The Practical Founder Who Succeeded Where Funded Founders Failed

Big potential markets don’t always lead to startup success, even with big funding. Some big markets are tough to crack, especially big consumer markets.

For twenty years, I watched many entrepreneurs try to solve the “capture your life story and share it with your family.” problem.

None of those products and startups are still around.

It’s a big potential market with deep emotional hooks.

Spotting universal human problems doesn’t always lead to software products that people will use.

We all share smartphone photos and videos, but there still isn’t a popular way to capture our life stories, in our voices, for posterity.

Beth Sanders discovered this problem 20 years ago and created a simple website to see if people would use it.

When a local senior care center bought it for all their members to capture their stories, she and her husband built out a web app and called it LifeBio.

She kept selling to senior care centers and learned how it was being used. It seems like a simple problem, but it’s actually very complicated.

LifeBio grew slowly and they kept improving their web and mobile apps.

They added employees almost every year in their hometown outside Columbus, Ohio.

It was the opposite of the “Get Big Fast” VC-funded startup approach, despite the massive size of their potential market.

More like “Just Grow Slowly” and make your customers, users, and employees happy because you know and care about each of them.

More sustainable small business than a crazy startup experiment.

But they had the time and tries to figure out how to create a software product that actually works to solve a tricky problem. And AI is helping their products work better in 2023.

LifeBio has over 100 senior center customers and has helped thousands of real people capture and share their life stories in a meaningful way.

LifeBio has grown steadily and profitably to over $2 million in revenue with 48 employees. They are self-funded with a little angel funding.

They are on their way to fulfilling their big mission of helping people tell their life stories and share them with their own families.

Check out the interview with Beth on the Practical Founders Podcast.

It’s just one more way to play the SaaS growth game that works for the founders, customers, and employees.

Thanks for sharing your story, Beth!


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