On today’s episode, Corry Maass and Sam Brodie are talking with Brad Touesnard. Brad is an entrepreneur, developer, and designer living in Nova Scotia, Canada. Brad runs a successful business called Delicious Brains which is known for two popular products called WP Migrate Pro and WP Offload S3. Brad discusses his approach to SaaS (Software as a Service) and the challenges of getting users to participate in a beta release and provide productive feedback during testing.
Brad Touesnard is the founder of Delicious Brains Inc. Brad wears many hats; from coding and design to marketing and partnerships. Before starting Delicious Brains, Brad was a busy freelance web developer, specializing in front-end development. Brad also has a podcast which he co-hosts with Pippin Williamson called Apply Filters which is dedicated to WordPress development.
What you will learn from this episode:
- Delicious Brains has two successful products Migrate DB Pro and WP Offload S3
- Delicious Brains has now grown to eight full-time employees and is working on a new SaaS effort called MergeBot. (4:27)
- There is always the problem of how do you merge database changes from the local site to the live database? (7:30)
- When merging data in a database, most people keep track of all changes made and differences from the local to the live database. All these changes become the deployment list. (8:28)
- Developers have been asking for about four years for a way to merge local and live databases for their web customers.(9:50)
- Mergebot launched early and was created from requests made to the Delicious Brains support channels to address database changes between local and live databases. It is now in an open beta with a limited amount of seats. (11:03)
- The modifications that are made to Mergebot are prioritized through the support channel and then added to the beta to address the amount of pain that the customer is experiencing. (13:00)
- The limitation to Mergebot that needs to be addressed is the 1000 query limit and the multisite restriction. (16:46)
Building a SaaS (Software as a Service):
- There is hype around SaaS right now. (13:48)
- SaaS is a good fit for Mergebot because it provides a platform for collaboration for changes between users. (14:11)
- Changes to the database can be streamed to the cloud application where conflicts can be addressed. (15:00)
- Merging data is CPU intensive. (16:22)
- When selling products SaaS is a safer business model allowing you to get more money up front than you can from a WordPress plugin. (18:23)
- SaaS applications are often being offered with annual plans. This helps with having the cash needed for marketing your product up front. If customers do not renew the subscription, they will not have access to the software. (19:33)
- As more and more businesses are moving to SaaS you will see more sign-ups for annual subscriptions. (20:36)
- Starting a business from scratch without an existing customer base is difficult. (24:43)
Marketing Validation when consideration SaaS for Mergebot:
- The Mergebot launch relied on the current customer base of Migrate DB Pro. (28:38)
- When you are launching something new you are constantly making assumptions. (31:00)
- The beta of Mergebot is a charged service. You want the active participation of early adopters and have their commitment. (32:33)
- When you purchase Mergebot’s beta product, you also get invited to the Slack channel. This allows you to see what users are struggling with and to provide support when needed. (35:37)
- You can easily cancel the beta product if it is not what you anticipated.
- The first phase of the Mergebot beta was a “private” beta where the onboarding process was reviewed with clients. (37:00)
- Mergebot will do another round of feedback from customers before marketing a product launch. (43:44)
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