From No Business to $3k/mo in Less than a Year - with Pieter Eerlings

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When we launched this podcast you told us you wanted to hear from entrepreneurs who were just starting out; people whose businesses were doing a few thousand a month and hadn’t reached “elite” status. That’s exactly what we have in store for you today.

Pieter Eerlings is the co-founder of Archisnapper an app that makes it easy for architects to create architectural site reports for their clients. Archisnapper launched less than four months ago and is already bringing in $3,000/mo. Pieter was also one of the commenters on our intro show, which is how we found him. So it pays to let us know if you have a story to share.

In this interview you’ll hear from someone who is truly at the starting line. Archisnapper isn’t bringing in millions of dollars and there’s no guarantee it ever will. But if you’ve ever wondered what goes through the mind of an entrepreneur in the early stages of a launch, don’t miss this interview. We’re also going to give you the exact email scripts Pieter uses to get sign ups on his landing page and for his free trial.

In this episode you’ll learn…

  • 4:23  how Pieter found time to work on his side project while running a full time business
  • 13:59  how they found businesses to reach out to and the process they used to get their idea
  • 20:09  how he tweaked his emails to get more responses (we’ll also share the actual email with you)
  • 25:58  why he didn’t presell and why he wishes he would have
  • 32:58  what he’s doing today to get traffic to his website


Show Notes

Podcast transcript

Andy: Welcome everyone to another episode of Starting from Nothing – The Foundation Podcast and today I’ve with me Pieter Eerlings. Pieter is the co-founder of ArchiSnapper, an app that makes it easier for architects to create architectural site reports for their clients. He’s also the co-founder of Zorros, a design agency based in Belgium. But here is what’s really cool about Pieter. In February of this year, Pieter launched a software as a service product. And right now, he’s doing about $3,000 a month in revenue. You’re going to hear how his story started from beginning to end, so you’ll find out how he got the idea, how he validated it, how he marketed it, everything. When you hear his story I think what you’ll find is that what he did wasn’t magical or crazy. It was fairly simple and you could do the exact same thing. So Pieter, thanks for taking the time out and welcome to the show. Pieter: Thank you. Andy: Yeah. Just so everybody knows, we found Pieter through our blog through the comment section. If you have a great story, if you know of somebody, just check out the and leave us a comment. Pieter, a year ago, tell me what where you up to a year ago. July right now, what were you doing a year before this? Pieter: Okay. So, we own a service business. We make custom software on demand. So a year ago, we were doing several service projects software on demand for several clients. I need to see other typical consulting kind of projects where we sell our time for money. Andy: How long have you done that for? Pieter: For three years. So we started the software company three years ago. Well, almost four years in fact. Yeah. We have been doing that for three years. Last summer we got kind of tired of it because it is like project after project after projects and we could only scale by putting more hours, so working harder in the weekends or hiring more people. But if you hire more people, well, your cost goes up as well. Andy: Yup. Pieter: Yeah, your [inaudible 00:02:17] as well because more people is more trouble. Andy: Totally. Was there a point where you were like, “Wow, this is too much work we have to do something else.” Do you remember a point where that happened? Pieter: It was a frustration because of the client. Yes. Yes. Like a client’s squeezing us and squeezing out of us trying to get more for what he wanted to obey, constantly complaining that it was not good enough and so on. That was the trigger. Then we set like, okay, we have to escape from this. Andy: Yeah. Pieter: For me, to be honest there was no option but succeeding. My mindset, I think that’s one of the very critical things my mindset shifted and I said, okay. For me, I have to succeed. I switched my service business into a product business or … yeah, it cannot fail. I just have to succeed. Andy: There’s no other option. Pieter: No. Andy: When did that happen? When did that switch make? Pieter: I think, yeah, it should be August, September last year. Yeah. Andy: And when you made that switch, what did you do? Pieter: I googled for people that succeed doing that. I’ve tried to read a lot. Well, in fact, before I was already following a lot of blogs and podcasts like Rob Walling. I don’t know if you know him. Andy: Yeah. Pieter: And many other people. I was already reading it but … yeah, passively. Just reading and understanding what they did but not acting upon it. Andy: Yeah. Pieter: And so then last summer, okay, I said, okay. Now I’m going to dive into it and read more and really … yeah, try to see how they did it and just go for it. So what did we do? We refused some new customers in our service business company and we reserved a few days per week to build the products. Not to build the product but to see how we could start products instantly. Andy: What were you going to build? Pieter: Exactly. So we didn’t build something just like that. The first step, and that I got straight from the Foundation blog was to find a pain, find the pain points. We didn’t do any rocket signs, we just … did what Dane told us to do, okay? Which is cold calling. I think in September, from September until November last year, we called like a lot of different people in different businesses. Andy: And you bought off one day a week for this? Pieter: Yeah, minimum, even more. Because motivation was so high, so even after the typical work day we continued because we were doing a lot of over hours but like an investment into our product. Andy: Got it. How did you find the Foundation stuff? Pieter: Through Google. Yeah. Andy: Really? Do you remember what you searched for? Pieter: No, because that was I think, it’s like … no. I don’t remember that. No. Andy: Sam Ovens found Dane’s Mixergy interview through Google. He typed in something like how did Groupon scale or something like that because he want to build something like Groupon and found Mixergy which eventually [lead 00:05:55]. So it’s just funny tracking that process. Pieter: I did find it through Mixergy. Yes. Yes. Andy: You found it through Mixergy? Pieter: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Because I was following that blog and then Dane appeared on it. Andy: Ahh. Got it. Pieter: I think it should be last year. I don’t know exactly when but then I found the Foundation. Andy: Got it. Got it. So you found the Foundation stuff, you didn’t join the course though. Pieter: No. I was planning to but … I’m based in Europe and just travelling. It would be not possible with my service business. Andy: Did you know … this is really funny. Did you know that you don’t have to travel? Pieter: No. I didn’t know. Andy: We actually had this problem last year is that we showed the video of everybody coming together. And so everybody thought it was a location, like in one specific place but no, we do it all virtually. Pieter: Ah, okay. (Laughs) Andy: (Laughs) Cool. But still, the point in saying that isn’t to promote the Foundation, the point in saying is that people don’t have to join the Foundation to see crazy success with it and I think that’s what’s really cool about you. Pieter: I don’t think that’s necessary. I think it’s more your mindset’s willing to succeed and like acting … acting doing something instead of just reading about what’s good happen … No, just try something out and that is a great thing. Andy: Yes. Totally. So take me back. So it’s September, you guys decide you’re dedicating at least one day a week, maybe more, to this process of idea extraction of figuring out who you are going to help. Where did you even start? Did you start with like a niche? Who did you start talking to? Pieter: We knew already that we have to go into a niche, not just like calling anyone. We kind of pre-selected 20 niches: doctors, architects, teachers, whatever. Process like brainstorming and there was no particular reason why to pick that niche. It was just randomly. Of course, we knew that, yeah, the niches that we took they had to be reachable online. I mean, in some way, you need to reach them. You need to be able to buy email lists of architects or you need to be able to find, link it in groups of architects if you want to reach that niche because offline marketing is much more expensive. So we preselected like 20 random niches and then we just started calling, calling, calling a lot. Andy: Uhuh. And what would you … So 20 different niches and you were calling each niche at the same time or do you focus on one niche at a time or how do you go about it? Pieter: No. All at the same time, in fact. Andy: What would you send them? What would you call and say? Pieter: Yeah. We call them just asking if they had five minutes. We told them that we are a software company building custom software. And that right now we were considering building software for architects, and we asked them if we could just do a five minutes interview about their current pain points: problems, frustrations, administration. And we asked them if they have any time for us. Andy: Really? So if I’m an architect, you guys call, I pick up and like, “Hey, this is Andy. What’s up?” You’re like “Hey …” what would you say? Pieter: A lot of architects in fact didn’t want to talk to us which is logic. Andy: Yeah. Pieter: But every now and then we were looking and we could … yeah, we have someone that wanted to reply us. And then we ask for references. So we [tell 00:09:49], “Okay, do we have some other architects that you know that I can call on your behalf? Mentioning your name?” and that went smoother and smoother. We also send out emails. Introducing ourselves, asking if we could call them and there was … it was like a mix of everything. We cold call but we also send cold emails, asking if we could call them but the conversions are not so high on that. We tried so many calls and so many emails that at the end, I think we have at least 50 calls with architects where we could extract pains, [who have 00:10:30] problems. Andy: You did 50 calls where you actually got beyond just the, “Hey, who are you?” And 50 people who actually talked with you about their business and what they are up to. Pieter: Exactly. Andy: Do you have any idea how many emails and how many phone calls it took to get to that point? Pieter: A lot. I didn’t count it but … a lot. Andy: How much time? Pieter: We did it from September until November. That was the only thing that we did was focusing on extracting a pain. Andy: So two to three months purely on pain extraction. Got it. Pieter: Yeah. Andy: And then you are working about a day a week? Is that right? Pieter: Yeah. Yeah. More or less. Exactly. Yeah. We tried to do the pain extraction really good because I’m convinced that if you find a real pain point of frustration, the deeper the pain the more they are … yeah, willing to pay for your solution. Andy: How do you know what questions to ask? Pieter: Excuse me? Andy: How did you know what questions to ask on the phone? Pieter: It was like improvising a bit. Dane had a nice script that we tried to follow like “Okay, tell me about your frustrations,” like what takes most time for you every day, what do you want to get rid of in your administration; those kind of things. It’s not so difficult. I mean, those are logic questions. Andy: Truth. Truth. So it took three months to get to the point where you have the idea the pain really clearly defined. How much of that time … was there a period of time where you’re like, okay, may we will do it for teachers or may we’ll do it for doctors. At what point did you know that you are going to narrow in on architects? Pieter: In fact, the point where we had a few architects that mentioned the same thing. Like those [inaudible 00:12:32] lists and site reports always came back and then we said “Okay, that’s the third one that says this. Okay, let’s call the next one,” and then we were going a bit more directly to this administration point so we said like “Okay, we are building a software to get rid of making your site reports manually. Is that something that would interest you?” So it was a bit more suggestive. Andy: Oh. Instead of starting the call like, “Hey, do you have five minutes? We’re trying to find ideas builds software for architects,” you’re like, “Hey, we’re building this thing. Can we get your feedback?” Pieter: Yeah. After number ten. The tenth architect that told us the same thing we said, “Okay, now we can go quicker because we have something interesting for that …” something that might interest them. Andy: Yeah. Pieter: And then we also started emailing them. Mentioning that we are building software to get rid of this part of their administration and we sell a lot of conversions there. So then we knew, okay, this might be, we might be on to something here. Andy: Where did you find the contact information for the architects? Pieter: We bought an email list. Andy: You bought an email list? Pieter: Yeah. Andy: Where did you buy an email list from? Pieter: Online. You can buy email list of architects online. If you google a bit there is (cross-talk). Andy: Just type in buy an email list of architects and … Pieter: Yes. Andy: Do you put any specific perimeters around what type of architects or where they want to live or anything? Pieter: No. No. It’s $200. They pay $200 for that. Andy: Really? $200 and how many names you get? Pieter: 30,000 email addresses. Andy: $200 for 30,000 emails? Pieter: Yes. There might be a lot of wrong addresses. Andy: Yup. Pieter: But, okay. $200 is nothing. Andy: Yeah. Pieter: If you can valid it … Okay, so we send out emails. We mailed 6,000 people. If for $200 you can validate your ID, well, that’s… that’s worth it. Andy: Totally worth it. You send out 6,000 emails, why didn’t you send out 30,000? Pieter: Because we wanted to save some of them for when the solution was ready. We didn’t want to lose all our potential. Andy: Got it. So you segmented, you said we’re going to send it to this 6,000 and … do you remember what you send? Do you remember what the email said? Pieter: I can look it up. It’s in Dutch because it was … we were targeting the Dutch market so I can look it up. But I don’t remember right now exactly what was in there but it was … which I have … I think our coming soon page. Andy: Yeah. Pieter: It was in there and that’s still online so you can see it right now if you want to. Andy: Could you send me a link to that? Pieter: Yeah. You just got to … I’m giving it right now. So that is the one. Andy: Got it. We’ll put these links up to … below this podcast, the if you want to check out this stuff. And if we can get that email, we’ll try and post that as well. This is the page that you send people to? Pieter: This is the page that we send people to in that first email without having any solution. We didn’t build any project at that time so it was like a effective product. The same page was in Dutch at that time. Andy: What month is this that you guys are on this? Pieter: Let me check because I took some … I prepared. Andy: (Laugh). Pieter: Between November and January, we did all of this. Yeah. Andy: So it took a couple of months for idea extraction and then between November and January you actually … you’ve got the idea, you’re starting to [inaudible 00:16:36] emails out a little bit more. Pieter: Exactly. Andy: How do you get phone numbers of people? Pieter: Very easy. In Belgium there is a list of all architects in Belgium with their phone number … Andy: Was that part of the list you bought? Pieter: No. You even don’t have to buy that. That’s online. You can … Andy: Oh, wow. Pieter: You have all architects that are operating in Belgium. Andy: And their phone numbers and everything. Wow. That’s incredible. Pieter: Yes. But I guess in the U.S. … I’m sure in the U.S. it’s the same because we have been targeting U.S. architects also and there is many sites like community sites for architects where you just find their email, phone number and everything. Andy: Got it. So if somebody is listening to this, they might be somebody who is in the position that you were a year ago. And so I want to get the timeline, really dial in. So we have August, September you started calling, October, November was all calling based, by November you had the idea. Pieter: Yeah. Andy: And did you know what the product would be? Pieter: Yeah, more or less because it was quite obvious. So their pain, their frustration was this time that went to making pictures with the camera on the sites; taking notes on the paper, coming home, putting everything into Microsoft Word, sending it out and so on. Yeah, the obvious choice was an iPad solution for that in combination maybe with the web application that could send out emails. Yes, we knew that … more or less, we would build that. We made up this page with some fake screenshots and we send that around and we got some nice conversion on that. Andy: Cool. It seems really somewhere the process Sam took through as well. Pieter: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Indeed. Andy: Great. So you built all these November, December, January-ish is when you were building basically this landing page, cold list marketing to prospects, getting people interested but no product was built yet. Pieter: We started building it in December in fact. Because, in fact, in November we sent out a lot of emails, we saw high conversions so we kept on sending emails out. But in the meantime we decided, okay, this is great. We have already 200 people that signed up. We have to build this. Andy: What were high conversion rates for you? Pieter: At the end we got 800 email addresses of interested people. So people that subscribed to this coming soon. Andy: From that list of 6,000? Pieter: Yes. Yes. Yes. Andy: How many times did you have to email them to get that? Pieter: We emailed each one just one time because I don’t want to start spamming them, so just one time [before 00:19:37]. Andy: So you emailed each individual person, you didn’t uphold the list to a mail server and blast everybody at once. Pieter: No. We did it in batches. Like may be hundreds the first day, a hundred the day after and so on because we wanted to increase or fine tune our email for higher conversions. Andy: Yeah. Pieter: So first we sent out hundreds and … yeah. For some reason it wasn’t converting that well so we thought, okay, maybe we should change the name, the from name. Turn it into Jennifer instead of my name. Andy: Really? Pieter: Yeah, yeah. Really. That came straight from Dane as well. Andy: Yeah. Pieter: In one of his interviews he told me like he was Jennifer or so. I tried it and it converted better. Yeah, we fine tuned the email until we had a better conversion and then we start at really mass mailing all the rest of the remaining 4,000 maybe. Andy: Wow. Got it. How many iterations did you go through to get to an email that converted well? Pieter: Ten. Ten iterations. Andy: Ten or so? Pieter: Yeah. Andy: That’s awesome. Yeah. I would love at the end of this if you could share that email and we’ll try to post that in the show notes because there is probably a lot of people who are doing the idea extraction thing and it’s hard to find emails that convert really well. Pieter: Well, it was a short email. Basically it was not selling anything. It was more like asking feedback. So … Andy: Yeah. Go ahead. Pieter: It was more like, “Hey, we are building this but we are looking for some people that might help us. We would like your feedback on these projects. It’s still in beta so it’s not yet finished. But if we could get your feedback that would help us so much many times.” People love to give feedback. People love to help. If we would have said “Hey, we are selling this stuff and please buy it or …” that won’t convert so well. So we are asking for, kindly asking for their feedback and that converted well. Andy: I love how nonmarket-y that is too. It’s just very real. Pieter: And we do it still today. So what we do today we keep on sending emails but we don’t sell anything, we just pretend to new architects that this solution is not yet stable and we are randomly selecting a few, maybe 20 architects somewhere in the U.S. Andy: Yeah. Pieter: To test our application and any feedback they have might be very, yeah, welcome for us. And so they get that email and they say, “Oh, there is people that are building this. Okay, I will have those guys.” Andy: Oh, wow. And does that convert well? Pieter: Yes, converts well. Andy: Yeah. That’s awesome. It’s funny we had some students in the Foundation that found that it was easier to actually pre-sell once they understood how to do it than it is to sell after the product’s live. Pieter: Completely. It’s completely true. Andy: Why is that? Pieter: Because people think or people have the feeling they are involved. They do the solution with you. So you say, “Hey, I’m asking your feedback. I need your feedback …” Yeah. “If you could help me building this that would be so great.” And they love building something with you and they feel part of building the solution with you. And that’s much better than just hard selling stuff talk to them. Andy: It’s so true. It’s so true. I can’t believe how well that work. And it’s so funny to think about how … people would rather buy something at some level that’s not totally done if it can be a part of the process. Pieter: Exactly. Andy: Cool. So, let me see where we’re at. Sometimes I get lost like in the details of where the story’s at and I forget to come back up to the big picture. So you guys knew how to do development? Pieter: Yeah. Andy: So that was not a challenge for you, like finding developers. You already had that under your belt. Correct? Pieter: There we have a big advantage because we are a team of seven with very good developers so we didn’t need to hire any developers. So yeah. Andy: Yup. But it did have to … it did take away money from what you are making though. Pieter: Yes. Yes. Indeed. Yeah. It was like in a typical months where we just do software for clients, we make profits. But in those months we just try to stay breakeven. So we just spent enough time to not starts … yeah, eating our cash at the bank. Andy: Yup. In order to build this product. Pieter: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Andy: Got it. Pieter: And September last year we decided, okay, we give ourselves one year to become breakeven. Breakeven on monthly recurring revenue I mean. Andy: Got it. So one year to build the product, get to the point where the product is, at least breaking even the money that you’re putting into it. Pieter: Yeah, indeed. Yes. Andy: What is breakeven for where you guys are at in terms of your expenses? Pieter: It depends. Breakeven in survival mode and that means fabulous salaries for all of us. Andy: Yeah. Pieter: And no crazy company trips or so. With 20,000 [followers 00:24:59] we could survive. Andy: Yeah. Pieter: Yeah. Because we … Andy: Is that … Pieter: 20,000 … Andy: Per month? Pieter: Yeah, per month. Yes. Yes. Andy: Got it. Pieter: But even if we … let’s say, we make $10,000 per months with the products, well, and we just need to cover the out of … 10,000 with software, custom software for clients, it would be great as well because half of our time … yeah, can be used to scale the product further until we … yeah, until we reach 20,000. Andy: Got it. Got it. Why didn’t you pre-sell it? Because you didn’t actually pre-sell the software, right? Pieter: No. I was too scared to ask money for … Andy: Really. Pieter: For some … Yeah. It was like okay, this makes no sense. I’m going to ask money for error because … (laughs). I don’t have anything at hands and I just didn’t … Yeah. I didn’t do it. May be I should have done, I don’t know. Andy: Huh? Pieter: Because some architects were really mailing us every week, “When is it ready? When is it ready? When is it ready?” So maybe I could have sold it. Do pre-sells, yeah. Andy: Yeah. Wow. If you would have done it, if you were to do this all over again would you pre-sell it? Pieter: I don’t know. Maybe, yeah, maybe I should try. Just to see that works actually because what is the risk if you try it and it doesn’t work. Well, you have one upsets person that says, “Hey, you asked money for nothing.” Andy: Yeah. Pieter: But … Yeah. Because it’s the product you target so many clients at once so you lose one potential client it’s [inaudible 00:26:40]. Andy: So you built it December-ish through January, February? Pieter: March. Through March. Andy: Through March? Pieter: We launched in April. Andy: Oh, really? I thought you guys launched in February. So you launched in April. Pieter: Yes. Andy: How did you go about this process of … you talk with people in November, got them all excited and then the product didn’t go until April. How did you keep them excited and not forgetting about you? Pieter: Yeah. We sent out emails from time to time like updates… Andy: Yeah. Pieter: And screenshots, things like that. But it’s true that we didn’t maybe do enough to keep them really engaged. Because I think we could have done a better job there by … yeah, sending out more good content for architects for example, like ten ups. Ten ups for architects you might not know about or … because that would … builds more trust, even more trust. Andy: Yeah. So you launched in April, how did you go about marketing it? Did you just blast out an email and be like, “Hey, it’s live,” or … what did you do? Pieter: Yeah. We did it the same … we launched quietly. So we didn’t send a mail to everyone, at once. We sent out small batches also and see how they convert and then fine tuning. Fine tuning the email to convert better but basically it was just like, okay, it’s life, you can use it now. Andy: That was the gist of the email? Pieter: That was the message. Yeah. Yeah. Andy: And you had a email list of 6,000 people, you had an interest list of about 800. Is that right? Pieter: Yeah. Andy: In April, when you launched it, how many people signed up? Pieter: In April, I think about … the first week about 50 trials, 50 trial users. Andy: And you gave away one month trial, is that right? So they could sign up trial for one month for free. Pieter: Yes. Yes. Yes. Andy: And how has it been? Its April, it’s July now, how has it been since then? Pieter: Now we have like 500 trial users. They are not paying, they just made an account and they decided to use or not use it so they are in trial mode but I think we can convert them if we give them enough content and we try to convert them. And we have 60 paying users no. Andy: Sixty paying users, five of the 60 were … those 60 part of the 500? They were trial users? Pieter: Yeah. No. No. No. No. They are part of the 500. Yeah. Out of the 500, there are 60 paying users. Yeah. Andy: So like 10, 12 percent conversion rate from trial to customer? Pieter: Yes. Andy: Nice. What are you doing for marketing right now? So you’ve got that list of 6,000, is that burnt out? When you were emailing them were you worried about people being like “Stop sending me this stuff” or … Pieter: We have a list of 30,000 then. So 6,000 is what we mailed at the time but now we have 30,000 [inaudible 00:29:54]. What we are doing now is to send an email to them, also small batches, and we ask them for feedback about a product that is brand new and still needs to be finalized. So we say, “Hey, we have built this product but it’s not yet finalized. We would like some feedback from you because you are an architect. So, if you want to use the product for free for three months, just mail me back and I will make you an account and I will try to explain you the basics and then all your feedback is welcome.” Andy: Oh, wow. Pieter: So we offer them a three months trial in exchange for feedback but in reality the three months trial is not important. I mean, it’s not because we only see the money after three months. If we see them using it then it is already sold. Andy: It’s worth it … Pieter: Because they will pay, because if they use the software in their day to day business, now why would they stop after three months. Andy: Totally. If you send out a thousand of these emails, how many responses do you get? Pieter: It’s difficult because there was a lot of numbers and conversions but let me estimate. Yeah. I should count, in fact I didn’t count it but I should count right now how many mails we have sent out over the past few weeks because right now we have five from the trials and most of them come from those emails. But let me guess that we send out about 3,000 emails after going live in this … with this three-month free trial trick. In fact, we are still trying to optimize and fine tune it. Let’s say that out of the 30,000 emails we have used, yeah, 8,000 emails or so. And we are looking for better and better ways to convert the remaining 22,000 emails. Andy: Got it. Pieter: But I’m not … maybe … am I clear or … Andy: Yeah. Yeah. That makes sense to me. Eight thousand emails of that probably 500 sign ups from that 50 to 60 paying users right now. What are you going to do in this email list when you run out of that? Pieter: Well, we hired bloggers now so on oDesk … you know oDesk? Andy: Yeah. Pieter: Okay. So we hired USA, people in USA to blog for us. And so now we are putting two blog post online every week with tips and tricks for architects related to software, iTouch, mobiles, tablets. I’m not sure if that will work or not but it won’t hurt because, okay, yeah, it’s not so expensive to pay them for really good content [in fact 00:33:03]. Andy: Totally. Totally. Pieter: That’s one thing, and then one other thing is that we include also in every report that they send out in the email we include, yeah, a link to our website. Because often you have many architects working together and then they see that link and, yeah. Andy: I love businesses that have those viral components built-in. That’s how Hotmail scaled way back in the days. Like at the end of every email it said, “If you want a free email account from Hotmail, just go here.” And then their growth was just exponential. We talked about in the last episode. Pieter: Exactly. Andy: Have you seen many referrals coming from that? Pieter: In fact, I didn’t have time to really dig into the statistics, yes. Because there is so much, so many things I have to do right now. So I’m trying to do the most urgent things first but I have to check, I have to check that. Andy: You guys, you tried another software product at one point. The event scheduling stuff. Pieter: Yes. Andy: I checked it out and I was like, I saw the website and I was like whoa! I saw the logo from Microsoft and TEDx and … I was like “Wow! This product has to be successful.” What happened with it? Like, is it? Pieter: In fact when we started four years ago, we started as a product business. So we launched that it’s called It’s like Eventbrite. Andy: Yup. Pieter: But we were not so experienced as we are today. So we just launched it and we built the solution, we put it online and then the day of [inaudible 00:34:45] we were waiting for the millions of customers that would find us through Google. Really. Andy: (Laughs) Pieter: And then we discovered even Eventbrite also. Andy: Yeah. Pieter: And we said, “Okay, shits … there is already … this solution already exists. Okay, let’s just make it free and forget about it.” Which is totally wrong because everything exists. There is no unique idea. There is always competition and then you just have to try to be a bit different in competition or just, yeah. We learned a lot of lessons from that. Out of necessity, we needed to do accept software, custom software projects because this Fikkets, Eventbrite thing was not working. So we started accepting custom projects and it went really well, in fact so we had a lot of clients. All of a sudden we were … four years later and we realized, “Okay, now we own a service business” and we said, “Okay, we have to escape from this.” We went back to product business, but this time in the correct way. Andy: Say you are advising somebody who is in your shoes a year ago, what will you tell them to do to get started? Pieter: We tell them to read really good content online, like watch all the Foundation videos but also Mixergy, Rob Walling has very good, Amy Hoy. There is really good advice for free or you can take a course; there is a lot of stuff online. Invest a bit of time into that because you can learn so much from that. And then just try, just go for it and keep on going. Just give yourself six months to try something out and spend all your time in that. In fact, lack of content is never the issue. There is so much great content online. Its lack of acting and lack of … yeah, trying to understand the content and why those people [build 00:37:05] that and reading their stories and trying to see how they did it and trying to copy them or at least understand why they did it. Andy: Totally, I agree with you. Awesome Pieter. Thank you so much for coming on and sharing with us. This interview has been super fun because I think people who are just getting started will really resonate with the stuff that you are saying. If people want to reach out to you or get in touch with you, where can they do that at? Pieter: I have my Twitter accounts. I will share it with you maybe you can put it on the blog. Andy: We’ll put it in the show notes. Yup. Pieter: I have a blog where I blog about … also I share every detail about our ArchiSnapper adventure. So the revenues, how we get customers and I share a lot of information there. Andy: Awesome. Awesome. We will post all of those in the show notes below. And if you do us a favour and go to, look up Pieter’s interview and in the comments below I would love, if you have any question for Pieter to just post them there. Thank you guys for listening. Pieter, thanks for coming on the show. This is incredible. Pieter: Nice. See you. Andy: Later brother. Pieter: Bye.

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