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The Sales Podcast

Sep 25, 2013

John Saddington - Serial Entrepreneur, Prolific Blogger, Open & Honest Dialogue. 

John Saddington Started young at age 14 doing programming for Johnson and Johnson and bagging groceries.

Dropped out of Georgia Tech…struggled to get a “piece of paper” (his diploma).

Worked at Dell.

Worked at Fox News.

Being an entrepreneur was not the plan.

As he moved up in management he realized he had little respect for authority and he realized he could do it better and move faster.

Began building his own products at night – 2006-2007.

Has had 5-6 startups since then. Some VC.

Learned Basic and Visual Basic when living in Japan.

He was self-taught.

Now, with online courses, even free courses from Stanford and iTunes Library, you can learn anything.

Entrepreneurs get frozen with ideas.

We need to force the idea of scarcity on ourselves so we focus and dig deep and become excellent.

Execute. There is no “right” answer.

John got his “big break” with Flash development.

8Bit – his idea back in 2008-2009 – came from his frustration in building WordPress sites for his clients. It sold 30-40 copies the first day so he brought on 3 other partners to help him grow and they grew to seven.

Mashable voted them…

Tough to “get it right” when growing a company and with changing technologies.

WordPress is still so nascent.

It’s hard to stay the course long term. Entrepreneurs get bored quickly.

There’s a difference between “lifestyle” companies and “growth” companies with fast-paced growth and finding liquidity to exit.

Often we don’t listen to our hearts.

John learned he didn’t speak up often enough or vocally enough.

The longest he’s been at a company is two years and nine days and that was about a year too long.

Sept 4, 2012, he began kicking the idea around for Pressgram. It was a nights and weekends project. He was not happy with the Facebook and Intragram terms.

In March of 2013, his wife said: “Why don’t you put it on Kickstarter?” (She’s the brilliant one. She’s a strategist.) I’ve backed 200+ projects on Kickstarter for others but never for himself. So he put together the campaign overnight and launched it at 12:04 AM on Saturday.

He raised $56,000+ and this became a very public project.

This had a big influence as well on how 8Bit unfolded.

Kickstarter is very “altruistic.” It’s not “an online store.” You’re there to help someone else’s dream.

498 backers to reach $50,000.

Peruse Kickstarter to see what’s out there and see what works and what doesn’t work.

John had finished his initial wireframe and some code but the framework wasn’t really built out. It’s harder to get software accepted on Kickstarter.

Indiegogo accepts almost anything.

If you have an itch to scratch you lose almost nothing by submitting your idea. Go ahead and get rejected to make you tighten up your pitch.

There is a small staff that reviews and approves your idea. You can appeal with 300 characters.

Built more than a prototype with Pressgram and now he’s going to go find his team.

Others will find a partner first, and that’s fine, but he likes to build first. He has the energy to do it that way.

In-app purchases are how you monetize free apps.

He sees a way to build a WordPress ecosystem around this app.

If I’m not in love with what I’m building and if it doesn’t scratch an itch I have and I want to use there is just something so moving that helps me go the extra mile. That’s what separates “armchair entrepreneurs” from those that actually do it and that gets you through the tough times.

The fund-raising season is incredibly tough. My wife is emotionally and intellectually prepared for me to be a “deadbeat dad” and absentee husband as I get on planes to cross the country and even the globe.

3,264 posts – about 9 a day – for 365 days in 2011 and experienced tremendous growth. He didn’t get tired of it. He wakes up around 4:30 or 5 and writes until 7 am. He and his wife work with boundaries. He has been journaling as long as he can remember and has been blogging since 2001.

He has templates he uses to accelerate his production and now has internal templates.

Practice does not make perfect. Practice makes better.

John admits he’s obsessed with his work. He has moved his wife many times chasing his ventures. They have been up and down the financial roller coaster. His wife is “full of grace and loves me, thank God!”

By setting up boundaries he has incredible freedom. When 7 am comes he spends time with his kids. His next is 8:30 to 2 PM. He can do whatever he wants. At 2 pm his oldest is done with first grade and he picks her up. From 2:30 to 7:00 pm it’s “lights off” when it comes to technology. His wife loves reading and he loves programming but they’ll discuss how they want to spend their evening. Pro is one of his favorite app. He was one of the first 5,000 to buy a subscription for life for $99. Seth Godin,

Doesn’t have a lot of time to read. RSS feeds help.

He has noticed in highly-productive people that they are so consumed with what they are doing that they have no time for “sideline commentary and are not concerned with missing something.”

Entrepreneurs execute in an environment of ambiguity.

“What’s hot” becomes unimportant.

I’m not concerned about my next competitor. “I could drown in worry and shame” if I focused on that.

John wants to learn something new every day.

Yesterday he learned that you can’t call something a photo until it is printed. It’s a picture or image until it becomes physical.

Show some love for this episode. Give me a shout out on Twitter.

Grow your sales with this book.

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Check out episodes 11 to 20 of The Sales Podcast here.