Building Software in Public

I’ve been relatively silent about my SaaS side product, Munchkin Report.

Well, that’s about to change: I’ve decided to post everything I do—marketing, sales, customer development, engineering, etc.—publicly here on my blog. Let’s see what happens!

This is a big step outside my comfort zone. Then why do it? Well, because every time I see someone open up their books (Patrick McKenzie, Pat Flynn, Nathan Barry), their candor only accelerates growth.

So, here goes nothing…

Munchkin Mascot

Current status

I launched the sales site a couple of weeks ago and I’m trying to build an early access list and generate traffic and buzz while continuing to work on the application (which is about 60% code complete).

I’m building an audience from scratch with the help of my wife, Melissa, who’s my co-founder and an extremely talented writer with lots of great things share with our target audience of busy parents. She’s our secret inbound marketing weapon. I will not write any more application code until I have at least 50 people on the early access list.

My biggest obstacles

I have a fairly demanding day job, which I really enjoy. I’m a marketing director for a fast growing software company and I manage a team of people, and I refuse to let my side projects interfere with my full-time gig. I also have a fairly busy family life, so I’m lucky if I can eek out 6-8 hours of work per week on Munchkin Report.

Despite being stretched dangerously thin, I’m simultaneously writing a marketing ebook called Mastering HubSpot. I know this is a bad idea, guys. All of the smart people I talk to say to go all-in on one thing at a time. Focus, Rob! But I’m hoping I can juggle for just a couple of months until the book is done and hopefully yields me a quick win. Famous last words.

What I’ve done already

  1. Coded and designed about 60% of the web application (Ruby on Rails)
  2. Wrote copy for, designed, and launched the sales site
  3. Published 2 blog posts and shared them on social media (to essentially no one)
  4. Created a Twitter account, Facebook page, and Pinterest page
  5. Followed a bunch of relevant people (mostly mommy/parenting bloggers) on Twitter
  6. Began compiling a list of influencers in my niche (with name, email, date of last contact)
  7. Commented on a few relevant blog posts and forum threads to build my reputation/become

Next week

  1. Post and promote 3 more blog posts
  2. Pitch a guest blog post to a couple of target blogs
  3. Create and publish a free printable daily activity sheet PDF with Munchkin Report branding Stay tuned for more updates, which I hope to publish weekly.

I’ll probably do the same for my ebook. I hope this keeps me accountable and also inspires other bootstrappers that are following along to forge ahead.