Build Your SaaS

Jon and Justin welcome Joshua Anderton to the Transistor team! Josh is an amazingly talented full-stack web developer (Laravel, Rails, Tailwind CSS, Alpine, and more!) He's been helping us as a part-time contractor since Oct 2022, and we're excited to have him on board full-time! In this episode, we discuss why we hired another person and how we think about hiring at Transistor.

  • (00:28) - 150!
  • (01:32) - Trials into paid customers
  • (09:22) - Hiring philosophy
  • (27:45) - Hiring Josh
  • (31:39) - Hiring people you know
  • (40:35) - Product updates
  • (43:54) - Patreon supporter thanks

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  • Evandro Sasse
  • Austin Loveless
  • Michael Sitver
  • Dan Buda
  • Colin Gray
  • Dave Giunta

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Creators & Guests

Host
Jon Buda
Co-founder of Transistor.fm
Host
Justin Jackson
Co-founder of Transistor.fm
Editor
Chris Enns
Owner of Lemon Productions

What is Build Your SaaS?

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

Jon:

Hey, everyone. Welcome to Build Your SaaS. This is the behind the scenes story of building a web app in 2023. I'm Jon Buda, a software engineer.

Justin:

And I'm Justin Jackson. I do product and marketing. Follow along as we Build transistor.fm.

Jon:

We, we reached episode 150.

Justin:

Yes. Episode 150, Good milestone. I we we just hit another milestone in terms of total episodes published on transistor. Yeah. Over a 1000000 episodes, Which is pretty cool.

Jon:

That's a lot.

Justin:

Lot of episodes. You know, we're still a small little company, but 1,000,000 episodes is, that's that's significant. We're we've hosted a lot of audio.

Jon:

We have to set up a behind the scenes, Master feed for all of them, and then just we have to listen to all of them at, like, 3 times speed.

Justin:

Just get, like

Jon:

Every episode.

Justin:

Hilarious to just get I mean, that would that would actually probably be difficult because I was I was thinking it'd be cool to have an AI that just summarizes every episode on transistor every day, it probably cost you a fortune.

Jon:

Take forever and cost a fortune. Yeah.

Justin:

Because every day I think Jason's recording that. Right? No. He's recording new shows every day. So every day, we get about sometimes 30 new podcasts creative, 40 new podcasts created, every single day on transistor.

Justin:

It's one of those things that I've tried to communicate to folks about this idea of volume. Like, in any business, You need a certain amount of volume, a certain amount of momentum out in the world. And for us, it means hundreds of new people signing up every month. That's to make this business work even though our churn is quite low. I think we're around 2 and a half percent, churn.

Justin:

So and for the prosumer product, that's incredible. But even with just 2 a half percent churn, we still in order to grow, we need hundreds of new trials every month. And then you take that even further. We're converting a lot of those trials to paid. It's I won't give you the exact number, but it's above 70% of people who start a trial convert to paid.

Justin:

And Then you think how many visitors does it take to, you know, to get a a trial? And I think those numbers are bigger than people realize that you need a lot of A lot of traffic Mhmm. That then turns into a trial or a lead. And then for us, we just know we can reliably convert, you know, a big percentage of those folks to, to paid.

Jon:

Because there's a, yeah, there's a lot of competition. I mean, people have choices to make.

Justin:

One, that's the other element that I think is tricky is, like, There has to be enough momentum in the world towards your type of product that there's enough of that percentage that you can reliably get for your business.

Jon:

Mhmm.

Justin:

My guess is It takes about a 100,000 visitors of, like, people that are interested in podcast hosting. About a 100,000 visitors would lead to maybe 2,000 leads, something like that. And then You wanna be able to convert, in our case, a big percentage of those because it's credit card up front.

Jon:

Yeah.

Justin:

And That's just like if you think about that, like, a 100000, people with intent visiting your website. And then even then, you're only getting, if you're lucky, 2,000 of them. It's it It's wild.

Jon:

Yeah. It's pretty wild. Yeah. It's big numbers. I mean, the other thing kinda related to this that Jason said before and I agree with is that, I mean, having having more customers and having a large customer base that uses your product every day is just more fun to work on.

Jon:

Like, before this, I mean, I hadn't worked on anything like that and neither had Jason really where it was like something that actually took off and had some traction and had people using it all the time. So, you know, you're getting feedback every day, you push out a change, and immediately people will find it even we even if we haven't announced it yet. And

Justin:

Yeah.

Jon:

Yeah. I mean, it's just nothing worse than, like, working on where nobody's using it. Yeah. It's like, what's you're just making guesses and pushing stuff out, and no one sees it or uses it. And

Justin:

Oh, for sure. Jason Cohen's been writing these great articles lately, and he has one called, excuse me. Is there a problem? And his byline for the article is many startups failed despite identifying a real problem and building a product that solves that problem. This this article explains why so you can avoid their fate.

Justin:

Highly recommend that folks get into this. He has this awesome flowchart, which just talks about, like, you know, is there 10,000,000 plus people or a 100,000 plus organizations that have this problem? No. The market's too small. Do you want no employees or a niche high price?

Justin:

Well, maybe you can still do it. So it's like, he really goes through all these different elements that you need for a a company to succeed. And one of those things is You wanna before you build something, you're really just guessing. You know? And guessing actually sucks.

Justin:

It's what's frustrating. Right? It's like putting yourself out there constantly, and nobody is responding to what you're you're doing, whether that's a new start up, a new product, a new feature, or a podcast even. If you're getting no response, It's not very fun.

Jon:

No. It's terrible.

Justin:

But as soon as you get response and if people are actually using your product to do some sort of job in their lives, man, that's when it gets exciting because then even if they're giving you feedback you don't wanna hear, it Still means somebody cared enough to use your product, put in their credit card, and then give you some sort of feedback. And, yeah, that is in terms of going to work and working on something. And we're such a small team that for folks like Jason are in customer support chat all the time. He gets to see The response to a new feature, he gets to hear the feedback. He gets to see how people are trying to use it.

Justin:

He gets to see what it means in their lives. You know? And that is a, powerful force.

Jon:

Yeah. And, you know, being a small company, 1 person can make a change that affects A large amount of people, which is kinda cool.

Justin:

Exactly. Exactly. I think for a lot of employees at bigger companies, they just never get to talk to the user. You never get to see who's actually using it. And this is one of the advantages of small independent companies is not only do we get to talk to users, But we actually care, and this becomes a a competitive advantage is to show up at work.

Justin:

And when someone messages us in chat, we care enough to be like, We're gonna answer this. We care enough to think, okay. We're gonna make this better, and that's just such a a different experience than the way most products get built. You know?

Jon:

Yeah. I really haven't been on I mean, I haven't been on a team like that either, but I can imagine, like, You know, it's probably fun working on a team and building something, but then you might be building it for 6 months to a year, and then it gets released, And no one's used it yet. Yeah. And then, I don't know, you're not gonna hear directly from the customer because you're 2, 3 steps removed from that process.

Justin:

You're 10 layers down, and there's yeah. I think this is the advantage of starting and building independent product companies, and It still has the same difficulty that in the beginning, you've gotta find something that people want. You gotta find something that you can reliably provide. You've gotta find something where you've got some sort of marketing advantage so you can actually attract customers. But Once you do it, it really is better for the employees, for the team, and for the customer.

Justin:

They just get a better product, better service, And then the people who go to work every day have a more, gratifying life.

Jon:

Yeah. Definitely. Talking about teams Speaking of employees

Justin:

Speaking of employees, we just hired Josh Anderton. Yeah. And, I thought we could talk quickly about why we hired, how we hire at Transistor. This comes up every once in a while, and I think, Josh, like Jason and Helen, is a good example of how we think about hiring and The kinds of, like, job to be done that we're hiring for as owners and, just how we think through all that. So, yes, we hired Josh.

Justin:

He's he started on 11th. So he's just oh, this is his 1 week anniversary. So, yeah, we hired Josh a week ago. And, if you've been following our updates, you'd know that he'd been working with us as a Contractor since, I don't know, at least 6 months, I'm guessing. Something like that.

Justin:

I've hired him to help me with some, stuff on the marketing site. And and then we also had him, build a new podcast website theme for us, which we just released. If you are a if you wanna try it out, actually, and even if you're not with Transistor, if you go to free podcast websites .com, You can, try it out. It's called cardboard. Very unique theme for, for podcast websites.

Justin:

Yeah. And, yeah. So let's go back a bit. Let's go back to the pandemic. And and, this is I can't remember exactly when this happened, but There was definitely this feeling.

Justin:

And I think even listeners to the show had mentioned, like, man, Jon kinda seems down. And, you were kind of maybe you wanna do you wanna describe the the that feeling at the time? The

Jon:

Yeah. I mean, I was, You know, it let's see. I left my job in August 2019. Right? So had a few months there before The pandemic hit.

Jon:

And then

Justin:

That's interesting. That it wasn't that long. You didn't have that long before the pandemic wasn't. Happened.

Jon:

I mean, I was, like, super energized, you know, when I left my job because it's oh, this is great. I get to spend all my time in this. This is awesome. Yeah. Yeah.

Jon:

And then I think, you know, pandemic hit. Everyone's sitting at home. We had obviously had the luxury to work at home, and we were working at home anyway. So there wasn't much of a transition there. But Yeah.

Jon:

It just got, like, Too easy to kinda sit around, take breaks, Not maybe not work or just, like, piddle around on little things that they weren't weren't big features. It was, like, it was hard to get motivated. And so, I mean, some of that was pandemic related. Some of that was just like, You know, lack of social things going on outside of working, and it was like you and you know? And I I think I I didn't really even realize it at the time, I don't think.

Jon:

Mhmm. But I was just like, you know, things were going well. Like, we could have just Kinda taking it easy. Right? It was things are going well.

Jon:

We didn't need to necessarily build anything huge, but, you know, work is motivating. It gives you a sense of purpose and fulfillment. And, Like, you don't want that necessarily missing you and especially if you're just sitting around home all day. And so I don't know. I don't remember how it came up with With Jason.

Jon:

I think I had been talking to Jason. He was talking about leaving his job, and then maybe I mentioned to you.

Justin:

I think we'd had discussions about it before that I was like, I wonder if because I had had this experience of, You know, I would, like need to motivate myself, and I would, like, do a live stream. And the the that feeling of having other people kind of come alongside me and work on a problem or I'd bug Adam Wavin or Jack McDade or, you know, somebody or somebody in MegaMaker too, like, hey. Let's do a call and, like, figure this out. And I found that very energizing. And I think I'd said to you, you know, I wonder if maybe you could find, you know, someone to pair a program with or Something.

Jon:

Yeah.

Justin:

And, and then, yeah, I think Jason maybe had reached out to you, and you were like, I wonder if we should Maybe hire him.

Jon:

Yeah. I think may yeah. I mean, I think he was he was telling me about leaving his job, and I was, like, kind of jokingly being like, oh, man. We should hire you. And then, like, he was like, yeah.

Jon:

I like, let's talk about that, actually. Yeah. At this point, Jason had already moved. He was he was in Chicago. We moved away.

Jon:

And so he was I mean, he wasn't in town either. I couldn't really hang out with him, but, I think we kept talking. Don't know. I don't remember how long that process was. You met him.

Jon:

You we talked we all talked together, and then we Gave him an offer in August 2020. Is that right? July, August?

Justin:

And I had I mean, I had I I think my only apprehension at was like, wow. We're gonna hire someone else. We'd just hired Helen, and I was like, woah. Like, are we gonna be able to do this? But The flip side of that, I was, like, very pro because I felt like it would be I had a sense that it would be a big upgrade for your quality of life.

Justin:

Yeah. Because you and I could talk, but in terms of, like, having someone that's working alongside you, and going back and forth on code stuff, I could never really do that for you. And Mhmm. Every time you had, like, a call with, like, Jack Ellis or, You know, you met with somebody else. You always came back from those meetings kind of visibly fired up.

Justin:

Just it's fun talking to other people that are smart, that know their shit and that you can, like, bounce stuff off of? Yeah.

Jon:

I mean, you know, everyone has a different way of looking at things, and

Justin:

Yeah.

Jon:

Sometimes it's like, oh, that's, like, such a simple idea. I never would have thought

Justin:

of that. Yeah. So I I I felt like it would be a big upgrade. And then Jason came on, and it was, like, almost noticeable from day 1. It was in the same way that we hired Helen, and it was like, wow.

Justin:

This really improves Our lives

Jon:

Yeah.

Justin:

Also helps us serve customers better. But I think what was interesting in both cases, In my mind, at least, the leading motivation was we wanna make our lives better as founders. Right. So because we could you're right. We could've just kept going as a 2 person company.

Justin:

It was technically possible for us to Do all the customer support ourselves, and it was technically possible for you to stay as the only, you know, developer on the team. Yeah. And, you know, that was that would have been achievable, but there is all of this quality of life stuff. Like

Jon:

Yeah. Yeah. At what cost? I mean, it would have been especially, you know, given how much we grew, like, it would have been that would have been tough. Would've been really hard.

Justin:

And so the motivation being primary motivation being, hey. Let's upgrade our quality of life as founders. Let's give us One less thing to worry about. Let's take some things off our plate. Let's, balance out and smooth out and share The weight of responsibility of serving all of these customers and, you know, for you, the weight and responsibility of keeping all the infrastructure up, I'm sure that was a huge thing when Jason came on.

Justin:

All of a sudden, you have someone else that's, like, sharing that load.

Jon:

Oh, yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, it's a huge A huge relief. I mean plus, you know, like, together, we made a a number of upgrades, and Jason, you know, worked his magic on the code and made things a lot more reliable.

Jon:

Obviously, built a bunch of new features that we Otherwise, would not have so, yeah, I mean, from day 1, yeah, it was it was great. I think it turned out better than we could have expected. And, plus, you know, I get to Go to work with another friend.

Justin:

Exactly.

Jon:

Every day.

Justin:

Exactly. So I think I was kinda watching all of this. And for a long time, I just felt like, well, this is perfect. Like, we've got Helen. She's great.

Justin:

Jason, great. Jon and I. And, You know, you and I had our retreat last year, and that was amazing. And then we went on this awesome team retreat with Jason and Helen, and that was amazing. And I was feeling overall just like, wow.

Justin:

This is perfect. Like, we've got the perfect setup. But I started to have more and more moments of lack of motivation, lack of that spark and that energy. It became harder for me to do those kind of, live streams and ad hoc calls partly because we're more I kind of felt bad actually. It when we were, like, the underdogs and really kind of building stuff up, it was like, okay.

Justin:

Well, I can grab someone's time for free because we have no money and we have But I started to feel like, I kinda feel bad about, you know, asking people for free time. And so I started hiring different contractors for different things and found that really got me unstuck, gave me motivation, gave me purpose for my day. And In many ways, the pair programming metaphor, I think, is so helpful for a lot of things in life. Having someone that's kind of there with you, it's like if you have to clean the backyard by yourself, you'll procrastinate on that all day. But if a friend says they're gonna show up at your house and help you clean your backyard, you're gonna do it.

Justin:

You know what I mean? Like, it's it's incredibly motivating. If you're gonna if you say you're gonna go for a run at 6 AM, it's like, maybe I'll do it. But if a friend says, I'm gonna be at your house at 6 AM.

Jon:

That is 100% true. I mean, yeah, the same thing with Jason. Like, I definitely worked more, but it was more fun. Because it was like, oh, we're working on this thing together. Let's, like, talk about this.

Jon:

Let's do it. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, otherwise, I would have been like, we should do this thing, but, like, I don't know. There's some video games over here.

Justin:

Yeah.

Jon:

And the couch, I could just hang out. What's the rush?

Justin:

And I think as founders, especially when you're doing a remote team, you need That motivation. Otherwise, like, look at where we both are right now. We're both in these tiny little offices by ourselves. And Yeah. Without Some another human being kind of are there.

Justin:

It's easy to be just, like, kind of glum or, to lose your motivation. And, I mean, there was also just things I was running into, that I built the 1st version of our marketing site myself with but it it took a big push for me to get myself in a kind of web development mindset, learning about Tailwind, learning about Laravel, learning about the statemix CMS. And I could do it, and it was it was really heartening work, but I just recognized, like, there's some of the stuff I just don't wanna in make that big of an investment in. You know?

Jon:

And you were, yeah, you were talking to other people a lot about it too. And I didn't know any of it, so I was like, I can't really hop in here and help you.

Justin:

Yeah. And And I think there's just, like, that feeling of I really want wanted you to have as much time on the product as possible. You know? Anyway so I started having that feeling of like, man, I think I need kind of what Jon and Jason have, but over on the marketing side. And so I hired a few contractors to help me on some different things.

Justin:

And eventually, I started hiring Josh more often, and then It really helped my motivation. And eventually I said to him, can you just book a bunch of times in my calendar where you and I get on a call. And Yeah. I found so he he would book maybe 2 sessions a week, And I would just found myself so fired up during those sessions and were able to look at the site together. I'm like, okay.

Justin:

We need all this built, and he would go away. And then the next call, he would have all this stuff to demo for me. And just having somebody that could execute my vision, and even, like, go back and forth and offer their own ideas and

Jon:

Yeah.

Justin:

Creatively, that energy was just like, it it felt way different than

Jon:

Yeah. Those are the yeah. Those are the best kind of people too because they you know, you have this idea in your mind, and then you explain it. And they go away, and you're like, I don't know what they're gonna come back with. And then it always just, like, surprises you, and you're like, wow.

Jon:

This is better than I even would have expected.

Justin:

Yes. Yeah. And, I mean, that's the hardest part. Right? Is often just Having someone being able to do the work while you're focused on other stuff, and it it really is a multiplier in So many ways in terms of actually practically getting things done, but on the human side, just enjoying my job more.

Justin:

I was just Coming to work feeling like this is freaking amazing. And even, like it's funny because, of course, with Helen, Jason, and Josh, we're hoping that we overall, we're hoping that we serve customers better, that we increase the number of customers we have, all those things. But I was like, even if this these changes to the marking marketing site get us no new customers. It's still worth it for me because I'm having more fun. I'm enjoying it more.

Justin:

I'm We're we're putting stuff out into the world, and I feel like, wow. Josh and I did that together. And it's that same kind of feeling I had with you and I. Like, we came together, And it was like the sum of each of our parts really is more than either of us could do individually. Yeah.

Justin:

And It's really exciting seeing this team come together where the sum of all these parts of Helen really thinking about customer success all day and really strategizing around that and then you and Jason really strategizing around code and product and infrastructure and then having over on the marketing side, Josh and I thinking about, And then all of us mixing together in Slack and team meetings and going you know, sometimes all coming together and, strategizing and thinking and throwing out ideas, and it just felt like, wow. Like, this is this is a bigger A bigger, better machine, a bigger, better

Jon:

Yeah.

Justin:

Yeah. So that was the motivation. Was, primarily for me, a quality of life improvement. We built this company to give us a better life. What is the company for?

Justin:

The company is to give the team members and their families a better life. That's how I that's how I view it. And the product is to give customers a better life, to improve, to help them do whatever they set out to do with a podcast. And that distinction is really important and motivating for me because every day I show up going, I know this is the best job that Jon Buda has ever had, and I wanna make sure that the company continues to do its job of giving Jon a better life. That's motivating to me.

Jon:

Yeah. Absolutely.

Justin:

And then as we've brought more people on, it's like, I know this is the best job Helen's ever had. I know this is the best job Jason's ever had. I know this I want this to be the best job Josh has ever had. And how are we gonna do that? Well, we gotta keep working on the product.

Justin:

We gotta keep signing up new customers. We gotta reduce churn. We've got to, make it enjoyable. You know? We've got to add things into our everyday life that makes it worthwhile.

Justin:

We've got to give them a piece of ownership. You know? All these things kinda come out. And, Yeah. It's that that piece is motivating to me.

Justin:

And in some ways, all the product stuff, like making customers' lives better, Even that feeds into eventually making the company better so that the stakeholders in the company, have a better life.

Jon:

Yeah. I mean, there's there's many many days where I'm like, I don't quite finish what I was working on or what Jay is now working on. I wake up, and I'm, like, excited to get back to it Still, and it's, like, 5 years in

Justin:

Yeah. Totally.

Jon:

Which is which is great. Like, yeah, there's nothing worse than, like, showing up at work at your job, and you're like, oh, god. I gotta continue working on this mess of an idea that someone else had.

Justin:

Oh, I mean, this is this has been the motivating factor so many times for us where we feel and in many ways, we're lucky because in order for this company in order for the company to have higher purpose, like making people's lives better, you have to be making sales. You have to have revenue. You have to have margins. We were lucky that we've Found this thing. It worked.

Justin:

We were able to execute on it, and we were also able to get lucky enough that it it became A financial engine that helped us to have a better life. So that part's lucky, but, you know, showing up for a company that you think doesn't care about you As an employee that that doesn't, you know, that doesn't give a shit is It it's just incredibly demotivating for a human to feel like you have no purpose, to feel like your work actually doesn't matter. I think everybody at Transistor feels like my work matters. You know what I mean? And that is such a good feeling that we could provide that for ourselves and other people.

Justin:

So just to to expand on it more, so we I've we've hired Josh full time to primarily assist me, partner with me on the marketing side. So that means building stuff for our website. It means doing some projects like building podcast website themes. But because he's also just A good full stack web developer with Rails experience, eventually, he might start to work on stuff on the app side as well. Mhmm.

Jon:

Yeah. I I hope so.

Justin:

Yeah. I mean, the the practically, like, the utility is Josh can Execute on the technical and design stuff. When it comes to building web web stuff, he can just do that way better, at a higher quality and faster than I can. Him being this full stack developer that can help us on a variety of projects also made him, a good hire from a utility standpoint. Like, oh, wow.

Justin:

He could do a lot of jobs for us.

Jon:

Yep.

Justin:

And the fact that he had been a longtime customer, user of Transistor, had used Transistor with many of his consulting clients. He was also editing podcasts for a bunch of different people on the side. So he had seen the product from a variety of perspectives as a podcaster himself, But also as somebody who's offering podcasting services to other folks, that really kinda rounded him out as, You know, a good option for hiring. But, again, I think and anyone that wants to work for a small Startup. I often hear people, oh, I wanna really work for a small company.

Justin:

I think figuring out what the job to be done is for the boss, what the boss actually Wants is important, and the the the blunt kinda general answer is peep bosses hire employees to make their lives better. And that could be it could be something that's very utilitarian. Like, I'm just looking for someone to take this off my plate and do the job better than I can. But it could also be emotional, which is I wanna work alongside somebody. I want more energy in this place.

Justin:

I want more people with a positive attitude around this place. I can't tell there's a few times I've been apart. I've been at startups where they've had layoffs. You know, they would lay off a bunch of people. I I wouldn't get fired, and I would go to the CEO and go, like, what?

Justin:

Like, I'm just curious. Like, why'd you keep me? And sometimes the answer was, you're just A positive, high energy person that's nice to have around. And I think there's that that idea of People are hiring people to do jobs in their lives, and some of it is just, like, Emotional. I just wanna be around somebody that could

Jon:

I mean, that's kinda why, like you know, early on, that's why I I kind of agreed to bring you on. Like, when I I had started that and didn't really want necessarily want a partnership. Yeah. But I thought about it, and I was like, Yeah. I don't know.

Jon:

It makes sense. You're a nice high energy guy to have around.

Justin:

Which is why we had to solve this this this glum problem because, You know, when I if I'm not if I'm not high energy or nice, then, it's time to show me the door. Yeah. So, those are the reasons, we we picked Josh, and I think it's also, interesting to look at now we've hired 3 people. In every case, Helen, Jason, Josh, we've hired somebody we've known for years. So I met Helen in the mega maker community And Josh also in the mega maker community, and you had worked with Jason previously.

Jon:

Yeah. And has been friends with him before that.

Justin:

And And even even the way Jon and I met this is this is the thing people sometimes forget is that Jon and I met in 2014. It would it would be 4 years until we Yeah. Started working on Transistor together. But in the in between time, You keep up with people. You check-in with them.

Justin:

Maybe you see them every year. Maybe you're chatting with them. Maybe you're sending them the occasional note. Like, those things matter, and relationships matter. And I think Another nice thing about a small company is we don't need to hire a ton of people, and it's given us this option of every time, You know, I'm kinda looking around for, like, who could I hire, as a contractor, which Both Helen and Josh were contractors first, and that's usually, I think, gonna be the first step for us is We're gonna hire people as contractors.

Justin:

And, you know, when it comes time to, You know, fee that we get that feeling of like, it'd be really great to have a full time member of the team. The first folks we're gonna look at are folks we've worked with in the past as contractors, former coworkers, And and we've hired many contractors over the over the years. And, of course, we couldn't hire them all as full time people, but that's the that's Part of the step.

Jon:

Yeah. I mean, you know, we certainly could hire someone we didn't know, but, man, that would That would be much different. I feel like unless it's a certain type of person, it takes a while for people to, like, really get used to each other and, like, It's just yeah. That'd be tough. I mean, there's obviously great people out there who would be a good fit, but for, yeah, for our for our case, I think it Just makes a lot of sense.

Justin:

I I I wish people could see the tension because when you're thinking about hiring somebody, There's even in each of the cases, Helen, Jason, Josh, even though we knew them before, we had worked with them before, That decision is still weighty. It

Jon:

Yeah.

Justin:

It weighs on you as a founder. And until you've been a founder and you you are personally responsible financially for other people's families. I don't think people can fully understand The weight of feeling like we are gonna take another risk or movement or, additional responsibility on our shoulders as founders to provide for somebody else. It's just a heavy decision.

Jon:

Not to mention, like, financially, obviously, but, like, is this person actually gonna enjoy working here? And, like, for in Jason's case, like alright. We're gonna hire Jason. Like, obviously, I like Jason. He's a friend of mine.

Jon:

But is he gonna get in here and, like, open the code up and be like, wow. This is garbage. Like, What did you do? Because I don't wanna work on this.

Justin:

Yeah. Yeah. 1 and and also just, like, you you can be you can know somebody, But there's still that thought of, like, what's it gonna be like when they're actually on the team? Like, how is that gonna change the team dynamic? And, You know, that team retreat, I think, really cemented the fact that we've got something special here.

Justin:

It might not last forever. We wanna enjoy it while we can, but we also want to be as protective about that this thing we've built as we can. Yeah. And every single person, even though we love them and we've you know, we we had worked with them Previous, there's still that thought, that that worry of how is that gonna affect the team? You know?

Justin:

How is that gonna affect the team dynamic? And it's heavy. And I think once you understand this hopefully, we're painting a picture here. How much more of a risk is it to get a cold call or a cold email or a cold resume from somebody. It's just you have to travel so much more ground.

Justin:

You're taking such a bigger risk on hiring that person, and I honestly can't imagine it. I can't imagine having to make an even even bigger jump.

Jon:

Yeah. Especially with a small team like us, like yeah. I mean, adding in 1 person to a team of 4 Yeah. That's a a huge I mean, Yeah. How's everyone gonna interact?

Jon:

And, like It

Justin:

it it probably is why there's a a lot of big companies are shitty to work at Because they just need to hire people and the they they they have to put it out for Tinder, and they have to, you know, they have to do all those things. And it's just You you really don't know what this person is like Right. Until you've had a bunch of shared experience with them. It takes, what, 72 hours of time for somebody to become an acquaintance and then even more hours for them to become, like, a closer friend. That's that's an investment of time that You just don't get getting someone's resume and then being like, let's bring them in for an interview and a second interview and asking them, You know, what what's the biggest professional hurdle of their life so far?

Justin:

You know? And Right. Sell me this pen Or, you know, like, show me, a time where you you really, had to figure out you like

Jon:

Yeah. What do you see as your biggest weakness?

Justin:

Yeah. What is your biggest weakness? It's like, well, that's not deep enough. You you really can only get a sense of a person once you've spent some time. And even then, like any relationship, There's this ongoing risk for all of us that each of us is still any of us, If we're not taking care of our own shit, are at risk of becoming assholes.

Justin:

And then there's also just life stuff That can happen. That can affect people individually as well. So there's always a risk of other stuff. But Yeah. When minimizing it and and and and Hiring folks that you're like, you know what?

Justin:

I feel good about this risk. I feel good about this bringing this person on. We know enough about them that, you know, we can do this, and it's going to be a net positive. You could only get that with shared time.

Jon:

Yep. Absolutely.

Justin:

That's, yeah. So congrats to Josh. We're really excited to have him on. Helen is celebrating her 2 year work anniversary this month,

Jon:

Yeah.

Justin:

Which is just wild to think.

Jon:

It is.

Justin:

Have like, we've said multiple times, having Helen, Jason, and now Josh, it's just been Just awesome to have work alongside these people. And, Yeah. That's how we think about hiring. My guess is we will Probably not hire again for quite a while. We took a we didn't hire anybody last year.

Justin:

So Helen and, Jason both got hired in 2021. Nobody in 2022. Josh, now in 2023. I think it's gonna be a little while, especially with the economy the way it is. We're we're, and there's a the you know, all this, Section 174 and all this stuff.

Justin:

Text stuff. We

Jon:

Yeah. I don't I don't even know what we had pester the hire for. I mean I think

Justin:

Customer success maybe. The that's still one

Jon:

Yeah.

Justin:

Area that I I find a hard some of this is just my personality. I personally find it difficult to turn that part off. Like, if I'm on vacation, I'm answering tickets. And

Jon:

Yeah. You You gotta stop doing that. I know.

Justin:

I know. I gotta stop doing that.

Jon:

I mean, we, you know, we have every everyone pitches in, which is great.

Justin:

It's just so nice. Like, Helen, While we're sleeping is covering all those that those hours, and, it's so nice to just know somebody's taking care of it, while I'm sleeping.

Jon:

Yeah.

Justin:

And, I could see in the future as maybe hiring someone customer success, but One of the things we do is wait and see. So now we've got 1 person on the team. Jason's on vacation right now. Hopefully, not opening his laptop. And, you know, now Josh is gonna be able to pitch in and help with customer support.

Justin:

And it's gotten way better for sure. Like, it used to be You and I would leave on a trip or something, and it would be like, okay. Well, hope they got Wi Fi at the campground. I I have been able to turn my brain off more as I'm away. So we're gonna see

Jon:

It is it is a lot easier. Yeah.

Justin:

I think now with Josh someone else to help answer support tickets. Yeah. We'll be able to do that. Absolutely. Cool.

Justin:

I think we should end it there. We've been we've been chatting for a while. Is there anything you wanna talk about in terms of features and stuff we're working on? Another thing that maybe listeners can Keep us accountable. Jon and I need to do our founder retreat, and, we got Yeah.

Jon:

We didn't we were gonna go snowboarding in the winter, and now it was 85 in Chicago last week. I don't think there's much snow left.

Justin:

Yeah. I think April or May is well, probably not April. It'd probably be May. Are you doing anything in May? May.

Justin:

May or June? No. May or June. Jon and Jon and I need to get together.

Jon:

Do a summer we should do a summer thing.

Justin:

The summer? Yep. Exactly.

Jon:

Well, yeah. June, I guess, summer. I don't know.

Justin:

So, yeah, we're gonna work on that. I'm working on some video studio stuff, but I can talk about that next week. We've got the Patreon feature out. We talked about that already. Anything else we wanna chat about?

Jon:

Yeah. I mean, the new the new theme came out, I think, on Josh's 2nd day, the 1st day, which he worked on, you know, previously, but that was a nice welcome gift.

Justin:

Yeah. And getting to see people use it, already. We're gonna try to get him to work on another one. He has already got some other ideas. But those Those themes that that podcast website feature that we built, it's it's really an app within an app.

Justin:

We have

Jon:

Yeah. It's it's quite flexible, I think, what you can do with it. So there's, I mean, there's there's a lot of stuff like that, which I think will bring Josh and on within the app of, like we've been talking about updating, for example, like, embed players and customizability forever.

Justin:

Yes.

Jon:

And, like, I have ideas about it, but I we've just been busy with other stuff.

Justin:

Yeah. Yeah. That would be awesome, actually, for you and Josh to pair on that. I think I think Yeah. You 2 would would, would energize each other when it came to, like, throwing back ideas and stuff.

Jon:

Yeah. For sure. There's other stuff, Jason, I've been working on around, like campaigns and dynamic audio and things that we're gonna we're gonna release pretty soon, which be kinda cool. And then,

Justin:

I think we can announce this now. I it's I mean, anybody could see from looking at their feed, but the acquired podcast switched to Transistor, Which is, really awesome for us. We were fans of that show. If you haven't heard of it, it's like hardcore history, if you've ever heard that podcast. But for great companies, they go through the history of it used to be just tech companies, but now it's any great company.

Justin:

They just did a 2 part series on Nintendo. That is excellent. So I highly recommend

Jon:

There's a lot of good episode. The the Taylor Swift episode is amazing.

Justin:

Taylor Swift the Walmart episode is actually very good. The Sony episode is very good. They they do just an unbelievable job at researching, Doing the research on these companies and then giving it this narrative that's like, these are sometimes 2, 3 hour podcast episodes. And Yeah. I like, I'm a I I'm a fan.

Justin:

Like, I'll I'll when they drop in my my in overcast, it's like, I'm listening.

Jon:

It's great having them on. They're super nice guys. So, yeah, give it give it a listen.

Justin:

Give it a listen. And, Yeah. Jon, why don't we thank the the fine Patreon supporters. Anybody can support us on Patreon. Go to sas.transistor.fm/supporters if you wanna see the other folks.

Justin:

But, yeah, who do we have?

Jon:

Yeah. Thanks, everyone, for supporting us. We have Pascal from Sharpen dotpage, the folks at rewardful.com, Greg Park, Mitchell Davis from Recruitkit dotcom.au, Marcel Follet from we are bold.af, Ethan Gunderson, Anton Zoran from Prodcamp .com, Bill Kondo, Ward from MemberSpace, Russell Brown from Fotivo.com, Evander Sassy, Austin Loveless, Michael Sitfer, the fine folks at Fathom Analytics, Dan Buddha, my brother.

Justin:

Hey, Dan.

Jon:

Colin Gray, Darby Frey and Dave Giunta.

Justin:

Giunta. Tell Giunta he needs to update his Patreon photo. Alright. Darby.

Jon:

I will.

Justin:

Darby, Franky. Dan Buddha. Phantom Analytics.

Jon:

Just a faceless smiley.

Justin:

Yeah. Go go update your Patreon Photos folks. And, thanks for listening. If you like this show, please recommend it to a friend. Just text them a message.

Justin:

Hey. You should listen to this episode. And we always love hearing your feedback. Tweet at us, email us, pop into the live chat. Just say, hey.

Justin:

I listened to the episode.