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Kind Business

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Growing up watching my parents run a small family business made some lasting impressions on me.

First and foremost: the importance of taking care of your customers. They didn’t charge a whole lot for their services, but bent over backwards to serve their customers, often working weekends, and rarely taking a vacation. While I don’t think that’s especially healthy, that focus on customer service stuck with me, and evolved into a strong user advocacy in any products I’m involved with.

Reinforcing this is the difference that size makes. There are excellent, caring people in every business, but I can’t agree more with this post that as a company grows, the less likely their customers feel looked after. “Don’t scale past the number of users that you can excellently serve,” Sam writes, and that has become a mantra for me. I don’t want a million customers — while that would probably mean a life-changing amount of money, I couldn’t excellently serve them all.

It’s also important to realize that your business is a member of a community — many communities, really. Beyond the community of customers I serve, there’s the community of other developers whose advice and whose products make it possible for me to build my own business. There’s the community of people in Montreal that, often behind the scenes, help keep me going.

I try to operate this business openly because it lets me share as much as possible with those community. Because it builds trust. The main reason that I want to bring this business to profitability is so I can continue serving all these communities that it’s a part of.

Beyond that, I’d love to get to a point where I can (financially) give back. Justin at Buttondown —whose service I use to send newsletters— not only shares the business’s running costs, but has committed to giving back 10% of profits to the open-source software projects that enable the business to run. That’s amazing, and I want to be able to do the same.

The takeaway is that I want Dropped Bits to:

I’m really fortunate to be able to do any of this, and even more fortunate that some people are willing to pay for what I do.

(If you want to help me get there, consider buying Thought Detox on the App Store!)

Buy Thought Detox on the App Store

An Update on Updates

It made sense to write updates once a week as I was launching Thought Detox, but I’m going to scale that back now to two updates per month: the usual business updates on the first Wednesday of the month, and a second update two weeks later — like this one.