We move so fast here on the show, that we often don’t have the time to look back and reflect. This big bets series reminded us of one of my favorite podcast interviews with Sahil Lavingia, Founder of Gumroad and Funder shl.vc.
He joined the show in August of 2019, to share the story of bringing his company Gumroad back from the brink of failure, laying off 75% of the staff, and building a product hyper-focused on value, not growth.
Since then we’ve seen Sahil take many bets — the big one? Embracing what it means to be a minimalist founder. Gumroad is growing, he’s written a book, and he bought out investors, check out the link below to see what all he’s been up to.
- There’s no shame in going back to the basics and build a better product
- It wasn’t about building a product to grow, it was about building a product to help the end user
- When you get to a level of profitability, you can experiment
- Your market determines your growth
Things to Listen For:
- [01:50] The refocus of Gumroad
- [04:15] What created the shift to go from plateauing to growing
- [07:06] Pivoting to user-led product development
- [08:17] Would Sahil advise to ship new features slower?
- [09:39] The shift Gumroad took
- [11:15] When experimentation makes sense
- [12:13] Hindsight is 2020
- [12:57] Open transparencies are not a gimmick
- [15:23] The impact of being an active member of the community
- [16:49] “You can have the greatest product, but really it’s your market that determines your growth.”
- [17:53] What does better product mean to Sahil?
- Sahil has started investing in early-stage tech startups
- Gumroad has been killing it: See growth of the creator economy
- Sahil recently released a book about being a minimalist founder
- Sahil bought out investors and still has not taken investment for Gumroad, but he raised $5M through equity crowdfunding of over 8,000 people