Olaf Jacobson is Bootstrapping this Employee Scheduling Tool at 35,000 USD MRR

In this post, we are interviewing Olaf Jacobson, who currently runs Soon, which he is bootstrapping at 35,000 USD per month by making employee scheduling easier. Lots of value in this one, so keep reading.

 

[Xtartups Interviewer] What does your product or service do?

Employee scheduling.


[Xtartups Interviewer] What's your product's elevator pitch?

Soon is scheduling for people who don't like to read software docs.


[Xtartups Interviewer] Tell us a bit about your team.

We're a well-rounded team that is mostly self-taught. I believe this brings an extra level of motivation. We deeply care about our product and the people who rely on it every day.


[Xtartups Interviewer] What motivated you to work on this product?

It feels rewarding to see how much impact our product has on the businesses that use it. We get to meet and work with a wide variety of companies, it's cool to get a look inside and learn more about their business. Together we tackle the challenges that they face and it helps both of our scales.


[Xtartups Interviewer] Tell us where you are in this product/company's journey?

We've found our niche and a good product-market fit. We are currently scaling up the customer base, then with increased revenue, we'll grow the team. We are bootstrapping.

[Xtartups Interviewer] What has been your biggest learning moment in this journey?

It takes longer than you anticipate to make something that's built to last.


[Xtartups Interviewer] What has been your biggest validation for creating this product and taking it to the market?

When someone in a company becomes an ambassador of our product without us asking for it. Meaning, a user is so excited about it that they get other departments to also start using our software.


[Xtartups Interviewer] How did you find your first 10 customers?

Outbound sales. With some warm introductions from our network.


[Xtartups Interviewer] If you weren't working on this product, which other product/idea would you be pursuing?

No idea.


[Xtartups Interviewer] Who is your favorite bootstrapped founder? And why?

My Co-founder. I don't look around too much to know who has bootstrapped 😅. I didn't know that Mailchimp was bootstrapped until it sold recently for 12B; that's very impressive. Then again, I saw Patrick from ProfitWell say he's an early investor so that's a bit confusing.


[Xtartups Interviewer] What book or podcast has helped you in this journey?

A lot of books. No podcasts.

Books:

How to write better Copy (Currently reading)

All books by Jim Collins,

No Rules Rules,

and many more.


[Xtartups Interviewer] What do you wish you knew when you started working on this idea?

Where to spend my time. It's part of the journey that you try and discover what is worth doing, but knowing upfront what your end-users want from you is probably the number one thing to focus on.


[Xtartups Interviewer] For someone who is thinking of starting a bootstrapped business, what would be the one thing they should watch out for?

Make sure your founding team is well-rounded in terms of both skills and personalities. On top of that, be sure that these are people like you. It's not going to work if you don't enjoy working together in the long run. I wouldn't go solo either, that works for some people, but I think you'll get further with a team.


[Xtartups Interviewer] Are you hiring for any positions? If yes, how can people reach out to you?

We are looking for salespeople who are willing to work on a commission basis. Reach out to me at olaf@soon.works.