Hello ! Who are you and what are you working on?
Hey, I'm Mike. I run multiple profitable software companies with no investments, no team and even no CS degree!
What motivated you to get started with? How did you come up with the idea?
Generally, all of my startups are based on a very simple concept: collecting third-party data and putting them in one, centralized location.
In a world where information is widely available and very fragmented, we strive to create data systems and relationships so that the information you have becomes more meaningful and clear, allowing you to make better decisions.
Can you tell us the story of your business from idea to where you are now?
We are a small company of one, 100% bootstrapped and we specialize in making software products (SaaS) and collecting third-party data in several industries.
We now run 6 profitable software products, and every year we make 5 new on average.
I started doing this years ago and, at that time, I was working on a solution that would aggregate native ads. This was my first startup and I had 2 other partners. That venture didn't go well, unfortunately. From that moment on, I moved to bootstrapping and doing things alone.
Right now I run:
- Treendly where you can discover rising trends you haven't heard of
- Groouply which notifies you of relevant conversations happening on Fb groups
- Dealflow where we aggregate a lot of deals for buying&selling marketplaces
- Cart where I sell e-commerce data and insights
And more, you can check all of them at https://rubini.solutions
What has been your biggest failure or struggle?
My struggles are all around dealing with myself and dealing with people.
In my line of business, I manage everything: from support to marketing to code, for a lot of products. It's crucial to keep your mind straight.
I try to practice what I call "the way of the monk" and isolate myself from all inputs. Including, other people.
How many hours a day do you work on average & can you describe/outline your typical day?
I work all the hours. My typical day is I get up from my bed, I do one step and I reach my computer, then work until I pass out. Not a very healthy lifestyle right now, I know.
And what has been your biggest achievement or success?
My biggest achievement is not money related, it is freedom related. Freedom is my currency.
I'm very proud that I have been able to support my family by being there for them when there was a need.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
Since my operation is small, I'm very wary of cashflow. For that reason, I don't do paid advertising, or to be honest, I don't do paid anything.
I mostly use organic ways of getting traffic and I do a lot of grunt work like commenting on relevant groups and forum conversations.
I think one think that I'd like more businesses to do is building in public. My business is a glass box: you can see through it. I share all of my app and revenue metrics with everyone and I think that contributes to portray values that I think are good for any business: honesty, transparency and hard work.
You can literally go to https://brain.rubini.solutions and see my revenue, how much I made this month, what I'm working on, and more.
Describe the process of launching the business.
I usually launch on PH and other similar outlets
Did you use Betalist or PH or other Startup Launching Platform for Launching ? How was that experience ?
Yes, I usually launch on HackerNews, ProductHunt, Reddit, etc. The experience is good, but these are not things you can rely on for the long run.
What’s your business model, and how have you grown your revenue?
My business model is SaaS: I make a software product, then sell access to people who deem that software valuable enough to pay something monthly to use it.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced and obstacles you’ve overcome? What are your goals for the future?
My goal for the future is to double my revenue, from $5k/m to $10k/m
Let’s talk about your marketing strategy -- how do you market Rubini and grow the service?
As I mentioned, I do grunt work. The rest is wom.
Do you have a model to get product feedback? What’s your favorite way to get product feedback? Did product feedback help you get the results you hoped for ?
Yes, I use micro feedback. I'm a huge fan of asking for customer feedback right inside the platform, with simple direct questions that do not get in the way of the customer.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
Of course. The best thing you can learn while you run the business is things about yourself. I learned that I'm a starter, I don't like working with people, I don't like taking debt, and that I'm very fast - so I optimize for that.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
Here is my stack
Who’s your most inspirational CEO or founder?
Ryan Kulp (fomo.com founder)
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
I listen to a lot of podcasts related to business. Besides "startups for the rest of us" which is specifically about bootstrapping, I'm enjoying a podcast called "My first million" (very cheesy name) where they brainstorm business ideas.
Shameless plug: I also have my own podcast where I share my journey and things I learn along the way
What’s your advice for fellow aspiring entrepreneur who are just starting out?
The first would be: just start. The second would be: you don't need 99% of the things you think you need. The third would be: question everything.