Second Edition Starting & Sustaining A system to help you build and launch a web application with less pain and fewer mistakes.

You’d like to build a web app but aren’t sure where to start. For every question you have, there’s two more you don’t even know to ask. You could really use a trail guide for SaaS that could help you make informed decisions.

Don’t waste days making the same mistakes I did. Instead, spend an afternoon absorbing eight years of experience so you can avoid the mistakes I made the hard way.

Read the first edition for free on Medium right now. No strings attached. Or, if Twitter is more your speed, you can follow along on Twitter too.

Is it right for me?

If you're intersted in starting a software business, and even if you're already a few years in, it's probably right down your alley. It's not overly technical, and it is platform agnostic. Whether you're a designer, developer, or playing another role in start a software business, Starting and Sustaining will help you understand the big picture and side-step countless mistakes that I made.

Just started a SaaS company or are considering it? This new book from @garrettdimon is loaded with practical advice. Dave Greiner Cofounder of Campaign Monitor

Section I: Starting How do you choose the right idea? Do you need cofounders? Where can you find them? How long will it take for the business to support me? How much money do I need? Does location matter? What about the logistics of running a business? How do you validate your idea? And more. Lots more.

Section II: Building Are you building a codebase that will age gracefully? Are you designing a process that will enable you to learn and iterate quickly? Are you investing in continuous integration and continuous deployments? How do you know if you're either over or under-engineering your application's architecture? How do you evaluate vendors? What curveballs are likely to derail your efforts? How do you know which features to work one? Should you build or buy the tools and services you need? What are you doing to invest in marketing and starting to build interest in your application?

Section III: Launching Are you paying too much attention to your competition? Should you launch or add that one last feature? How can you run a successful alpha or beta period? What do you do with the feedback, and how do you prioritize it? Should you invest in paid advertising to pbulicize your launch? What are the best ways to reach your first customers?

Section IV: Sustaining Do you know how to handle mistakes and customer communication when something goes wrong? Are you prepared to handle customer support? What should you do when growth plateaus? What about insurance? What can you do if people sign up but don't stick around or nevery pay? What should you do about chargebacks or fraud? How do you notify customers of updates? How do you scale as the business grows?

Section V: Selling Is your business healthy enough to sell? How much is the business worth? How long would it take to sell? What do you need to do to prepare to sell it? Should you use a broker? What does the process look like? How do you transition the business to a new owner? How long will the new owner need your help running it?

If you’re starting a new web business, I recommend Starting & Sustaining by @garrettdimon. Great read by a great guy. Des Traynor Cofounder of Intercom

We're just scratching the surface…

These summaries touch on only a few points that you may or may not have considered. There are countless other facets of both building a business and running a software business that can help you cut days, weeks, or even months off of your timeline. Other techniques and tactics can help you reach more customers, lower costs, and simply enjoy your work more. Eight years after launching Sifter, three years of dealing with medical issues, and a year of selling the business has given me a lot of perspective on where I went wrong. Starting and Sustaining can help you fast forward past those mistakes so you can focus on the things that really matter.

For those looking to get into SaaS applications: Starting and Sustaining by Garrett is a must read. Nathan Barry Author and Founder of ConvertKit

Who wrote it?

Howdy. My name is Garrett Dimon, and I spent eight years pouring myself into Sifter, a hosted web application. It didn’t made me a millionaire, and you're never going to hear about it on TechCrunch or Mashable. It did, however, grow into a comfortably profitable business. After several years of medical issues, I sold it, but not before learning a ton about building and running a software business.

Starting and Sustaining is the culmination of the lessons learned building, running, and ultimately selling the business. During my time as a solo founder, I made plenty of mistakes and learned lessons the hard way, and I'd like to help you make the same journey with a little more comfort and a lot less stress. Starting and Sustaining isn’t prescriptive advice. It’s a trail guide. It documents the path and your options so you’re able to make more informed decisions that are right for you and your business.

But don't take my word for it. See what others are saying.

Photo of Garrett Garrett

Slides 59 and 60 are worth $X0,000+ to SaaS companies. Run one? Want to? Buy the book, too. Patrick McKenzie Working for Stripe on Atlas
You must read this book if you are starting a SaaS business. Packed with advice and lessons learned by Garrett. Chris Nagele Cofounder of Beanstalk, DeployBot, and Postmark
The spreadsheet in Starting & Sustaining is easily my favorite SaaS business tool for budgeting...ever. Josh Pigford Founder of Baremetrics
Just finished reading Starting and Sustaining. Great book on all the things to consider when launching. Brandon Hilkert CTO at Bark
As an early stage start-up founder myself, I'm finding all of Garrett's insights extremely helpful. It's saved us hours of disruption, and wasted time. If you are ready to take your idea, or side project to the next level and beyond, do yourself a favour and grab a copy. Worth every penny. James Deer Founder of GatherContent
I’ve been using Starting and Sustaining to help me launch my new web apps and it’s great resource. Scott Nixon Cofounder Meal Mentor
Just finished “Starting and Sustaining” by @garrettdimon. Highly recommend it. Andy Johnson Cofounder of Harpoon
OK, I haven't even had a chance to crack open the book yet, and I'd already pay twice this price—just for the spreadsheet alone. I built a crappy version of this spreadsheet for myself and it took me hours. This is a steal for anyone who's even half-way serious about a SaaS business. Amy Hoy Cofounder of Freckle
Starting & Sustaining by @garrettdimon is solid. If you are starting a new company, it will save you a TON of time. Todd Garland Founder of BuySellAds
This is the first book I’ve ever eagerly awaited, and I was blown away by a draft Garrett sent me. Buy this right now. Brennan Dunn Founder of Planscope
The new playbook for launching your web app: @garrettdimon's ebook is loaded with practical and applicable advice. Tyler Rooney Cofounder of Format
As a founder of a successful startup, this book highlighted so many gaps in the way I went about setting up my startup initially. For my next startup, I'm following this recipe to save time, money and loads of rookie mistakes. Adii Pienaar Founder of Conversio
Think the package is expensive? I can tell you the included spreadsheets alone are worth the price, and will pay for themselves. Kyle Fox Product Developer at Coach
…the accompanying spreadsheet has to be seen to be believed. While it's an incredibly useful tool for planning and measuring your business, it's also the most beautifully designed spreadsheet I've ever seen. Wade Winningham Developer Extraordinaire
I spent about six hours doing a basic P&L for a SaaS product I was considering building. Garrett's sheet is far more detailed and would have saved me hours of time. He's truly thought through it all. A steal at twice the price! Brandon Savage Author of Mastering Object Oriented PHP
If you’re thinking about starting a SaaS company then @garrettdimon Starting and Sustaining product is what you need. Paul Scrivens aka Scrivs
Finally found space to read @garrettdimon's Starting & Sustaining. Very good. Worth the cash, worth the time. Paul Love Front-end Developer
Starting+Sustaining by @garrettdimon is an invaluable resource for when starting and/or running a web project. Teddy Zetterlund Head of Product at Lä
Started (and finished) @garrettdimon’s book today, and it’s really really good. Marc Amos Partner at The Outfit
If you're building or running a SaaS product, @garrettdimon's book is a must-read. Luke Miler Founder of Little Big Make
Starting & Sustaining is easily the best book I’ve read about running a web app so far. Andreas Zecher Founder of Promoter
Even if Garrett wasn't a friend and Sifter wasn't a part of our workflow, I'd still tell you to go pick this up. Aaron Mentele Partner at Electric Pulp
Just got to laugh at Starting & Sustaining from @garrettdimon, insane value for money if you're launching/running a web app. Chad Tomkiss
If you're into building software products, Starting & Sustaining by @garrettdimon is a no-brainer. There's something in there for everyone. Nick Zadrozny