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[其他] Bootstrapped, Profitable and Proud: Our Journey to $1,000,000+ ARR at Phusion

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如烟绕梁 发表于 2016-10-5 02:15:25
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If you're a long-time reader of Basecamp 's Signal vs Noise , chances are you have probably read one of their Bootstrapped, Profitable and Proud (BPP) articles. Those articles tell the stories of startups that have made $1,000,000+ in annual recurring revenue (ARR) without taking any VC investments .
  Inspired by those stories, we made it one of our personal goals to be featured there some day as well. After all, who wouldn't want to be featured on 37signals' blog right? And if it takes $1,000,000+ in ARR to get there, then game on!
   This article tells the story of how we managed to achieve this goal a little while ago. Even though Basecamp (nee 37signals) has stopped writing about BPP, we still wanted to make good on a promise we made to our younger selves. Special thanks goes out to David Heinemeier Hanson (DHH) for allowing us to do this under the BPP moniker. Like David, we hope these kinds of stories entice new entrepreneurs to try to do the same.
   Illustrations done by our very own Nick Visser
  Phusion's story

   Phusion is a software company dedicated to making awesome Unix solutions for highly demanding server environments. If you've ever set up a Ruby or Node.js server environment, chances are you may have already come across one of our solutions, e.g. Passenger , baseimage-docker or Union Station . Our company had much more humble beginnings though!
   
Bootstrapped, Profitable and Proud: Our Journey to $1,000,000+ ARR at Phusion-1 (personal,article,achieve,promise,revenue)

   Back in mid 2008, we envisioned Phusion as a web consultancy to allow us to fund our way through university . With only two laptops and about $500 in savings, we didn't have a lot of capital to work with when it came to customer acquisition. This required us to think outside of the box in trying to get our name out there while working within these constraints.
  When an opportunity presents itself...

   A few months earlier, we had the pleasure of working with the Ruby on Rails web framework for the very first time. Rails allowed us to write feature rich web apps in a matter of days rather than months. Deploying them however turned out to be a huge pain. It involved a lot of fiddling with settings and managing ports, which was a far cry from the "convention over configuration" mantra Rails itself maintained. Needless to say, it didn't take long for Hongli and myself to see an opportunity here to alleviate this pain.
   After a few months of pretty much non-stop work, we launched Phusion Passenger as an open source project. Passenger was the first Ruby application server of its kind to allow for easy deployment: no more fiddling with settings, just upload & go!
  By open sourcing Passenger, we aimed to draw in new business by lowering the barrier-to-entry in a cheap and efficient way. And what could be cheaper than making it free? As you can imagine, it didn't take long for Passenger to pick up some steam. Things got really crazy though once David Heinemer Hansson (creator of Rails) started to use Passenger at Basecamp as well. Before we knew it, we were considered the de-facto standard in Rails deployment, almost overnight.
  Railsconf: our most important conference that we almost couldn't afford attending

Bootstrapped, Profitable and Proud: Our Journey to $1,000,000+ ARR at Phusion-2 (personal,article,achieve,promise,revenue)

   Passenger's popularity even led to us being invited by our friend Chad Fowler to do a keynote at Railsconf in Portland . It's almost funny to think that even though Railsconf was the premiere IT conference for us to be at, we almost didn't make it out there due to insufficient funds. Paying for the flights alone would have put us out of business! This is the part where entrepreneurship and kindness come into play.
   After talking to some of our customers, we were able to strike a deal with Soocial . Soocial was a contact sync service that was run by my good friend Stefan Fountain before it was acquired by Viadeo. It also happened to be a Rails application that was deployed on Passenger. As luck would have it, they were looking to gain more exposure in the US market as well. That got us thinking: what if we were to use Soocial as a demo app for Passenger during our keynote? That would allow us to promote both Passenger and Soocial to the US market at the same time. In return, we would ask Soocial to cover our flights and hotel. Stefan saw this as a great marketing opportunity and agreed to our proposition.
  A generous and kind act like that is not quickly forgotten and we made sure to repay Stefan by pitching in for a new MacBook when his was stolen a few months later. The lesson we feel is important here, is that kindness should beget kindness; and that the world could use a lot more Stefans! Anyway, back to Railsconf!
  The Startup T-shirt™

  In the days leading up to Railsconf, things were starting to look up for us financially. Slowly but surely, voluntary donations were starting to come in from happy Passenger users! From $2 donations to $100 donations, we eventually received enough money to have the most important thing in startup land made: the infamous Startup T-shirt™. One hundred of them to be exact. And yes, that Phusion graffiti piece really was our logo for a short while! If you're going to be talking about your product on the big stage, you'd better look the part right?
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吐槽 发表于 2016-10-5 03:21:05
吐槽要成为整个酷辣虫最为脸熟之人!
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秋荷 发表于 2016-10-5 03:21:54
我就算是一只癞蛤蟆,我也决不娶母癞蛤蟆.
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张力军 发表于 2016-10-5 03:27:07
如烟绕梁摊上大事儿
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何鑫 发表于 2016-10-5 03:32:34
只吃楼主,撸过过经验,小伙伴们都惊呆了
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qjss 发表于 2016-10-5 06:32:44
如烟绕梁日后必成大器!
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涵雁 发表于 2016-10-5 09:21:19
楼上的这是啥态度呢?
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贴贴推一下ge 发表于 2016-10-5 10:32:58
此地禁止大小便,违者没收工具。  
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李明浩 发表于 2016-10-5 14:23:33
我知道在一个没有人的角落,楼主一边紧盯着屏幕,一边用颤抖的小手按着刷新,一遍一遍,零回复!又是零回复吗?楼主内心涌现出一种失望,眼神中透露着凄凉。是的,楼主,我理解你,这种冷落的感觉在这个地方太常见了,在这里该火的贴不会火,骗回复的帖子却永远被回复着。楼主的无奈我很懂,所以我来了,带来了经验,带来了人气,带来了零点几秒的首页显示。而我问楼主讨要的,仅仅是一层楼而已,是的,不用谢我,但请记住我,记住我来过。
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蒋东 发表于 2016-10-5 14:23:42
我真的不愿意用脚趾头鄙视你。但是,是你逼我这么做的!
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