Josh Pigford

Maker. Dabbler. Founder of Baremetrics. Purveyor of Cedar & Sail. Building Droptune & Rockburg. Bearded.

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Baremetrics: Stripe Analytics

Being able to build out your ideas is both a blessing and a curse. Generally speaking, I can bring a basic incarnation of pretty much any idea I have to life in a matter of hours, days or weeks.

Most of these ideas are borne out of problems that I personally need solving, so the nice part of that is even if no one else needs it, I still get value out of my time.

Thankfully, one of these spur-of-the-moment ideas that I brought to life in just a couple of weeks, quickly got some traction.

Introducing Baremetrics

A week ago today I launched Baremetrics, which is zero-setup, one-click Stripe analytics.

My problem with other analytics services out there is they all require pretty extensive setup, and I never felt like I’d done it correctly. And even then, ongoing if I didn’t properly get all business metrics added, then it would throw everything off.

After chewing on my problem a bit, I...

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Reentry is hard. We were out for barely a week and the internal reaction I had when we returned to the States nearly made me sick.

Recently my wife and I spent about 7 days in Sajcavilla, Guatemala with a team of about 20 people to do a medical clinic. Ashley and I helped out with getting people reading and prescription glasses. It was amazing.

We were able to help people, young and old, see clearly, some for the first time ever. Many of these people were legally blind and the glasses we where able to give them changed that. It was the greatest feeling to see them put on the glasses and then just sit there and slowly stare around the room taking in all that they could finally see.

The people of Sajcavilla are poor. They live on less than $1 a day. Most of them live in tin shacks on the side of a mountain with little access to clean water. Many of them never have more than a few corn...

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Customers don’t want what’s best, they want what they want

Like it or not, your customers don’t want what’s best. They want what they want.

I’ve been running PopSurvey for almost two years. If you’re not familiar with PopSurvey, it is opinionated survey software. We don’t compete on features, we compete on simplicity. Our selling point is that we get you a higher response rate and keep your users from hating you for sending them a survey that rivals the ACT.

But to help you create surveys that your users will actually want to take, we have to put some limitations on things (we don’t call them “limitations”…that’d really kill the marketing…but for practical purposes, that’s what they are).

You can’t create a multiple choice question with more than five options. Why? Because people don’t read more than that. Yes, I know you want to add 19 options, but the fact is, your respondents will literally ignore them.

You want to add 3 paragraphs of...

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Kill the Free: How to Increase Revenue by 40%

A couple of days ago I tweeted the following…

Dropped our free plan, dropped the trial period, dropped our cheapest plan and doubled our prices. Result? 40% increase in revenue.

That seemed to strike a chord with quite a few people, many of whom are also shooting in the dark trying to figure out how to make their businesses succeed.

So, I thought I’d expand on those 21 words I tweeted to offer a little more insight and thoughts on the matter.

Pricing and the Survey Industry

My tweet referred to a change we made about a month ago on PopSurvey. At its core, PopSurvey is just another player in the vast online survey industry. Yes, it absolutely changes the way people create and take surveys; but, at the end of the day, we’re competing with the thousands of other businesses in that space.

When you’re in an industry that’s so crowded, you spend a lot of time fighting comparisons. “So...

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Desensitization and Unbalance: I’m Taking a News Sabbatical

I’m taking a month off from reading or watching the news. Maybe longer.

I’m a bit of a news junkie in that I find myself checking news sites probably a dozen times a day. It’s part habit, part entertainment and part curiosity. But more and more I find myself annoyed and really kind of disgusted with traditional media.

Last week The Guardian (surprisingly) published News is bad for you – and giving up reading it will make you happier and it really snapped a lot of things in to perspective for me. Things that, upon reading the article, seemed obvious but just hadn’t clicked before.

There are two things that really bother me about my little news addiction…enough so that I feel I need to take some time off from consuming it, possibly permanently.

It’s Desensitizing

When the news started spreading about the Boston Marathon bombings, I immediately started checking as many news sources as...

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We Need a Culture of Feature Killing

The buzzword (or letters, as it were) of the past year or two in the startup world has been “MVP"…minimum viable product. You should shove out the smallest version of your product just to get something out there and get real humans using the thing.

In general, I agree with that. The sooner (and faster) you can get something out there, the better. But what typically gets ignored with "shipping it fast” is “killing it fast.”

The focus is still very much on features and just piling them on. Get something out there with a basic feature set, then use customer feedback to add more features. The emphasis is on “expanding” the product, and less on “refining.” That needs to change. We need a culture not of shipping it fast, but of killing it fast.

So. Much. Clutter.

Over the past couple of years, my wife and I have been on a bit of a mission to de-clutter our lives. We’ve cut our wardrobes...

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TrackThePack: The Final Shipment

The headline is admittedly a bit dramatic, but I needed something clever…and that’s pretty dang clever.

Last night I sent an email out to over 20,000 TrackThePack users letting them know that as of March 31, TrackThePack will cease to exist.

TrackThePack was launched back in 2006 while Ashley and I owned Fugitive Toys. We had dozens of shipments of toys coming in at any given time from all over the world, and I wanted to be able to keep track of them all to know if there were any delivery issues and when to expect a bunch of huge boxes being left outside our apartment door.

It started as an internal tool, but I eventually released it to the public, and it became a pretty fun project to watch grow. Initially it was just a little side project, but as it became more expensive to run, I decide to try a few things to monetize it.

But as you’d guess, since I’m shutting it down, none of...

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Freelancers: How to Get Paid

Back in April of this past year, Freelancers Union launched a weeklong campaign to bring to light the plight of many freelancers around the globe: not getting paid. They called it, “The World’s Longest Invoice” and freelancers could post their name, along with the job they’d done and the amount they had been stiffed for by their deadbeat client.

In one week’s time, nearly $16 million in unpaid work had been posted. A pretty epic amount, and although exactly $0 of it was verifiable, it did a great job of showing the side of freelancing that people don’t like to talk about that much: running your business.

While I felt bad for all these thousands of freelancers, I couldn’t help but shake my head and think of all the ways all of these people could have avoided being owed anywhere from a few hundred bucks to over $100k. As mad as you want to be at the scum that screwed all of these people...

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Don’t Be That Guy: Why Bailing on Clients is Low Class

I’ve been hearing a good bit lately from current and propspective clients who say something like, “Our previous designer went MIA” or “The previous developer stopped answering our emails.”

Each time, I literally cringe. If you’re a freelancer of any sort, leaving a client hanging mid-project without any communication is never okay. You’re in client services…the business of serving clients. To bail like that means you’ve failed miserably.

I understand that clients can sometimes be extremely demanding, but whenever I’ve had a bad experience with a client, it’s usually because they didn’t have a good understanding of the process. In which case, that’s my fault as the “expert.”

It’s your job to be a communicator. If the project is starting to hit the fan, then you need to talk about it. Dropping off the map and acting like your client never existed is low class. Don’t be that guy.

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Music Subscription Services Have Ruined New Music…And I Love It

One year ago I started using Rdio exclusively. Meaning a year ago I completely scrapped my iTunes library (literally moved all my music to an external drive just to store it), and started using Rdio for all my music listening needs. Unfortunately, Rdio has now ruined new music for me.

A year ago, Rdio’s selection of music wasn’t quite as great as it is now and for a month or so I gave Spotify a try. Ultimately Spotify’s UI made me want gouge my eyes out, so I switched back (the premise here is the same for any music streaming service). Now there are very few things that I want that Rdio doesn’t have, so I’m perfectly happy with it as a replacement for owning music.

Previously, every Tuesday when new albums were released, I’d spend at least a couple of hours in the iTunes store listening to every preview of every song of any new album I might be interested in. Then, after having...

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