Practical Founders Podcast

#48: Built, Grew, Sold, and Kept Growing a Construction Software Company – Sam Knight

Sam Knight is the co-founder and former president of BOLT Software, a project management and scheduling software for the construction trades that build residential homes. Sam helped lead the BOLT team as it grew before the company was sold and now he guides the BOLT product in the larger company.

BOLT was created in 2015 after years of internal use at a large Dallas-based electrical contractor. Cofounder Josh Causey brought in Sam Knight to spin out and run BOLT as a separate software company and grow the customer base and improve the product. Through 2020, the company grew to over $1M in recurring revenues before it was acquired in 2020 by Fort Worth-based ECI Solutions to expand its construction software offering.

Built by the trades for the trades, BOLT is a SaaS solution that simplifies project management, scheduling, and estimating for new home construction subcontractors (electricians, painters, plumbers, etc.). BOLT helps those subcontractors truly manage their teams: from rescheduling due to unforeseen delays to scheduling out multiple crews simultaneously.

Best quote from Sam:

“Don’t worry about storytelling for your startup. Just focus on building an awesome product that people really like. Focus on your net promoter scores. Focus on standard long-term normal business procedures where you take care of your customers and you build them a fantastic product. Too many people spend too much mental energy on storytelling.

“Who do you want to tell your story? Do you want to say it or do you want your customers to say it? We just want our customers to tell our story. And then you just can’t you can’t argue with that. 

“When you have developed those original evangelistic customers, they are going to do the legwork for you and advocate for you. It’s worth it to do whatever it takes to actually build them the products that they want.”

In this episode, Sam explains:

  • How the software was created to serve a large section of the homebuilding industry
  • How they focused on selling to bigger contractors to get to $1M ARR
  • Why they sold BOLT to ECI Solutions for a strategic valuation
  • How the BOLT business works now inside ECI Solutions



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Greg Head recorded this on episode on June 2, 2023 for the Practical Founders Podcast see all of the episodes.

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