How to Start a Software Company with David Hauser

Enterprise software sucks. David Hauser knows that firsthand, having built and sold Grasshopper for $170 million. Listen to him describe a business framework for developing enterprise solutions.

Nuggets:

  • Don’t try to compete with the hundreds of startups working on the same problems for the same industries - do something different
  • How to answer the objection “you don’t understand my industry so you can’t build software for it” by turning it into a strength
  • Leverage your outsider status to build better software by asking childlike questions
  • You don’t need to love the industry to be passionate about your work (e.g. empowering entrepreneurs to succeed)
  • Be “as close to the money as possible” when developing enterprise solutions (help add customers or keep them longer)
  • Enterprise managers are typically risk-averse - understand their motivations and reduce the risk of your solution as much as possible to close the sale
  • Asking for money often surfaces the real pain points - do it before building the solution
  • Don’t waste time trying to convince people who aren’t early adopters
  • You don’t need to be a coder in order to follow this process
  • Sometimes when your customers call to complain, all they’re looking for is to be heard
  • Businesses like these are great to start during recessions - there’s more talent available and companies are looking for ways to reduce costs and increase revenue

Action Steps:

  1. Brainstorm a “first connection” - a corporate employee you’re connected with that can give you a baseline understanding of the problems in that industry and some credibility when calling others
  2. Talk with a minimum of 10 people in a particular industry and identify a theme around the main problems and opportunities in that industry
  3. Pre-sell your solution to ensure it’s a real pain that’s worth developing software for
  4. Develop an MVP yourself or hire someone else to do so
  5. Get feedback from early customers and iterate

Follow through on these action steps and email us your results at update@runwithit.fm. You'll get exclusive access to a private Facebook group of action takers and one listener will earn a free mentorship call with our guest, and potentially, a business partnership.

Links:

 
David founded Grasshopper, which was bootstrapped over $30 million in annual recurring revenue and acquired by Citrix for $170 million in 2015. He also founded Chargify, which for over 10 years has enabled thousands of businesses to manage their recurring revenue life cycle. Mark Cuban was an investor and it was acquired by Scaleworks in 2016. He's built, sold and invested in a number of different companies throughout his life since high school. His most recent project is a book called Unstoppable: 4 Steps to Transform Your Life.

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Run With It by Chris Justin and Eathan Janney is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.