Sahil Lavingia started Gumroad in a weekend after trying to find a way to sell
an icon online for $1.

He couldn’t find the way… so he built one.

They now process over $5m per month in payments, generating over $400k of


This posts explains…

What truly set the big winners apart was their ability to turn initial success
into a sustained flywheel, even if they started out behind the pioneers – Jim
Collins, Good To Great

Jim Collins introduced the Flywheel Effect in his monumental business book Good
To Great.

Jeff Bezos popularized the concept with his version for Amazon

If we were to build a Flywheel for Gumroad, it would look a little like this:

A Creator signs up to the platform and creates a checkout page

The Creator promotes this page to their audience, driving traffic

This boosts word of mouth and SEO, bringing more Creators

This generates more cash flow for Gumroad, boosting morale and giving more
resources to create more and better tools for Creators

And then more Creators sign up

This is great.

Really great.

But there’s one big problem that faces every early-stage SaaS business…

How do you get the Flywheel turning?

What did Sahil do?

He sent a shedload of cold emails.

"People always ask me this, and the answer is always super boring: we sent a lot
of emails. That’s really it" – Sahil Lavingia

Thousands of cold emails.

Like most parents think their baby is cute, most SaaS founders think their
product deserves attention.

And this could be true, but attention hasn’t “come to you” on the Internet since
1997, you need to go and find it.

Once you have 1,000; 10,000; 100,000 people using your product then yes,
attention will come to you.

Until you get there…

Cold email.

Originally posted by Tom Hunt on Facebook