Binpress Postmortem

For over 5 years, my life revolved around growing my previous company, Binpress. In the months since we found a buyer for it, I've had some time to think about why it failed. Now that we've sold the company, I wanted to reflect on the journey my co-founder and I had with the company, from struggling to get users, getting to $30k in monthly revenue, raising a seed round and eventually selling the company on a down note.
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Binpress launched and a programming contest

I'm excited to announce that we launched Binpress (I'm a co-founder), a marketplace for source-code where web developers can buy and sell source-code from each other.

To kick start our launch, we've organized a programming contest with over $40k in cash and prizes, sponsored by companies such as Google, Amazon, PayPal and Zend. Check out the contest site, and join if you think you have what it takes - the contest will run until 24th of Feb., so get cracking!

Software licenses for dummies

The legal aspects of selling software are, for the most part, pretty vague for most developers. During preparations for launching our software market, Binpress, I absorbed a lot of information from our very good copyright  attorney and got to understand much better the nuances of software licensing. Here are some of the lessons I learned.

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Client development – think partners, not employers

Saying there is a lot of variation in the field of web development would be a huge understatement. You have everything from anonymous freelancers to large known firms, several hundred dollar budgets to several hundred thousand dollar budgets (and more).

How much does it cost to build a website? what does building a website entails? there are no universal answers to those questions.

Client: "Enough talking, let's get down to business. What will 50$ get me?"
Brad: * looks at wrist watch *
Brad: "About 5 more minutes of my time."
Brad Colbow on Time

In fact, there is so much variation, that a recent client told us post-project completion that when he was shopping around for offers from various firms, he got offers between 2000$ and 60,000$. That's a factor of 30 between offers!

He picked us since we conveyed the best value (quality / price) of all offers, even though he had much cheaper offers (we were about midway in the range). All things being equal, all he had was his gut-feeling and our resume to guide him. That is, if we didn't engage in client development.
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