Dozens of product experiments finally produced another hit

Hamid Shojaee is one of the most well-known, successful, and generous entrepreneurs in the Arizona tech community.

Hamid explains the most important lessons he learned building the two software companies he successfully sold in 2021, Axosoft and Pure Chat, on the Practical Founders podcast this week.

  • One startup started in 2002; the other in 2012
    One self-funded the whole way; the other with $1M angel funding
    One company sold with M&A banker help; the other without help

Hamid is a savvy product builder and company creator.

But he is practical about the benefits and challenges of the many ways you can fund a startup. He has bootstrapped, self-funded, and raised money from investors.

Check out the Practical Podcast interview with Hamid.

Hamid’s second startup try was Axosoft, a popular project management and bug-tracking software for developers. Launched in 2002, it was a bootstrapped and revenue-funded software company. It grew profitably for years until it met stiff competition despite active efforts to grow.

Dozens of product innovation experiments finally produced a hit, the popular software GitKraken, which created the momentum for a great exit for Axosoft.

Hamid is a technical founder who loves building great products and the great teams needed to build those products. He loves the “product-led growth” model, but he never calls it that. 🙂

In this episode, Hamid shares some hard lessons learned:

  • How he and his team experimented to test new product ideas and don’t invest until they prove real user traction (DAUs)
  • The challenges of raising money from investors who want faster revenue traction too early in the product-led growth cycle
  • When should you monetize your freemium software product?
  • The challenges of not being the dominant leader in your market in the long-run
  • Selling one business to a strategic buyer without help: selling the other business to a financial buyer using an M&A investment banker
  • What changed in his life after selling two companies for life-changing wealth in 2021
  • Why he’s starting and building another software company

Ironically, Hamid bootstrapped and self-funded most of his software companies and product experiments, but now he’s one of the most active angel investors in Arizona.

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