Business

My life-changing SaaS exit

2024BusinessMind, universe and beyond
RightMessage has been a wild ride. What started in 2017 as a passing conversation with a guy from the internet turned into a career pivot and a $75k-revenue SaaS launch and a $700k investment and a...
Read

Reflection for MMU students

2023BusinessMind, universe and beyond
I often facilitate sessions at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Business School. A reflection I wrote for all the students after a two day startup bootcamp back in June 2022: I saw incredible gifts in every single one...
Read

Your job is a one client business

2023Business
You have a job, and you say you could never run a business? That might be true. Except, in a sense, you’re already running one. You persuaded a customer (your employer) to pay you in return...
Read

Reframing thoughts

2023BusinessMind, universe and beyond
Most of your emotions are caused by the thoughts you’re having about the situation you’re in, not by the situation you’re in directly. Want to feel less shitty more often? Reframe the thoughts. How? Next time...
Read

BATNA

2023Business
The amount of power you have when you’re negotiating something is proportional to how good your best other option is if this negotiation fails. That ‘best other option’ is sometimes called your ‘Best Alternative to a...
Read

Lower the bar

2023BusinessMind, universe and beyond
Something I touched on in the last essay that I want to expand upon… I hold a very high bar of what is considered good enough… and it’s an impediment to my personal and business growth....
Read

Two types of why

2023BusinessMind, universe and beyond
Common business advice that is pretty sound: know why you’re doing what you do. The famous TED talk about this: Start With Why by Simon Sinek. There are two types of ‘why’ that get conflated, though,...
Read

2 ways to reason

2023BusinessMind, universe and beyond
One thing I see people do that is often not optimal is that they’ll see someone else doing a thing and say “they’re very successful, so I’m going to do the same thing”. That’s the extreme...
Read

Disparaging comments

2023BusinessMind, universe and beyond
That person said no-one would ever buy what I’m selling. Now part of me wants to give up Ooft, I get it. Other people putting you and your hard work down is tough. It can be...
Read

Face to face

2023BusinessMind, universe and beyond
A thing that’s on my mind a lot and might not be fully coherent yet but let’s take a stab at a first draft The internet is amazing But it’s this huge double-edged sword It gives...
Read

Step by step: figure out your values

2023BusinessMind, universe and beyond
From business coaches to relationship experts to branding coaches, everyone talks about how important it is to know what your values are. And they have a point. A lot of life is exponentially easier when we’re...
Read

List of values

2023BusinessMind, universe and beyond
A big list of values. Use with my values exercise. Abundance Acceptance Accountability Achievement Adaptability Advancement Adventure Advocacy Altruism Ambition Appreciation Attractiveness Authenticity Autonomy Balance Beauty Being the best Belonging Boldness Benevolence Brilliance Calmness Caring Challenge...
Read

What's Stopping You - the origin story

2023BusinessMind, universe and beyond
How Christian and I went from zero to a shipped podcast: 14 December 2022: Christian told me he hoped to launch his new app, The Video Clipper, within a few weeks (but that it had been...
Read

Better conference name tags

2023Business
Inspired by https://twitter.com/alexhillman/status/1625947358235136004 If I were going to organise a business conference or event (which I plan to in the next few years—organising events is one of the situations I’ve identified where I feel most fulfilled,...
Read

Why help founders get unstuck (round 2)

2023BusinessMind, universe and beyond
At age 28 I got to the point of realising I had emotions (and that this was OK); and started working very intentionally on my personal growth. It quickly became apparent how much our mind creates...
Read

Reflections on my procrastination

2023BusinessMind, universe and beyond
I sometimes go through very unproductive phases. Phases where I’m procrastinating entire days away. I’m delving into why I do this and what I can do to improve it. First, I’m making a spreadsheet that divides...
Read

Why help founders get unstuck

2023BusinessMind, universe and beyond
“Why are you transitioning into this mental health ish stuff / helping founders get unstuck, instead of marketing tech?” Firstly can I try to define what this mental health ish stuff is… I became very intentional...
Read

Resisting important tasks

2023BusinessMind, universe and beyond
Why do we feel more resistance for the most important task than for the others? You might have heard this idea (sometimes called swallowing the frog) of doing the most undesirable task first in your day,...
Read

What's Stopping You - intake questions

2023BusinessMind, universe and beyond
These are the intake questions we send to someone when they apply to be on the What’s Stopping You podcast. (We might move these to a form/doc tool for easier completion, but for now they’re listed...
Read

What's Stopping You - SOP

2023BusinessMind, universe and beyond
Initial contact Person says they want to be a guest Intake form: send them the intake questions. For now we can do this in whichever medium we’re communicating in already (e.g. Twitter DM) but could formalise...
Read

Why not just get a high salary dev job—are indie hackers needy?

2023BusinessMind, universe and beyond
What drives us to entrepreneurship… I definitely think that within the community of developers who are not going and getting a stable dev job, but instead are doing indie hacking or something along those lines, there’ll...
Read

Podcast workflow

2023BusinessSoftware
From nothing ➡️ published podcast episode: Have the call Use Riverside.fm. It locally records each person in high quality and uploads them as it can Load the call into Descript Download the files from Riverside.fm Make...
Read

Conditionally show & hide price plans in the Stripe customer portal

2023BusinessSoftware
I love Stripe. I especially love its Checkout and customer portal features. They look great, they’re well tested and conversion optimised, and they save so much time vs building my own subscription management logic and UI....
Read

Everything is luck. But you can make yourself luckier.

2023BusinessMind, universe and beyond
If 2020 (and beyond) taught us anything, it’s that we can make all the plans in the world—it doesn’t mean they’ll work out. We don’t choose how our lives go. We have less control than we...
Read

Is it bad to email my list every day?

2023Business
I hear this question a lot, and there are some strong opinions on each side: Why sending daily can work great— 1. Subscribers will start to feel like they know you, which makes it easier to...
Read

4 ways I slashed my content consumption and 10x’ed taking action

2023BusinessMind, universe and beyond
1. I treat my computer like a penknife. No matter how useful a penknife is, you wouldn’t sit and play with it all day while you decide what to do next. You fetch it when you...
Read

Books

2022BusinessMind, universe and beyond
Books I’ve read Books I’m currently reading Books I want to read next
Read

“Shai, what do you actually do for work?”

2022Business
The short answer I run software companies. The joyful answer I professionally play on the computer! I get to make apps for people to use, which is exactly what I loved doing for fun when I...
Read

Difficult decisions

2022BusinessMind, universe and beyond
I was living in Barbados in 2021. My father went for a scheduled operation back in the UK, which was successful, but in scans they separately found an aggressive cancer on his lung. We were told...
Read

SaaS feedback loops

2022BusinessEarly draft
One of the things a lot of people (myself included) find difficult in transitioning from a service-based business (like freelancing) to a product-based business (like SaaS) is that the latter has a much looser feedback loop....
Read

Present-moment pomodoros

2021BusinessMind, universe and beyondEarly draft
https://twitter.com/AnneSelke/status/1427356630010802183 https://twitter.com/shaisc/status/1427394672285175809 Integrating body / present-moment awareness into your pomodoros… Permission to become present At the end of a meditation on the Headspace meditation app they often suggest finding a few times throughout your day where...
Read

Steve Jobs

2021BusinessMind, universe and beyondAuto-transcribed
I always felt a sudden affinity for Steve Jobs I never really understood why in particular but never thought it was for the same reasons as other people and now I’m starting to realise it’s because...
Read

Why Smart Subscriber is an even bigger deal than I realised

2021BusinessSoftware
The day I started building Smart Subscriber I knew it could be a useful tool for creators—myself included. But I didn’t consciously understand its full potential until all the “I need this!” and “how can I...
Read

Accepting the day

2021BusinessMind, universe and beyond
If I don’t manage to do what I hoped to by the end of the day, the immediate conclusion is that I failed. It’s easy to beat myself up about it. Reality didn’t match expectation… there’s...
Read

Stripe Payment Links

2021BusinessSoftware
The tiny feature that might just change the internet
Read

Collecting ACH payments through Stripe

2021BusinessSoftwareEarly draft
There’s one little-known fact about collecting ACH payments through Stripe that is the cause of so much confusion. I’ve known of people giving up on trying to accept ACH payments altogether because of it. That critical...
Read

Treading Water

2021BusinessMind, universe and beyond
I was excited for March. I had planned some great product improvements to work on for RightMessage. And then… “chores” got in the way. By “chores” I mean the kind of work that doesn’t have any...
Read

Talk Transcript - Manchester Metropolitan University Business School - Winter 2020

2020BusinessMind, universe and beyond
I’ve run a few businesses over the years. They’re generally in technology, because it’s what I know, and what I’m passionate about. But they’ve been across a few industries – my first business was a web...
Read

How I overcame writer's block

2020BusinessMind, universe and beyond
I struggled with writer’s block for years. Ever since I was at school. It was always that first hurdle—the blank page. I could stare at it for hours without being able to think of a single...
Read

Habits of successful people

2020BusinessMind, universe and beyondEarly draft
I see a correlation between running a successful business and maintaining ‘healthy’ habits like daily exercise, meditation, and so on. I’m curious whether there’s causation (and if so in what direction), or whether something else is...
Read

Government support for UK startups during coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

2020BusinessFinance
This is a rundown of my understanding of the UK’s coronavirus (COVID-19) support as it relates to startups and freelancers in the UK. While I’ve spent a long time reading through the guidance and legislation so...
Read

MicroConf 2017 Official Notes

2017BusinessMarketingMicroConf 2017
Recap / notes from every MicroConf 2017 talk
Read

The Ultimate Guide To Segmenting Your Email List

2017BusinessMarketing
First rule of marketing: show the right message, to the right person, at the right time. Consciously or subconsciously, you’re working toward this with every bit of marketing you do: You’ve thought about who your ideal...
Read

Personalized URLs in your Reply.io / Cold Outreach Campaigns

2017BusinessMarketing
For most situations, I’m a big fan of storing personalization data directly in your marketing automation tool (e.g. Drip). You basically use it as your mini-CRM / subscriber database, and can pull data from there on...
Read

The Brain Audit Testimonial Questions

2017BusinessMarketing
Questions below. From the outstanding The Brain Audit: Why Customers Buy (And Why They Don’t) by Sean D’Souza. The beauty of asking these six questions: You’re much more likely to get a response than if you...
Read

Marketing Personalization

2017BusinessMarketing
94% of marketers agree that “personalizing the web experience” is critical to current and future success. So ~94% of marketers are gonna be taking advantage of personalization, right? Nearly. 4%. 4%. FOUR PERCENT of marketers reckon...
Read

How do you get people to find (and buy) your products online?

2017BusinessMarketing
So, you’ve got a fantastic product or service to sell people. The trouble is, your potential buyers don’t yet know or trust that that’s true. Most people who want to sell things online will try one...
Read

Market Research Calls – Tips, Ramblings, Examples, Q&A

2017BusinessMarketing
Tips for market research calls when devising a new product / service offering
Read