Hey, my name is Rick Blyth and I'm a software developer at heart. I spent 20 years in the corporate world as a software developer progressing all the way up to Technical Director 🤓
I quit my day job a few years ago after building several profitable bootstrapped Micro SaaS apps. I was able to resign with confidence and focus on scaling up my Micro SaaS apps 📈
Eventually, I went on to make over $500,000 from my Micro SaaS apps through the subscription income and cash lump sum I received when I sold and exited. 🙌
My Story on YouTube
My story of going from unhappy corporate developer to bootstrapping my way to the freedom of being a Micro SaaS founder is laid out below but if you prefer a more detailed breakdown you can watch my Micro SaaS story video on YouTube.
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My Journey to Micro SaaS Founder
I started as a Software Developer around 20 years ago, working at a few small companies and a long stint at one big company.
I worked hard and climbed my way up the corporate ladder (Dev -> Senior Dev -> Team Lead -> Dev Manager) until finally I was promoted to Technical Director of an Insurance Software company 🏅
In theory, I should have been happy ... I'd reached the "pinnacle" but within a few years I was feeling unfulfilled and sad 😔
I was leaving the house at 7am and getting back at 7pm, just in time to see my kids for 30 mins before they headed to bed.
Eat. Sleep. Pain. Repeat.
x 5 days a week 😢
Those 12 hours were generally made up of commuting (on a busy train
with standing room only), pointless meetings and general chaos, interruptions and firefighting on the daily.
I was living for the weekends although even then, quite often there’d be ad-hoc support or weekend work required. I was being paid very well (close to a six-figure salary), but I was unhappy with the grind and thought there must be more to life than what I was experiencing now I was “at the top” 🗻
I started reading self-development books and became obsessed in my thirst for self-improvement books 📚
There was one book in particular (Rich Dad Poor Dad) that would teach me principles that would change my life forever. I couldn’t put it down and I finished it in a weekend.
It’s an old book but the principles it teaches around being paid per hour vs “passive income” will hold true forever.
It set me off on a journey to find my own freedom.
I started looking if I could build some digital assets that could bring in passive income whilst I was asleep/working. I briefly flirted with some Amazon selling platforms (FBA, Retail Arbitrage, Private Label) but they weren’t for me.
I then discovered the world of print on demand products which didn’t require any inventory or cash investment up front which seemed a safer and easier way to build up some digital assets.
Amazon had just launched their own print on demand platform (Merch By Amazon). It was ok but at the time the UI for creating the products sucked.
It was very tedious to create & edit products and involved alot of copy/paste and repetitive work. I wondered if I could use my coding skills to make something to help make it all easier 🤓
I built my first chrome extension in a weekend and it was both super simple and super UGLY!
However, it did make it way quicker to edit products so it was at least useful. I had written out a draft post promoting it to the Facebook group but I was hovering over the “Publish” button for ages.
Worries were creeping in:
😱 “Will anyone buy it?“ …
😱 “Will they think I’m hacking them?”’ …
😱 “What if someone at work sees it?”
YOLO …I hit publish and went to bed
I was excited/nervous to check my emails the next day …. holy smokes … people have actually bought it! Even better, they’re starting to rave about my app in the Facebook groups and more people are buying it. My crappy looking app was a success! 🏆
✅ I was making sales in my sleep.
✅ I had a direct connection with the users and was receiving positive feedback from them.
✅ I was in sole charge of the code, it was my baby.
That simple little app and it's (minor) success showed me that there was a viable way of making money from my software skills. It lit a fire deep within me as I could see the potential that was there ... 🔥
If I could build on this initial app, re-market a bigger/better app to my existing customer base I'd probably be able to get them to pay a recurring monthly fee.
Hmmm .... if I could get 500-1,000 Merch creators to pay me $10 a month then I'd be in a position where I could consider quitting my crappy day job 💡
AT THIS POINT I WAS HOOKED AND DETERMINED TO BREAK FREE OF MY 9-5
I went on to build more apps for the Merch community, working
evenings and weekends but it was truly a labour of love 😍
One day whilst walking my dog, an idea for a Merch chrome extension
popped into my head that literally stopped me in my tracks (my dog just stared at me bemused).
I felt I was on to something big and I was right, it turned out to be my biggest app and it changed everything for me 💡
I worked hard on developing and promoting it … made cutbacks and saved money such that we’d built up a small runway of savings and within 12 months I was finally in a position to do it ...
I QUIT MY JOB.
No more crappy meetings/office drama/chaos/commute 💩
More focus/family time/freedom/calm 😃
Determined to never go back to the 9-5 grind, I worked on my flagship app non-stop and then launched another app in a second but related niche of Amazon sellers.
My second app launch was a multi five-figure launch using purely organic traffic which I was very happy with.
I went on to scale my apps up to a point I was making a comfortable living for a family of four (around $10k month on average).
However, after spending a few years working in the same niches I was beginning to be distracted by other potential opportunities.
This shiny object syndrome eventually led to me looking to sell my apps as it became clear that the niches and the apps just weren't as exciting to me as they were in the early days.
So I decided to put them up for sale ..
I researched the various online marketplaces to sell Micro SaaS apps on and once I'd found the right one for me, I set about getting a valuation for my Micro SaaS business.
After several weeks of vetting and reviewing the key SaaS metrics of both apps it was finally time to lock in a valuation and the listing went live on the marketplace one Monday afternoon.
What happened next shocked me 🤯
My apps sold at the full asking price within 5 hours of going live!
Since selling my apps I have had some time to reflect on my journey and what I should do next.
I decided to share my story and to help other Software Developers start their own Micro SaaS apps as side hustles and who knows ... one day they could grow to a point they could quit their day jobs like I did.
I’m making it my mission to help other programmers do what I’ve done and unlock the potential they have inside them 🚀
So, if you’re interested in starting a side hustle or even making a “quit the day job” income through building micro SaaS apps, you’re in the right place!
See you around,
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