Every Practical Founder Story is Different and There is No Template

Every time I talk to a successful practical SaaS founder I hear about a different way to start, build, and scale a modern software company.

Unlike the VC “Get Big Fast” startup game, there’s no template you have to follow when you bootstrap or have practical investors that let you do it your way.

Every founder is different. Different businesses, personalities, ideal customers, customer acquisition models, cultures, locations, founder personalities, and time frames.

There are infinite ways to create valuable software companies. And then you can sell it someday or just keep growing it.

That’s the practical founder way. Do it your way.

Do what works for you and your customers and your employees.

I’m always curious about these individual practical founder stories.

But sometimes I’m astonished when I hear a founder’s story.

Not about how big and successful a practical software startup became, but how improbable the founder’s journey was from where they started to where they are now.

Like the story Josh Haynam told me on the Practical Founders Podcast last week.

I can hear the surprise in my own voice during the podcast interview:

“Really? You did that? Nobody does that, Josh.”

“Yep,” he says quietly. Again and again.

Josh is the co-founder and CEO of Interact, the original quiz-maker software that small business owners use to improve lead conversion on their websites.

They are approaching $3 million ARR with 11 employees after almost 10 years in business.

They are feeling pretty good about where they are now, as they should. It’s a great growing business with happy customers and amazing employees.

But it wasn’t so easy to get there.

“Hard” isn’t even the word. More like “improbable” or “uncommon.”

Every step had an improbable obstacle and an unlikely solution.

These obstacles would have stopped most founding teams, but somehow Josh and his team stuck with it.

The biggest surprise is they kept working at it when times were really lean. They kept figuring things out when a new crisis hit. Again and again.

Interact wouldn’t be around if he took outside funding from VCs as his struggling competitors did.

Josh’s journey is one of the most surprising demonstrations of tenacious entrepreneurial resilience I have heard in a long time.

And he gained wisdom and humility beyond his years as a result.

Listen to Josh’s improbable story on the Practical Founders Podcast this week.

I know Josh’s story will inspire you to keep going when times get hard and to stick to your gut when you know it’s right for you.

Thanks for humbly sharing your improbable story, Josh. Congrats on getting to a great place in your business with a bright future.


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