me. Cause yeah, I, I, yeah. And when you get like a really famous, famous, again, not no one knows these people outside our little circle, like we say, famous, 

famous or 

whatnot, 

Colleen: Very specific indie, SAS, 

MIchele: niche famous. 

Colleen: each famous. 

MIchele: If you were listening and you were hyper niche famous.

Colleen: niece famous. 

MIchele: But also if you're not hyper niche famous, like that is, I think something like with guests we have had on the past too, was like, there was a very intentional, like this person, like more people should know about the work this person is doing.

Like they are not like they do not, there are not enough people in the community who know about this person and what they're doing and what they've done. And like this person we're interviewing should have more internet.

Colleen: Yeah. So I guess for me, that is just something I want to like be, I don't know. I'm sure it won't be a problem. I'm just telling you. That's like one of the things that's in my head, like you're going to get the. Higher. I don't even know how to say this without sounding terrible. So I just won't that there'll be a kind of an incongruity and people who want to speak to you versus people who want to speak to me.

So I'm just throwing that out there as something to like, it's probably not a thing it's probably just in my head, but

MIchele: I'm glad you've let it out of your head and it's not going to like sit there and fester. I really hope that doesn't happen. But you know, if you, if, if you have that fear, I'm, I'm glad you said it rather than holding it in.

Colleen: Yeah. And there's some people you're going to have on that. Like, and this is weird too. Like there's some people you're going to have on that I'd really like to meet. So then if we both do it, but we only both do it for some guests, is that. If I'm like, you're, you're gonna, you're like, oh, I'm having XYZ person on.

I'm like, oh, I really want to meet X, Y, Z person. I want to do it with you. I don't know. These are

MIchele: I don't think. Yeah. I think sometimes we'll do it together and like, I think there'll be some times also it's like a mutual friend of ours too, where like, it 

really. You know, but also like if it's both of us on like, you know, we don't both have to be asking the same amount of questions. Like it could be, you know, 80, 21 of us, like that's, that's also fine.

And I think just kind of communicating about who we're inviting on and, and being. Being very intentional about it, but also at the same time, like I've, so I've basically a hazard sort of talked about this as we're basically get to like run a test for the next couple of months and for the most part. So this is so people kind of know what's happening.

We're going to basically alternate weeks with interviews with people we think are interesting doing interesting things and then. And then Michelle and Colleen week for the Mo for the most part, like there might be like holiday weeks or something where like, you know, we have, we're not going to like record on Christmas.

So we needs record, you know, record in advance and it's kind of easier to do that with interviews and stuff. But I think we're going to try that out for like the next like couple of months. I mean, also the next couple of months for me are going to be kind of. Really busy and I'm like, you know, so you gave me this challenge of being on, oh, I always want to say it's 10 podcasts, but I know it's 20, 

Colleen: definitely. It was definitely 20. 

MIchele: this challenge of being on yes.

20 podcasts to promote the book. And oh, I don't think I haven't made it to 10 yet. Getting there. But I'm going to be on like a bunch of bulkheads. And honestly, I just like, I can't listen to myself talk like all the time. So. I'm going to need, you know, a break some weeks and you're going to need it, like, cause you're now a founder of two companies.

It's a lot 

like any, you have life going on too. And we're going to founder summit and I'm giving like I'm giving three talks in the next couple of weeks. Two of which are in person, which is, I just don't even know how to comprehend that. So things are going to be busy. But I think, you know, kind of want to, I think we've said this a couple of times at sometimes we.

Lean on the social side of software, social, like this is the podcast about software. That's not actually about software. Like and I think kind of, you know, we've sort of like, I think about our show. I'm sorry. I'm totally rambling, but I'm going to keep rambling. So I think about our show 

Colleen: You can do whatever you 

MIchele: more ha so excellent.

Well, first of all, I mean, I love interviewing people, right? Like I interviewed two people, four episodes that are coming up and I like, you can probably hear that I'm a little bit froggy right now. I, you know, I did those interviews and it was so much fun. And afterwards Mathias is like, you are so energized, like way more than you have been at any point this week.

Like, and I was so excited and, you know, I was thinking about it and I was like, okay, this is probably a surprise to no one except me that I love interviewing people, apparently who would have thought.

Colleen: Who would've thought. 

MIchele: But I like it was so jazzed by it. I really, really enjoyed it. Like just genuinely genuinely enjoyed that.

And kind of the way that I feel like I think about our show is, I don't know if you ever listened to car talk I used to. 

Which you know, so it was like at this NPR show where national public radio, where, you know, these two funny guys from Cambridge, Massachusetts would, you know, people would call in these two brothers and they would talk about their car problems.

Now I listened to this show every week for a. You know, a good amount of my life through my child and Dean and even college years. I can't tell you anything about cars but it was fun. And, you know, listening to people who like talking to each other is enjoyable, no matter what they're talking about.

And so I think that's kind of how I think about these, like our show, but also the interviews is like, just listening to people who like talking to each other. It's just kind of enjoyable to sort of almost get to be a part of that conversation in a way. 

Colleen: Yeah.

MIchele: I don't

know. 

Colleen: agree. I love it. I love this idea. I think it's gonna work out. I think we'll see how it goes. I think the plan to do it for a couple of months. Another thing that we talked about a little. Is, I feel like this podcast was becoming started to feel like a chore and it felt like a chore because I felt like I had to always have like some really exciting update or some really awesome thing that was happening to me.

That was so wonderful. And like for four months, not four months for like four weeks. I didn't touch simple file upload. So I felt like I was coming on here every week with like, eh, I didn't do anything or just widening or whatever. And I feel like there was an, a little bit of pressure as we get more listeners to perform. And so like, I'm just going to put that aside, like, cause I, it was funny. About two or three weeks ago, we were very seriously, like, should we keep doing this? Should we not? And I went and had lunch with, and I was like, I don't have anything to say on the podcast. And that I wouldn't have had lunch with my buddy.

And I like talked his ear off for like two hours. And it was about all that. It wasn't about, it was about all the things I used to talk to you about on the podcast that I feel like, I mean, borings, I don't know.

if it's boring, but like stuff everyone's dealing with. Like, what am I supposed to about childcare?

And the context switching is killing me. That's what stuff you and I used to talk about and I kind of accidentally stopped talking about it. Cause it felt like we were just like, your book is doing so amazing and my product is doing so amazing. And I, I felt pressured to always. You know, be like, everything is so wonderful.

So I'm going to let that go and just go back to what we used to be, which as I'm showing right now is just chatting like we're together. Right. And again, just rambling. So I feel like for me, that was part of the problem is I felt like I always had to perform, like I had to be a certain role, like, and I'm not, you know, that added stress to the situation. 

MIchele: I think, I felt, I felt that too. Because I felt like the book was the most interesting thing going on. You know, the thing about having a mature SAS is that. It's boring. Like the boring, this is a feature like, you know, there there's no, there's no surprises in the monthly revenue and that's like a ma it's like an amazing kind of boring.

But like I was like, do people really want to hear about me? You know, reconciling invoices and like negotiating contracts and like going back and forth on whether we should do like SOC two or not. And like that's boring. And, and then I like kind of like w when we were in the middle of this, like, should we, should we keep doing the podcast conversation tweeted out?

Like, why do you listen to this show? And, and really appreciate everybody who replied to that. And, but some of those things where like, you know, someone was like, oh, like I miss you guys talking about work-life balance. And S and I was like, people don't really want to hear me talk about, like, to do it SOC two and a bunch of people like, no, actually yes, yes, please.

Like, please, can you please talk about that? Like, we do want to hear about that. So, cause I started to feel like the problems or sort. Considerations that a, that a mature SAS might have, like, would not be relevant because a lot of people were listening for your story. And that, like, the geocoder story was not very interesting.

And like, I was tired of telling it, I thought everybody else was tired of hearing it. And then people were like, no, actually we want to hear about you. And I was like, Oh, okay. Like, it doesn't have to be like, like, I feel like we had these sort of like story arcs in a way of the show. Like very unintentionally, like last fall was like last fall.

And like the winter was like your journey into launching simple file upload. And then this spring and summer, it was with the book. And I think maybe we got, like, I think we, maybe we started to feel like we had to have like, Some sort of a story arc, 

Colleen: Yes. Totally 

MIchele: but then like sometimes the story is just like, you know, what do I, what do I do about context switching?

Or I like, you know, I don't know. I spent my week negotiating enterprise deals. Like, do we want to talk about that? Like, I love negotiate. Like this, the thing that you talked about, like, you know, the, the customer research thing, like I'm now known as a customer research Person. But I feel like negotiating is something that I spend a ton of time doing and like sales.

And I was like, I actually never talk about that on the podcast, 

like 

Colleen: No, you never 

MIchele: ever, and people also don't really know how to do sales, so maybe I should talk about that. I think, I think this kind of like thinking about. Content. Like I remember in the beginning, remember the beginning, how we had this, like, notion of like all the stuff we would talk about.

And then we would like each come in with it, like for like, like each week we'd each have something where you're going to talk about. And we were going to be like 15 minutes each, but then we, like, I mean, we're totally doing it today, but like we found that we were basically like talking in paragraphs, like at one another.

And it wasn't really a conversation because we were so like rehearsing what we were saying. So then we could just kind of follow the. Stories that emerged. But I think what I really enjoyed about your interview with Nadia was that like, you're just kind of following her story. And I got to like, sort of, I don't know, get like a pony ride on your back and like, be like, along for the ride of like figuring out where Nadia story was going.

And like, that was like that, that was really fun for me. And to listen to that awesome. Well, is that a good place to wrap up for this 

I guess so. I mean, I think I want to say that I hope people will kind of like chime in, like we do really genuinely love it when you tweet stuff at us about the episodes and what you're thinking about. And like, especially since it's just Colleen and I are talking to each other right now, like having that.

I mean, you all know that I'm somebody who likes feedback. But both of us really value that I think. And that's really something that keeps us going is knowing that I don't know, I don't get any satisfaction of seeing like numbers and a dashboard. Transistor has a very nice dashboard with lots of numbers that our advertisers appreciate.

But I don't really get anything out of that. What makes me feel like, you know, this is. Having an impact is like people telling us, you know, 

Colleen: Yeah, 

MIchele: I don't know how you think 

Colleen: you, it was interesting because. Right before you sent that tweet out, what was that two weeks ago about what do you like about the podcast? That's where you were seriously thinking about, maybe we shouldn't do it or something. And then all of the responses were all the reasons we started the podcast and I was like, oh, okay, cool.

Rock on. We're doing what we set out to do. 

MIchele: yeah. So, so yeah, we're gonna mix things up a little bit, but hopefully I think get back a little bit closer to, to what we wanted out of this and what we were doing in the beginning, which I think is to, I don't know, kind of show what it's like to start a SAS, you know, bumps and all, and now it's going to be, you know, running, running.

But also talking to other people who have done the same thing too, but I think, you know, something we really learned from Adam's episode a couple of weeks ago is that I really need to tell the stories of. And, and Cam's episode to really tell the stories of, yeah, this kinda isn't working, like, you know, that there's a place for the podcasts talking about successes.

Like I think we all need that for encouragement and motivation. And it's just, I think so good for the community to tell the success stories. But most people are not succeeding. And even if you are. It's can still be lonely and hard and there's stuff that you don't know how to do. And we've, I think that's something we both struggled with is like doing everything, you know, yourself or close to it with one or two other people.

It means you've got to learn a lot of new stuff all the time and that gets exhausting. And so, you know, to the extent we can kind of telling those stories and sort of in a way that, you know, are, and the way that we started out meeting in a coffee shop, sort of. Almost making the podcast itself, that coffee shop where we're kind of converging people regardless of what their situation currently is.

So

yeah, I think I, I think I have said a lot.

Colleen: I'm here for it. This is what I want to get back to where we just kind of chat. 

MIchele: Yeah. I think me to be too right. 

Well, so we're off to founder summit and I'm so excited 

Colleen: So 

MIchele: seeing you in person, like the first time in forever. Yeah, it'd be since ma like me standing on your doorstep with baked goods and may of 2020, maybe it was June. I feel like maybe I saw you in June before I left. I feel like I did. Yeah.

I feel like it did. And, then we're gonna have, we're gonna, we're going to have some interviews that I did spring excited about those. Those were so fun. and then yeah, we'll be back,

What is Software Social?

Two indie SaaS founders—one just getting off the ground, and one with an established profitable business—invite you to join their weekly chats.

Episode 10/19
===

MIchele: This episode of software, social is brought to you by reform as a business owner. You need forms all the time for lead capture, user feedback, SAS onboarding, job applications, early access sign-ups and many other types of forms. Here's how reform is different. Your brand shines through not reformed. It's accessible out of the box and there are no silly design gimmicks, like frustrating customers by only showing one question at a time.

Join indie businesses like fathom analytics and savvy cal, and try out reform software. Social listeners. Get one month free by going to reform.app/social and using the promo code social on checkout. Hey, Colleen,

Colleen: Hello, Michelle.

MIchele: I feel like it's been awhile.

Colleen: It has been a while. It's been a few weeks. I

MIchele: Yeah. But like, so we haven't really liked formally talked or not formally, but, you know, but we have been like, I feel like we have been talking constantly about this podcast for the past couple of weeks at the same time.

Colleen: I would agree. There's been a lot of discussion about that.

MIchele: And we've been meaning to do like kind of a catch-up episode for a while too. And so it kind of felt this kind of feels like a good time to sort of pause and have a little bit of a meta episode where we sort of, I guess, talk about where we've come from and why w why do we do this in the first place and, and where are we going?

Colleen: Okay. I like it.

MIchele: So let's let's rewind. So if, if this were a fancy produced podcast, this is when you would insert harp noises. So just imagine that there's a harp playing in your head. So let's rewind back to July of 20, 20, Colleen. What were you doing in July of 2020?

Colleen: Oh, geez. Well, let's see July. So we were a couple months into the pandemic. I believe I was working a full-time job and I had a desire, a strong desire to launch a product.

MIchele: Were you consulting full time for one client or I thought you were consulting.

Colleen: Maybe I was still, yeah. Good thing. We have

MIchele: I feel like you can

Colleen: to.

MIchele: I feel like I remember sometime I think it was right around when COVID was heading. And I feel like I remember standing on your, like your like porch or your steps like talking through whether you should take a job and like, yeah. Like that was like right around that time.

But, and I think you didn't.

Colleen: I think

MIchele: And I,

Colleen: The first time they offered it to me, I think I said,

MIchele: And then I think you were consulting,

Colleen: I believe you're correct. I believe I was consulting for one client. So it was kind of that cadence of a more permanent job. But at that time I was not a quote full-time employee. I had not launched a

MIchele: I think you're like compromise with them. Was that like you would work for them. Four days a week as a consultant, and then you would get one day a week to work on like your stuff. But actually it had been like that for a while. Like, I feel like you would have this sort of, this is my phrasing here, this like Friday fun day where you got to just like do your own projects for a while.

Colleen: Yeah. that sounds right.

MIchele: Yeah. Yeah. But that was very much, I mean, now looking back on it, I guess that was like, The end of what I term your wandering through the forest period. Wondering.

you know, you know, if this was, if this is frozen too, for all the parents out there, this is when your power ballad of lost in the woods is playing.

Colleen: Lost in the woods. Yes. would be my lost in the woods. Power ballad period. Indeed. Agree.

MIchele: It was a pivotal moment. And then I think. I don't know if it was like August. Oh, so of 2020 that you were kind of on, I mean, I guess we could listen to our own show and figure this out. Again, this worry, fancy produced podcast with harp noises. We would know that and there would be a clip of it right now.

But I think it was like in August that you were like F like, I need to just. Decide, unlike one of these things. Cause like we had been meeting for a while. So like just context is like we were, we were meeting up every week for coffee for a long time. At a, so we used to live in the same place. We now live on opposite sides of the world, but we used to live in the same place, like a neighborhood over you were the only person I had ever like met in my daily life who was also doing this weird internet.

Business thing who was like in that world. And also like our kids went to the same school and we lived like two minutes from each other and it was like just perfect. Yeah. So, and then we started meeting up at a coffee shop called Northside social, which is actually how we ended up getting the name for this show.

And the show basically was, you know, I moved to Denmark to Denmark. then for us this year, you moved to California. So now we're really all over the place to keep us talking to each other, to keep those conversations happening. for a long time, we had been meeting up and you were playing around with like all of these different ideas and, and playing as like you were, you were taking it very seriously.

Like it wasn't play. There was some con like there's like a content analytics idea. I feel like, like, there's a one point. It was like, you were thinking about some sort of like, Competitor to H refs that was like for SEO consultants to like measure the value of their work. There was the, the, there was the stay at home moms doing babysitting and daycare for other the childcare thing.

And then, but like, so August of 2020, I feel like there was kind of this moment in early. Like I just gotta like pick something and go for it. And it's going to be this file upload thing, which annoys me.

Colleen: that's, that's pretty accurate. And I remember. Why was it in that stage of back to lost in the woods? It felt like every time we met, you would draw me that pain frequency graph. And, and I just, I was like, I don't know, like I just don't know where any of these ideas fall on the pain frequency graph.

So I'm going to take what feels like the smallest lift, which is a JavaScript widget, right. Something I feel like I can make in a constrained period of time. And I'm just going to do. I'm going to do everything wrong, but I'm just going to do it.

MIchele: And then you did it and then so

Colleen: yeah, But we launched the podcast before I had a product. So part of the McColl was like, oh man, now I'm telling the world about this. So I better freaking do it like a podcast with never having launched a product would not be.

MIchele: And so then last fall to goes through. You building it and balancing that with consulting and with parenting too, was all of the like, cause I guess your kids were in school, like part like the whole co COVID

school, like

Colleen: some COVID school, situation.

MIchele: And then, I think it was, was it December that simple file upload.

I remember you gave me that you gave me like a walkthrough of it in like September or October of last year, but then it was available in the Heroku marketplace and alpha in like October or so November. And then it went into beta in November, December, right?

Colleen: Betas when you can start charging. Oh no. You're right. Cause You have to do out. No,

MIchele: had to get like a.

Colleen: So you have to do alpha and then you have to do beta.

MIchele: it's like one thing where you had to get like 10 people, then you had to get a hundred or something.

Colleen: yeah, that's right. So Alpha's 10 people. Beta's a hundred. And then after beta, you going to general availability. So I think that timeline sounds a bit.

MIchele: So then you went into beta in December, and then you went into general availability in February, which is when you bought yourself a $20 bagel.

Colleen: Yes. I was still a good bagel.

I still think about it.

MIchele: And then at some point last spring, you got to this point where you were at like a thousand dollars MRR for like a couple of months there, but, you know, life and everything is kinda kinda happening and whatnot, and you needed more than that. And so you decided to take a full-time job. But then you took the full-time job and people are like, calling's on the market.

Like what? Hold on a minute. Like, and then like a bazillion people sent you job offers, including like your dream job of being a founder with people. So now you are, so it was a, we started this, this podcast, you were a consultant and not founder of anything. And now you are no longer a consultant and you are a founder of two things.

Colleen: Yes, it sounds so ridiculous when you, when you timeline

MIchele: That's pretty amazing. You've had quite a

Colleen: of

MIchele: 14 months. 15 months.

Colleen: man. I didn't think I did anything during COVID either, but apparently I'm kicking ass over here.

MIchele: Yes, you are.

Colleen: Oh yes. So I did end up at one point taking a full-time job and then kind of, as you described. A lot of opportunities came my way. So I left it to do the, to join hammer stone and we're funded for about a year. So that's super exciting. So Yeah.

I'm doing all the things, huh? Cool. You know, it's, it's funny in retrospect because you're like, man, I haven't made any progress, but if You really look back a lot has

MIchele: You really have. Yeah.

Colleen: Yeah.

MIchele: Yeah.

Colleen: So, that's my backstory. Let's talk about your backstory.

MIchele: So, okay. All right. So I told you a story. Okay. So now you tell my story. Okay.

Colleen: Do I get to tell your

MIchele: You do. Okay. Okay. But wait, hold on. Here's okay. This is Anne again, insert the harp noises. Okay. Calling.

Colleen: Duh. Okay. So as you said, we were meeting and you guys were going to go to Denmark for a month.

MIchele: Well, well, okay. Well, the original idea was that we would go to the Denmark for the summers and then COVID happened. And then we're like, if we can get to Denmark, we should just stay there for like a year. So, so I think like the last time I actually physically saw you. I was like may of 2020. Cause I feel like I dropped some baked goods off of your house.

Colleen: That was yes, but that was pandemic had started, so we couldn't hug

MIchele: right, right. Oh my God. I get to hug you at founder summit.

Colleen: I'm so, oh my gosh. I'm so excited. I get to see you in one week. Oh, Okay. Continue on.

MIchele: Oh wait, no, you're telling this story.

Colleen: Oh, right. I get to tell it. Okay. So you were going to go to Denmark for a year and you got there and it was such a good fit for your family. You decided you're going to stay for 10 years, which is a

MIchele: Oh, yeah, that was, yeah.

Colleen: in the United States. You basically decided you were going to stay for a while. And so we started the podcast and I think.

What's really important for people to know. about you is you and your partner founded geocoded, which is a very successful SAS, which we don't talk about as much as we should. Why don't we talk about it more

MIchele: I don't know. I

feel,

Colleen: so successful, it just runs itself.

MIchele: it doesn't run

Colleen: You should brag. We need to talk more about geocoding on this show, but it does.

Are you comfortable giving some kind of lower limit of what kind of revenue it

MIchele: Yeah. I mean, I feel like I have to give like something just so, yeah. I think in the book, you know, we Mathias and I agreed that we can say that we are over a million in annual revenue, which kind of seems to be like a, a key metric for people. You know, people talk about, you know you know, every SAS, founder you know, knows what, what the number 83,333 means which is multiply that by multiply that by 12 and that's a million dollars in annual revenue.

So so you were we're north of that mark, but that's as much as we're comfortable saying.

Colleen: Got it. So point being you and your, and it's just the two of you, which is really kind of spectacular. So you have basically already achieved the sass dream before we even started the podcast. Like you're living the SAS dream and, and I think that's important for people to know. So you're in a totally different stage of your company in terms of, if you want to hire, if you don't want to hire.

Ha, you know, day-to-day operations expanding to new markets, that kind of stuff. And, and so I think we started as a very, very, I mean, we're obviously very, very good friends, but we also started as a very mentor mentee dynamic on the podcast

MIchele: Yeah, I guess so.

Colleen: and Yeah.

I think so, like I was being, I was like whining about how hard it was and you're like, yeah, You should talk to people. My favorite dynamic though, is what I'm like. Don't you want to sell it for like $10 million? And you're like, no, I don't want to start over. It was hard starting over.

MIchele: This is the podcast you come to for encouragement.

Colleen: Right. Starting from the beginning. Sucks, man. Why would I sell my business? It's my favorite one. Anyway, so we have a bit of a dynamic. I feel like where I'm like, okay. What should you do to optimize for your happiness, where you are, and you're trying to help me get off the ground, especially when we started.

And now, I mean, you've learned so much, you guys have had geocode you've been full time for six

MIchele: four years

Colleen: It's okay. But the

MIchele: company's been around. It'll be eight years in January,

Colleen: a lot of

MIchele: wild.

Colleen: And so through, I think through our conversations and the feedback we got from, we mostly engage with people on Twitter. So the feedback we got from Twitter, we started talking more and more about customer interviews, which is such a hard thing for developers. And you have this depth of knowledge in that field based on running your own business and previous jobs you've had.

And somehow you wrote a book and like five months, like one day we were like, you should write a book and then you just wrote one. That's how I remember it going. No, you started a newsletter first. So you started the newsletter, right? And then you basically, I mean, the way you churned out content was just.

It was mind blowing to me like it was, what did you say? Like you had everything in your brain and you just needed to get It

MIchele: It was like cleaning my mental attic.

Colleen: It was like twice a week. You were sending these

MIchele: It was actually more than that. And people were like, please stop sending them, like I'm buried. And I was

like,

Colleen: can't read them. I used to have to flag them to be like, read later. I don't have time to read these 5,000 words today. So you brain dumped into a newsletter and you turned that brain dump into a book, which gosh, when did you publish the book? So the newsletter started in like end of February. And

okay. February 20, 21.

MIchele: And then the pre-order went live in July. No. Like early June. And then the book was basically done by early July, but then there was like all of the, like not book stuff to do. It's like, kind of like when you build a SAS and you're like, oh wait, oh, I need to do like billing and like user account management and like, like set up emails, like all that kind of stuff.

It was like, I had like buy an ESPN and all that stuff. And like, you know, you need a cover. So you need a cover. It's annoying, but books need

With one of the listeners of this podcast, Damien like was like, Hey Aman, do you need help with that? And I was like, I don't know how to do graphics. So so it was like July 20. Ah, 24, I think is what it says on Amazon. That it like went live that you could, you could buy it. Yeah,

Colleen: And this is October and you're basically crushing all of these records in terms of business books. You've sold many copies, it's been wildly successful. And you're now doing an audio podcast as a companion to the book? Yes. Okay.

MIchele: Yeah. I know I am.

Colleen: of quiet. I was like, you're right.

MIchele: episode. Yes. Yes.

Colleen: So somehow you are living in a foreign country where you're just learning the language.

You have a child, you have a business that does over a million dollars. ARR.

MIchele: Yeah.

Colleen: fine. It's totally normal. You know, it's someone said to me, okay, I

have to tell you this, Michelle, someone who listens to our podcast, who I will not name was like, this person likes to watch like trashy TV on Netflix. And this person was like, I don't think Michelle would watch this.

I bet she stays up all night reading business books. It's like, I think she does.

MIchele: I

Colleen: I'm like over here watching the vampire diaries or something and you're like reading customer books.

MIchele: I do watch TV. I will have, you know, Colleen, I do watch telephone.

Colleen: Sure you do. No one believes you. You're like I watched five minutes on Saturday.

MIchele: I watched Ted lasso every week. But now that the season is over, I will be reading more books. You know what, something, you know, you mentioned that, you know, we have this the early days, like the sort of mentee mentor kind of dynamic, but I think another dynamic that stands out to me is. For me, I feel like in so many ways you have been my cheerleader and you have really pushed me, especially when it comes to the book and been so encouraging.

And you know, and I'll be like, oh, I don't know if I should do this. I don't know if it's going to work. And you're like, it's obviously going to work. Like, why are you even questioning? Like, I like your perception of me is just like, so wildly different than my own perception of like my own abilities.

That, that, like, I feel like you're, you're like, you know, one of my biggest supporters and have been so enthusiastic for me as I went through that transition. Cause I feel like, I feel like launching an info product is very different than launching a SAS and going into this, you know, I feel, I feel very confident as a SAS business owner, like.

know, I, of course there's things I don't know, and I'm learning all the time, but like, I feel like I know how to figure those things out. feel confident in my abilities to run that business. And I thought that I was just confident as a business person in general. And then I started writing a book and I learned that I have no confidence when it comes to writing a book and launching an info product and felt just completely like a fish out of water and sort of constantly questioning the approach to it and marketing it.

Cause it's just like, everything is just so different and it was so many new. Skills that I, or things I hadn't really done in a long time or hadn't just, or just different. And and I feel like you have just kind of been the one, like standing in my corner being like, yeah, like you can, you can do that.

Like you can figure this out. Like you know, just kind of keeping me.

Colleen: oh, that's great to hear. I'm glad. I'm glad. I have been there for you. I really appreciate you sharing that with me. Cause that means a lot to me. Cause sometimes I feel like I don't bring as much, I mean, outside of our friendship. Right. Which obviously we're like best friends, but sometimes I feel like in our podcast and like our business relationship, if you want to call it that I don't bring as much to the table.

So I'm glad to hear that.

MIchele: Yeah. I feel, I feel just as much, I don't think mentored is. Word, because that implies somebody who has like, done that specific thing before. But I do feel like I have gotten so much guidance from you and encouragement and you, you have really been a force in my life for, for helping to make that happen.

And.

Colleen: that's awesome.

MIchele: Yeah. You know, on a sort of related to that, like I've had people, I think it was be like tweeted out. Like I wonder if you know Michelle and Colleen, like talk to each other outside of the podcast? Yes. If anyone else was like wondering, and we don't have that same dynamic, I think in our like personal life.

But like we're in like a group chat with like other friends of ours. She is so funny thing, like how, when we met it turned out that like one of our best friends was your study buddy in college. And you guys hadn't seen each other in 10 years and I like met you for the first time. Cause some other friends we knew through this, like, you know, Indy like SAS business world connected us when you moved.

To Arlington, where we used to live and I added you on Facebook. And I was like, wait, how do you know him? And you were like, we went to college together. How do you know him? And I was like, what? Like mutual best friend. This is weird. Okay. This is great. That was wild. I mean, because we were really, I was really good friends with that person in college. Hadn't taught, literally hadn't even thought about him in 10 years and you're like, oh, they're our best friends. I was like, what? It's like the stars aligned there. That was so wild.

Yeah, so, and ho, ho. Yeah. So, so now here we are. So we've been doing a lot of thinking about this podcast and, you know, as I thought about it, You know, an original reason for the show. And especially for me was, you know, to keep us talking to each other, like, and, you know, I had just moved to another country where I didn't have any friends.

And. You know, talking to you every, it was, you know, like I needed to schedule something to like force me to, to talk to people, you know, of course I'm on Twitter all the time, which I think is also related to like being in another country and, and not sort of physically having friends nearby, but of course, with COVID for like long time, you know, that's, that's kind of everybody's in that position to less so than it was.

But and so that was a big thing for me. Andy still valuing that. And then also kind of feeling like, I think, I guess I just, as this has like grown and it's not just us, like I remember in the beginning, like you were like, you should like get a mic. And I was like, we don't even know if anyone is going to listen to this, except our husbands.

Like, I'm not going to buy a mic, like.

Colleen: a Mike. I remember you saying that you're like.

I don't need a mic. I was like, I think so. I feel like you should get one.

MIchele: And so I love talking to you and something else we have also talked about is that we also love talking to other entrepreneurs and like other people who are doing this like weird internet business thing. And so like you went in a couple weeks ago, you were, you were. Telling me that I had to listen to the episode with Nadia from story graph.

And so I did, I did listen to that and I loved it. Like I was listening to it. And first of all, like this, like she's such a compelling speaker. Like I, and like I kept expecting to hear like the, how I built this, like music chime in. Cause I was like totally enraptured in it in the same way that I am with w with how I built this.

But also you're a great interviewer. And I was like, I like listened to that. And I was like, I want to listen to more of the show. Like I liked the show, like, how do I get more of this? And, and it was like kind of fun that it was like our show, but I didn't know what was going to happen in it. And like you and I would like, she would be talking and I would like have this question in my head.

And like, you would ask that question. And I was like, oh my God. Like it was so fun for me to listen to it. And so we've kind of been talked about like bringing more friends and people onto the show more. But I think also to kind of give ourselves a break too, a little bit. So we're both not in front of the mic ever.

Like we're still talking regularly, but recording every week for a year and a half

does

Colleen: we've done this every

MIchele: Yeah. We haven't missed a

Colleen: is a lot.

MIchele: I'm very proud of

Colleen: There's a couple of things I wanted to talk to you about this. I love having guests on, and I think having a podcast, like what's the point in having a popular podcast? If you can't talk to people, you internet stock. I mean, that sounded really creepy, but I mean like all the people you follow on Twitter that are like,

MIchele: people who are doing cool things that you like talking to.

Colleen: Right. So I love having a podcast cause both I've had two guests on and I cold DMD. Both of them, Derek and Nadia. And presumably they didn't ignore me because I had a podcast. I mean, I'm sure

MIchele: Yeah. It's like an excuse to get interesting people to talk to you.

Colleen: So yeah, it's an excuse to get interesting people to talk to you. But there's two things.

I just like, if we go this direction, I just want to like be mindful and put out there. I, this might be all in my head, but I am curious to see if like there's a power dynamic with you.

and I, that, like, you're kind of, I mean, you are objectively more successful in this field than I am. So like both times I invited a guest on, I was very clear that you would not be there.

And I'm just wondering if like, people are going to be like, Oh,

I don't want to be on software show, show Michelle's now.

MIchele: I don't think so.

Colleen: I don't think so.

but I'm just letting you know. I mean, since we're gonna, you know, just chat on this podcast now that is something that's in my head that I'm like a little bit nervous about that someone's going to be like, oh, is Michelle going to be there? And it'd be like, no, and they're gonna be like, oh yeah, I'm not available.

Has not happened to me.

MIchele: I'm glad you shared that with me. Cause yeah, I, I, yeah. And when you get like a really famous, famous, again, not no one knows these people outside our little circle, like we say, famous,

famous or

whatnot,

Colleen: Very specific indie, SAS,

MIchele: niche famous.

Colleen: each famous.

MIchele: If you were listening and you were hyper niche famous.

Colleen: niece famous.

MIchele: But also if you're not hyper niche famous, like that is, I think something like with guests we have had on the past too, was like, there was a very intentional, like this person, like more people should know about the work this person is doing.

Like they are not like they do not, there are not enough people in the community who know about this person and what they're doing and what they've done. And like this person we're interviewing should have more internet.

Colleen: Yeah. So I guess for me, that is just something I want to like be, I don't know. I'm sure it won't be a problem. I'm just telling you. That's like one of the things that's in my head, like you're going to get the. Higher. I don't even know how to say this without sounding terrible. So I just won't that there'll be a kind of an incongruity and people who want to speak to you versus people who want to speak to me.

So I'm just throwing that out there as something to like, it's probably not a thing it's probably just in my head, but

MIchele: I'm glad you've let it out of your head and it's not going to like sit there and fester. I really hope that doesn't happen. But you know, if you, if, if you have that fear, I'm, I'm glad you said it rather than holding it in.

Colleen: Yeah. And there's some people you're going to have on that. Like, and this is weird too. Like there's some people you're going to have on that I'd really like to meet. So then if we both do it, but we only both do it for some guests, is that. If I'm like, you're, you're gonna, you're like, oh, I'm having XYZ person on.

I'm like, oh, I really want to meet X, Y, Z person. I want to do it with you. I don't know. These are

MIchele: I don't think. Yeah. I think sometimes we'll do it together and like, I think there'll be some times also it's like a mutual friend of ours too, where like, it

really. You know, but also like if it's both of us on like, you know, we don't both have to be asking the same amount of questions. Like it could be, you know, 80, 21 of us, like that's, that's also fine.

And I think just kind of communicating about who we're inviting on and, and being. Being very intentional about it, but also at the same time, like I've, so I've basically a hazard sort of talked about this as we're basically get to like run a test for the next couple of months and for the most part. So this is so people kind of know what's happening.

We're going to basically alternate weeks with interviews with people we think are interesting doing interesting things and then. And then Michelle and Colleen week for the Mo for the most part, like there might be like holiday weeks or something where like, you know, we have, we're not going to like record on Christmas.

So we needs record, you know, record in advance and it's kind of easier to do that with interviews and stuff. But I think we're going to try that out for like the next like couple of months. I mean, also the next couple of months for me are going to be kind of. Really busy and I'm like, you know, so you gave me this challenge of being on, oh, I always want to say it's 10 podcasts, but I know it's 20,

Colleen: definitely. It was definitely 20.

MIchele: this challenge of being on yes.

20 podcasts to promote the book. And oh, I don't think I haven't made it to 10 yet. Getting there. But I'm going to be on like a bunch of bulkheads. And honestly, I just like, I can't listen to myself talk like all the time. So. I'm going to need, you know, a break some weeks and you're going to need it, like, cause you're now a founder of two companies.

It's a lot

like any, you have life going on too. And we're going to founder summit and I'm giving like I'm giving three talks in the next couple of weeks. Two of which are in person, which is, I just don't even know how to comprehend that. So things are going to be busy. But I think, you know, kind of want to, I think we've said this a couple of times at sometimes we.

Lean on the social side of software, social, like this is the podcast about software. That's not actually about software. Like and I think kind of, you know, we've sort of like, I think about our show. I'm sorry. I'm totally rambling, but I'm going to keep rambling. So I think about our show

Colleen: You can do whatever you

MIchele: more ha so excellent.

Well, first of all, I mean, I love interviewing people, right? Like I interviewed two people, four episodes that are coming up and I like, you can probably hear that I'm a little bit froggy right now. I, you know, I did those interviews and it was so much fun. And afterwards Mathias is like, you are so energized, like way more than you have been at any point this week.

Like, and I was so excited and, you know, I was thinking about it and I was like, okay, this is probably a surprise to no one except me that I love interviewing people, apparently who would have thought.

Colleen: Who would've thought.

MIchele: But I like it was so jazzed by it. I really, really enjoyed it. Like just genuinely genuinely enjoyed that.

And kind of the way that I feel like I think about our show is, I don't know if you ever listened to car talk I used to.

Which you know, so it was like at this NPR show where national public radio, where, you know, these two funny guys from Cambridge, Massachusetts would, you know, people would call in these two brothers and they would talk about their car problems.

Now I listened to this show every week for a. You know, a good amount of my life through my child and Dean and even college years. I can't tell you anything about cars but it was fun. And, you know, listening to people who like talking to each other is enjoyable, no matter what they're talking about.

And so I think that's kind of how I think about these, like our show, but also the interviews is like, just listening to people who like talking to each other. It's just kind of enjoyable to sort of almost get to be a part of that conversation in a way.

Colleen: Yeah.

MIchele: I don't

know.

Colleen: agree. I love it. I love this idea. I think it's gonna work out. I think we'll see how it goes. I think the plan to do it for a couple of months. Another thing that we talked about a little. Is, I feel like this podcast was becoming started to feel like a chore and it felt like a chore because I felt like I had to always have like some really exciting update or some really awesome thing that was happening to me.

That was so wonderful. And like for four months, not four months for like four weeks. I didn't touch simple file upload. So I felt like I was coming on here every week with like, eh, I didn't do anything or just widening or whatever. And I feel like there was an, a little bit of pressure as we get more listeners to perform. And so like, I'm just going to put that aside, like, cause I, it was funny. About two or three weeks ago, we were very seriously, like, should we keep doing this? Should we not? And I went and had lunch with, and I was like, I don't have anything to say on the podcast. And that I wouldn't have had lunch with my buddy.

And I like talked his ear off for like two hours. And it was about all that. It wasn't about, it was about all the things I used to talk to you about on the podcast that I feel like, I mean, borings, I don't know.

if it's boring, but like stuff everyone's dealing with. Like, what am I supposed to about childcare?

And the context switching is killing me. That's what stuff you and I used to talk about and I kind of accidentally stopped talking about it. Cause it felt like we were just like, your book is doing so amazing and my product is doing so amazing. And I, I felt pressured to always. You know, be like, everything is so wonderful.

So I'm going to let that go and just go back to what we used to be, which as I'm showing right now is just chatting like we're together. Right. And again, just rambling. So I feel like for me, that was part of the problem is I felt like I always had to perform, like I had to be a certain role, like, and I'm not, you know, that added stress to the situation.

MIchele: I think, I felt, I felt that too. Because I felt like the book was the most interesting thing going on. You know, the thing about having a mature SAS is that. It's boring. Like the boring, this is a feature like, you know, there there's no, there's no surprises in the monthly revenue and that's like a ma it's like an amazing kind of boring.

But like I was like, do people really want to hear about me? You know, reconciling invoices and like negotiating contracts and like going back and forth on whether we should do like SOC two or not. And like that's boring. And, and then I like kind of like w when we were in the middle of this, like, should we, should we keep doing the podcast conversation tweeted out?

Like, why do you listen to this show? And, and really appreciate everybody who replied to that. And, but some of those things where like, you know, someone was like, oh, like I miss you guys talking about work-life balance. And S and I was like, people don't really want to hear me talk about, like, to do it SOC two and a bunch of people like, no, actually yes, yes, please.

Like, please, can you please talk about that? Like, we do want to hear about that. So, cause I started to feel like the problems or sort. Considerations that a, that a mature SAS might have, like, would not be relevant because a lot of people were listening for your story. And that, like, the geocoder story was not very interesting.

And like, I was tired of telling it, I thought everybody else was tired of hearing it. And then people were like, no, actually we want to hear about you. And I was like, Oh, okay. Like, it doesn't have to be like, like, I feel like we had these sort of like story arcs in a way of the show. Like very unintentionally, like last fall was like last fall.

And like the winter was like your journey into launching simple file upload. And then this spring and summer, it was with the book. And I think maybe we got, like, I think we, maybe we started to feel like we had to have like, Some sort of a story arc,

Colleen: Yes. Totally

MIchele: but then like sometimes the story is just like, you know, what do I, what do I do about context switching?

Or I like, you know, I don't know. I spent my week negotiating enterprise deals. Like, do we want to talk about that? Like, I love negotiate. Like this, the thing that you talked about, like, you know, the, the customer research thing, like I'm now known as a customer research Person. But I feel like negotiating is something that I spend a ton of time doing and like sales.

And I was like, I actually never talk about that on the podcast,

like

Colleen: No, you never

MIchele: ever, and people also don't really know how to do sales, so maybe I should talk about that. I think, I think this kind of like thinking about. Content. Like I remember in the beginning, remember the beginning, how we had this, like, notion of like all the stuff we would talk about.

And then we would like each come in with it, like for like, like each week we'd each have something where you're going to talk about. And we were going to be like 15 minutes each, but then we, like, I mean, we're totally doing it today, but like we found that we were basically like talking in paragraphs, like at one another.

And it wasn't really a conversation because we were so like rehearsing what we were saying. So then we could just kind of follow the. Stories that emerged. But I think what I really enjoyed about your interview with Nadia was that like, you're just kind of following her story. And I got to like, sort of, I don't know, get like a pony ride on your back and like, be like, along for the ride of like figuring out where Nadia story was going.

And like, that was like that, that was really fun for me. And to listen to that awesome. Well, is that a good place to wrap up for this

I guess so. I mean, I think I want to say that I hope people will kind of like chime in, like we do really genuinely love it when you tweet stuff at us about the episodes and what you're thinking about. And like, especially since it's just Colleen and I are talking to each other right now, like having that.

I mean, you all know that I'm somebody who likes feedback. But both of us really value that I think. And that's really something that keeps us going is knowing that I don't know, I don't get any satisfaction of seeing like numbers and a dashboard. Transistor has a very nice dashboard with lots of numbers that our advertisers appreciate.

But I don't really get anything out of that. What makes me feel like, you know, this is. Having an impact is like people telling us, you know,

Colleen: Yeah,

MIchele: I don't know how you think

Colleen: you, it was interesting because. Right before you sent that tweet out, what was that two weeks ago about what do you like about the podcast? That's where you were seriously thinking about, maybe we shouldn't do it or something. And then all of the responses were all the reasons we started the podcast and I was like, oh, okay, cool.

Rock on. We're doing what we set out to do.

MIchele: yeah. So, so yeah, we're gonna mix things up a little bit, but hopefully I think get back a little bit closer to, to what we wanted out of this and what we were doing in the beginning, which I think is to, I don't know, kind of show what it's like to start a SAS, you know, bumps and all, and now it's going to be, you know, running, running.

But also talking to other people who have done the same thing too, but I think, you know, something we really learned from Adam's episode a couple of weeks ago is that I really need to tell the stories of. And, and Cam's episode to really tell the stories of, yeah, this kinda isn't working, like, you know, that there's a place for the podcasts talking about successes.

Like I think we all need that for encouragement and motivation. And it's just, I think so good for the community to tell the success stories. But most people are not succeeding. And even if you are. It's can still be lonely and hard and there's stuff that you don't know how to do. And we've, I think that's something we both struggled with is like doing everything, you know, yourself or close to it with one or two other people.

It means you've got to learn a lot of new stuff all the time and that gets exhausting. And so, you know, to the extent we can kind of telling those stories and sort of in a way that, you know, are, and the way that we started out meeting in a coffee shop, sort of. Almost making the podcast itself, that coffee shop where we're kind of converging people regardless of what their situation currently is.

So

yeah, I think I, I think I have said a lot.

Colleen: I'm here for it. This is what I want to get back to where we just kind of chat.

MIchele: Yeah. I think me to be too right.

Well, so we're off to founder summit and I'm so excited

Colleen: So

MIchele: seeing you in person, like the first time in forever. Yeah, it'd be since ma like me standing on your doorstep with baked goods and may of 2020, maybe it was June. I feel like maybe I saw you in June before I left. I feel like I did. Yeah.

I feel like it did. And, then we're gonna have, we're gonna, we're going to have some interviews that I did spring excited about those. Those were so fun. and then yeah, we'll be back,