Growing pains of a small tech company

Happy Monday folks,

Back to the regular Monday morning grind update since last weeks travel debacle.

(And in case you missed my email last week, you can read about my 7.5 hour overnight drive home here)

Let’s jump in:

Growing pains for a small tech company

It’s been a good summer for us so far. We continue to focus on adding in new features for our immigration platform, Visto, and onboarding new clients.

As I’ve talked about many times before, the tech world is a bit different from the traditional service business world I was used to, but learning and improving as we go along.

Our userbase is continuing to grow and, most importantly, staying with us and not dropping off.

It’s an interesting situation to be in, especially when you’re a small team, because we have this sort of virtuous – but difficult – cycle.

As we get more users for our tech platform, we also get more feedback and requests. And this is awesome, because when you have an open feedback loop, your users basically guide you in what to build next (on the tech side). It’s great – assuming you are listening to them, which you definitely should be.

Designing and building tech products can be hard enough, so take any advantage you can get in the form of user feedback.

It’s funny, now that I think about it, it’s also how I built my Tiktok channel… I started posting a few basic videos that I thought would be helpful, then all I did was reply to the comments/questions with new videos, answering their questions. And it grew from there (my Tiktok account for Visto has over 54k followers).

The downside is that with more users comes more customer service requests, questions, queries, etc.

Again, these aren’t bad things and are just part of doing business, but it also means the tech team has to spend more time responding to/fixing issues, which then slows down the development of new features.

In short: growing pains.

But hey, I’d rather have growing pains than shrinking pains, right?

And I’ll continue to share my journey and the ups-and-downs of growing a tech company with a small team/budget. I think it’s going to be a fun year or two…

Key takeaway: accept and adapt

Building a business of any kind is hard, otherwise everyone would do it – and do it successfully.

The interesting thing is that when things start to go well, they can also get harder in ways you didn’t experience earlier on. When you start, you’re struggling to get clients. When you get clients, you may struggle to keep them happy. And so on and so forth.

It’s good to remember that 1) this is just business. If you think it’ll be a walk in the park, you may have signed up for the wrong gig. And 2) everyone else goes through similar struggles. They may feel personal and unique, but we’re all going through the grind. Together, in one way or another.

If business was boring and easy, then it probably wouldn’t be so fun…

Book of the week

I finished a re-read of Shoe Dog, and let me tell you – this is an absolute must-read for any solopreneur.

As you know I read a lot, and I’ve read hundreds of business books/biographies/memoirs/etc. Shoe Dog is a top 5, maybe top 3, business book. The story, the way it’s written, the detail he goes into, the flow of the entire adventure. It’s an incredible read.

And I’ve lost count how many times I’ve read it, because I usually read it every ~2 years. I think it’s been 3-4 times now, but it’s such a good book to re-read because, as I talked about above, it’s a great example of the grind that is entrepreneurship, and how perserverence and hard work can lead to so much success (as opposed to just brain power/intelligence).

And since I’ve read it so many times, you can check out my last review on the book here.

Next up: I’m reading Rework by David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried. I’m about 1/3 of the way through and it’s very good. Full review next week when I’m done.

That’s it for me – have a great week and keep grinding,

– Josh

PS episode 12 of the Grind Mastermind podcast dropped last week, where good friend Chris and I share updates from our week in business, tools/book reviews and more. You can give it a watch or listen here.

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