TMBA 271: Understanding and Optimizing For Multiple Currencies: A Conversation with Patrick McKenzie

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Podcast 01:15:35 | Download | Stitcher | iTunes | Comment

Patrick McKenzie from Kalzumeus.com has been one of my favorite bloggers for over half of a decade. Patrick has a storied history of writing long-form pieces about the experiences of starting bootstrap software businesses, and is an expert at optimizing for non-cash currencies. In this week’s episode we dig deep into Patrick’s business philosophy, including how he has been able to build a powerhouse blog that is followed by some of the most influential people in the industry. We also talk about his expertise around conversion optimization and email marketing, how not to suck at giving conference speeches, and Patrick’s experience as a long-term expat in Japan.

Listen to this week’s show and learn:

  • How Patrick’s views differ from other people that write about software businesses.
  • What it means to have a “multi-dimensional” preference base.
  • Why joining a startup in your early 20’s might not be the best thing for you to do.
  • What motivated Patrick to talk about his story online.
  • How Patrick’s readers have used his knowledge to make millions of dollars.
  • Why there are so few foreigners in Japan, and what the startup scene is like there.

People on this episode:

Mentioned in the episode:

Patrick McKenzie – Marketing To Minorities – Business of Software 2010 from The BLN & Business of Software on Vimeo.

Listening options:

Thanks for listening to our show! We’ll be back next Thursday morning 8AM EST.

Cheers,

Dan & Ian

Published on 11.20.14
  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/sholaabidoye/ Shola Abidoye

    When is Patrick going to join the DC?! I remember exchanging a few emails with you Patrick (made some Hacker News posts that I liked + plus his prezi at the Business of Software). Here’s my first vote for patio11 speaking at DCBKK 2015 which I am planning to make!

  • http://www.osiaffiliate.com/ Robert Kilonzo

    Great interview; thanks for introducing Patrick to my world; he is someone every software entrepreneur should follow; definitely one of the best interviews from TMBA :)

  • http://jnconkle.com John Neil

    Cool episode as usual. Thanks Patrick for the mention of SAASter.

    Funny you mention the guitar blog post Dan, that and Charlie Hoehn’s post at 4HB have gotten me through nearly 3 weeks of daily practice :). Should have started way earlier

  • http://www.coreymcmahon.com/ Corey McMahon

    The point about Japan not being on the digital nomad’s / bootstrapper’s stopover list is an interesting one. I can definitely understand why it isn’t a hotspot like Thailand or Vietnam (language, cultural isolation, expense) – but at the same time I think people write it off too quickly.

    Tokyo is arguably one of the best cities in the world. It’s a megacity that inexplicably has managed to retain many of the benefits of smaller towns: it’s easily navigable, very clean, ridiculously safe and has lots of natural spaces conveniently located throughout the city.

    It’s also not as expensive as most people assume. Of course, as a capital city in a developed country you can spend A LOT of money if you want to… but you can also live quite affordably. After breaking down all the costs, I think you can live quite well in Tokyo for under $2000 / month ( http://coreymcmahon.com/japan-for-digital-nomads-and-bootstrappers/ )

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com/ Dan Andrews

    Shola totally agree the invitation has long been extended! :D

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com/ Dan Andrews

    hey Corey thanks for the link, I totally agree on the ‘not as expensive’ point in many ways Japan is a great value, and spot on point about retaining the benefits of a smaller town.

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com/ Dan Andrews

    hey John awesome to hear that!!!!

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com/ Dan Andrews

    totally agree Robert glad you enjoyed it!

  • http://conversioncake.com/ Kyle Gray

    I loved the heuristic for what are the few posts you would leave up if you had to take the rest down. The hyper specific and detailed posts seem fairly rare compared to all the top 10 lists out there. Good ideas!

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/sholaabidoye/ Shola Abidoye

    OKay so I’m about to share this on HN – who’s gonna like it?

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com/ Dan Andrews

    LIKE! :P

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com/ Dan Andrews

    Cheers Kyle thanks

  • Bryan

    I swear every couple of months I take a look at that blog post and say “I really need to get a guitar!” :)

  • Bryan

    Great post.. As someone who is deep into trying to figure out the email marketing puzzle it had some great takeaways. I’ll have to check out more from Patrick. Dan, great interview by the way. You’ve really stepped up your chops! :)

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com/ Dan Andrews

    thanks Bryan glad you enjoyed it! I defo had a great time talking with Patrick

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com/ Dan Andrews

    10 hours bro!

  • Pat D

    There’s always differing opinions on chasing passion or developing it. It was very interesting to hear Patrick say the product and business might be better if he was truly passionate about Appointment Reminder. You guys find the same with cat furniture/valet stand/mobile bars/the DC?

  • http://MakeWP.com/ Thomas Howard

    Awesome interview! Great to see Patrick on the TMBA!

  • Ashley

    Am I missing it? I thought you were going to link to that talk that Patrick did that you were raving about.

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com/ Dan Andrews

    Hmmm maybe we did, here’s the link:

    http://vimeo.com/96701548

    Thanks I’ll add it above!

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com/ Dan Andrews

    Thank you Thomas I really enjoyed it.

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com/ Dan Andrews

    This topic is so complex for me I’m not sure I know what I think. The short answer is that yes, it’s better to work on problems you really care about, but the ball there always seems to be moving. I loved solving the valet problem until I saw it come to a sort of fruition, a level of self-sustaining success. I guess there’s a good degree of personal challenge I’m seeking too. If that motivates you, it might make sense to find a business that can benefit from a broad range of your inputs. I default to Mark Cuban: follow your effort. A success often takes 5 years or more so the best bet is on what will sustain your best energy.

  • http://www.firegang.com/ Jacob Puhl

    Lots of gold. Great interview. Loved Patrick’s email to his first speaking gig. SWIPED!

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com/ Dan Andrews

    cheers Jacob!!!

  • http://boutiquejapan.com/ Andres Zuleta

    Corey, I’m with you man! Back in the day I used to live in central Tokyo for under $2K/month.

    Earlier this year I also lived in Kyoto for several months, and while my budget has increased, I always tell people it is really much less expensive than they imagine.

    We did a little post about this myth here, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg! http://boutiquejapan.com/is-japan-expensive/

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com/ Dan Andrews

    thanks for that Andres!

  • http://www.marketfit.net Gregory V. Diehl

    I hired Shola Abidoye, founder of Converport last April to help me create, publish, and market a bestselling book for $5,000. Unfortunately, after delaying everything six months past the due date, she decided to cut off all contact with me without delivering what I paid for.

    You can read the full details of my experience getting ripped off and scammed by Convertport here: http://www.borderlessblog.com/shola-abidoye-scam-inspired-me-write-self-publish-first-book/

    I have yet to receive even a partial refund for what I paid, and Ms. Abidoye publicly denies that I hired her to do these things. She has taken a very insulting and condescending tone to me or anyone who questions her about this incident.

    I know these are strong accusations I am making, and I am prepared to support them with emails and recorded calls if necessary. Please let me know if you have any questions or any suggestions for getting Shola to reach out to me so we can resolve this dispute.

    Because she has ignored all my attempts at peaceful resolution, I don’t see what other choice I have but to start warning others about her fraudulent behavior before I gather to evidence necessary to take her to court and try to get my money back.

    Gregory Diehl

    livefreeretiree@gmail.com

  • http://www.marketfit.net Gregory V. Diehl

    I hired Shola Abidoye, founder of Converport last April to help me create, publish, and market a bestselling book for $5,000. Unfortunately, after delaying everything six months past the due date, she decided to cut off all contact with me without delivering what I paid for.

    I have yet to receive even a partial refund for what I paid, and Ms. Abidoye publicly denies that I hired her to do these things. She has taken a very insulting and condescending tone to me or anyone who questions her about this incident.

    You can read the full details of my experience getting ripped off and scammed by Convertport here: http://www.borderlessblog.com/shola-abidoye-scam-inspired-me-write-self-publish-first-book/

    I know these are strong accusations I am making, and I am prepared to support them with emails and recorded calls if necessary. Please let me know if you have any questions or any suggestions for getting Shola to reach out to me so we can resolve this dispute.

    Because she has ignored all my attempts at peaceful resolution, I don’t see what other choice I have but to start warning others about her fraudulent behavior before I gather to evidence necessary to take her to court and try to get my money back.

    Gregory Diehl

    livefreeretiree@gmail.com

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