Justin Jackson justinjackson.ca

Can you grow a startup on the side? Justin Jackson is trying...  ↦

In this post Justin Jackson shares his struggles, doubts, and uncertainties about where to take his startup. Sometimes we put too much financial pressure on a startup too soon and it fails — not because of lack of product/market fit, but because of financially poor choices.

It’s been exciting to build and grow our app on the side. But it’s also been hard. With hundreds of paying customers, we’re dedicating more of our time to serving them. But, the business isn’t earning enough to pay us for our time.

It’s been particularly challenging for me. Since 2016, I’ve supported myself with M4Devs and other courses. But my revenue’s fallen this year as I’ve dedicated more time to Transistor.


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Justin Jackson

Justin Jackson

Vernon, BC

Justin Jackson is the co-founder of Transistor.fm and Spots.fm. He also runs Megamaker.co

2018-12-18T19:18:01Z ago

Thanks for sharing my post!

I think there’s a “bootstrapping wasteland” that doesn’t get talked about much.

It’s in-between: “we’ve launched, and we’re getting traction” and “we can pay our salaries with this.”

There can be a lot of tension in that transition space because so much is unknown.

Adam Stacoviak

Adam Stacoviak

Austin, TX

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Changelog

2018-12-18T20:03:43Z ago

I agree - I’d like that “bootstrapping wasteland” topic to get talked about more.

There’s also this tension with having to be way bigger than you actually need to be. Meaning, maybe its OK for your business to just be a few people and generate a few million dollars per year. Nothing says your business has to be 20, 40, or 100s of people, take on VC funding, grow, grow, grow…etc, etc…

Personally, I like to run the business, not have the business run me. BUT, something that plagues me about this idea is when the market decides that’s not good enough and forces you to be more. This is a “when”, not an “if” because eventually the market is going to force you into a fight — to compete, scale, and grow, potentially beyond your desires — or lose your market share and die (eventually).

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