Garrett Dimon, Sifter

What is the product? Bug tracker for small teams and non-technical people. What is the business model? Subscription. How did the founder come up with their idea? Was doing a lot of consulting work and found one of his biggest struggles was getting his non-technical clients to participate with the...

Chris Chen, Instapainting, $32k/month

What is the product? Custom painting by actual artists, delivered to your shipping address. What is its current revenue? $32k a month. What is the business model? Direct sale. How did the founder come up with their idea? Raised money from YC after YC, spent about 2 years pivoting and...

Chris Oliver, GoRails, $15k/month

What is the product? Education site for Ruby on Rails developers. What is its current revenue? $15k a month. What is the business model? Subscription. How did the founder come up with their idea? Was working as a Ruby on Rails consultant for many businesses and startups. Got tired of...

Jason Grishkoff, SubmitHub, $50k/month

What is the product? Allow musicians to connect with industry professionals. What is its current revenue? $50k a month. What is the business model? Free/premium credit. How did the founder come up with their idea? Found Indie Shuffle blog that features good indie music. Realized that the more content on...

Eric Zhang, Scalable Press, $100m/year

What is the product? Efficient custom printing on demand - lower cost, better quality, better turnaround time. What is its current revenue? $100 millions a year. What is the business model? Manufacture. How did the founder come up with their idea? Had a friend, Raymond, who sold T-shirt online. He...

David Hauser, Grasshopper, $32m/year

What is the product? Virtual phone system. What is its current revenue? $32 millions a year. What is the business model? Subscription. How did the founder come up with their idea? Could not find a good solution for handling inbound calls professionally. Started right away, developed the software started selling...

Nathan Barry, ConvertKit, $600k/month

What is the product? Email marketing tool for bloggers and content creators. What is its current revenue? 5k to $600k a month in 2 years. What is the business model? Subscription. How did the founder come up with the idea? Nathan used to design and write books on iOS and...

Show Your Work by Austin Kleon

A book for people who hate the very idea of self-promotion.

Early days of profitable internet businesses

I am interested in starting a company in the near future. I think the best way to learn how to do so is to look at the early days of different profitable businesses, not when they’re already successful so that one can see how the founders actually got started. Some...

Early days of profitable internet businesses's summary

Dive deep into the industry and take advantage of your domain expertise to identify the “right” problems to work on. Constantly launch/bootstrap products - as a lot of them have founded multiple businesses before and get their hand dirty on the business side of thing. Actively seek for paying customers...