Hello ! Who are you and what are you working on?
We are Freek & Mattias and we've built Oh Dear!: a new tool focussed on monitoring the availability of an entire website.
What motivated you to get started with? how did you come up with the idea?
A couple of reasons:
- There was no tool that did everything we wanted
- Hardly anyone crawled a website, just focussed on monitoring the homepage
- SSL is more & more important, many monitoring tools lacked focus there
- Most were really ugly (and we like pretty things)
What went into building the initial product?
A lot of time: we are both developers, so we had our basics already, we just needed a design (which we outsourced)
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
Honesty: we're both active on Twitter, we share code snippets, how to use our service, ... we don't shy away from sharing intimate details of our startup.
Describe the process of launching the business.
- A landing page/teaser, to help validate the idea. That turned into a mailing list.
- Blogging: we both blog on our own sites (https://murze.be + https://ma.ttias.be)
- Hype on social media
What’s your business model, and how have you grown your revenue?
SaaS: monthly or yearly subscription plans, grow mainly through word of mouth
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced and obstacles you’ve overcome? What are your goals for the future?
Biggest challenges: we had a very good start (with the mailing list + our own blogs as launch), now the challenge is to keep growing. We need to start doing "actual" marketing, in which we aren't very good (yet). Goals: keep growing the business, that will generate more revenue which will allow us to spend more time & add new features.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
We're both fine, thank you very much :-) Oh Dear! is a side business for both of us, we develop new features during the night & offer support 24/7 to our clients.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
Honesty gets you the furthest (share details online, sometimes reject clients if you know you can't serve them well).
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
Laravel Forge + Spark
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
How I Built This (NPR podcast)
What’s your advice for fellow aspiring entrepreneur who are just starting out?
Just do it. Don't quit your day job, perhaps cut down on Netflix or watching TV shows and spend that time building something you enjoy and can use. Without sacrifices, you won't make it happen.