Real Founders – George Palmer On Starting a Software Company

If you’ve ever bought something from The Hundred Dollar Club, you’ll have used software built by this week’s guest on Real Founders, George Palmer.

His company SendOwl.com is one of the simplest, easiest and best looking ways to sell digital products online.

In the 4 years since it took flight, the owl has gone from 2 customers in month one, to processing multiple millions of dollars in orders every month.

No mean feat for a company which was founded by one person because he wanted a better solution to sell an ebook he’d written.

[Heads up - there is a bit of an interruption around 21:30 where my internet connection went a bit shaky, and I really ought to learn to get my head in the centre of the frame. I'm sorry. The interview is well worth putting up with these minor annoyances though! If you're a great video editor, get in touch...]
 

In the video, George talks us through:

  • How he found Send Owl’s first customers, so it was profitable from month 2. You’ll laugh at the method, then go “why didn’t I think of that?
  • His journey from employee, to freelancer, to side business owner, to CEO of a software company
  • The “fallacy of Mojito Island”, and why he works more than four hours a week even though it’s not strictly necessary
  • The number one reason why you shouldn’t start a software company if you’re not a coder
  • But why being a great coder isn’t the most important skill for creating great software

Unexpected bonuses for online business owners:

I almost forgot that I was talking a guy with unprecedented access to data about what sells and what doesn’t in the world of digital products. Luckily I realised in the nick of time and asked for some behind the scenes info. George obliged with details on:

  • The seller who’s gone from $0 to $20m in yearly revenues in just 2 years
  • The common factors in successful info product sellers
  • His take on the product first Vs audience first debate

Links that get a mention:

  • George mentions a great book about focussing on lots of things. We think it might be this one (even if it’s not, it’s a great book)
  • Paul Graham’s Makers and Managers Schedule – a must read article IMHO
  • The original Mojito Island article
  • Of course, SendOwl.com itself  (yes, this one is an affiliate link – if you sign up using it, THDC will get a small commission. To be clear though, would I really be interviewing the founder if I didn’t believe 100% in the product?!)

If you’ve got questions for George, please leave them in the comments.