Tyler Tringas is a General Partner at Earnest Capital which provides early stage funding for bootstrappers.
You want to start a SaaS company. People keep asking you how big the market opportunity is and if your idea will scale.
But maybe you don't want to build a huge business. Maybe you just want to create a sustainable and profitable business that gives you more freedom.
In 2011, Tyler quit his job to start a venture backed software startup called SolarList. He was a first time founder and non-technical. So he also started learning how to code.
Getting his startup to take-off was slow going, so he started doing some freelance work. Several of his clients wanted a way to add store locator functionality to their websites.
So on a 30-hour flight from San Francisco to Buenos Aires, Tyler built a store locator SaaS app as a side-project. When he landed, he deployed the code and launched the product.
He emailed some of this clients and within 24 hours he had a handful of people paying him $5 a month. The product was terrible and had a lot of missing functionality, but it did the basic job.
A year later, SolarList still wasn't getting traction and had be to shutdown. And Tyler was left with over $50,000 of credit card debt and uncertainty about his future.
He had to dig himself out of a financial hole. So he started doing more freelance work and putting more time into his StoreMapper side-project which was now doing around $1000 MRR.
By being able to spend more time on StoreMapper, Tyler was able to grow it over $5000 MRR in about 9 months. And eventually got it to over $40,000 MRR a few years later.
But he built it as a sustainable and profitable micro' SaaS company. It helped him to pay down his credit card debt, travel the world and spend more time on projects he found interesting.
And if building that type of business appeals to you, then you'll love this episode.
I hope you enjoy it.
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