754
10 min 3 sec

Engineer Parses His Way To 2x Income

His first 25 side hustles failed … but on his 26th attempt, this software engineer ends up replicating the income from his day job.
Developer Hustle High Profit International SAAS SEO Service

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What It's About

An introverted engineer tries, tries, and tries again—eventually doubling his income.

Business Model
Service
Skills Required
Power of Observation & Development
Complexity
Medium
Profit Potential
High

Words of Wisdom

Success in the SaaS game is about solving ONE problem, extremely well. It’s about serving your customers better than your competitors. You cannot give up until you're 100% sure you cannot find customers. If you have one customer, get 10. If you get 10, I guarantee there are another 1000.

Fun Fact

SalesForce, a popular CRM (Customer-Relationship Management) platform, pioneered the SaaS business model and achieved massive success because of it. Founded in 1999, it now has yearly revenues of close to 9 billion dollars!

Notes from Chris

Episode 754
Courtenay Farquharson was desperate for a change. He’d been a software engineer for years, and work was taking a toll on him. He earned good money, but his work-life balance was non-existent. He felt dissatisfied, stressed, and unhealthy.

Things got even more complicated that year when he became a father to twin boys. Throw a lack of sleep into his already hectic life and something had to give.

So, he decided to start a side hustle with the goal of eventually escaping the rat race and having more time to be present with his young family.

This wasn’t the first time Courtenay tried side hustling. Since 2006, he’d launched 25 different projects. Everything from a social network to an e-commerce store—they all failed with only one earning even a single dollar.

You see, Courtenay was a self-confessed “wantrepreneur”. He had dreams of making it big and building a company like the famous entrepreneurs he’d read about. But up until now, he’d been unable to make the dream reality.

But this time, Courtney didn’t start with an idea—he started with a business model. He wanted to build a SaaS (Software as a Service) product. A SaaS is a program, run on the web, that customers pay a monthly fee to access. You probably already know some SaaS products. Dropbox, Slack, and Salesforce are common examples.

It’s a popular business model because it has recurring revenue. To build a successful SaaS product though, you need to solve a real problem for people. Something they need fixed time and time again, otherwise, they’ll stop paying. Research shows that it’s undesirable for customers to stop paying.

To find a suitable problem, Courtenay looked into his past as a software engineer and one particular thing stood out in his memory.

Several years ago, his company dealt with a client who wanted to email documents to a special address. Then, have that email scanned, the information extracted and added to their internal systems automatically. This is commonly referred to as parsing email.

For example, a restaurant may have a system to manage take away orders. But, orders come in via email through their website. Instead of manually reading the email and entering the order into their system. Software could read the email, parse the content, and add the order automatically so the chefs can get cooking immediately.

After a few months, Courtenay had a very basic version of his product ready. He called it Parserr, with a double R at the end—Parserrrrrr.

As of right now, Parserr is generating monthly revenue in the low five-figure mark, which, coincidentally, almost matches the income provided by his day job. But, Courtenay isn’t quitting work just yet.

He views Parserr as the culmination of his 12-year journey to launch a successful side project. Because of his willingness to keep experimenting, he now has significant recurring income, and the ability to make more of his own choices.

 
  MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Parserr: Turn emails into data—get Courtenay's SaaS application over on his website!

SEE ALSO:

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,

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Resources

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Quote of the Day
"This game is about solving ONE problem extremely well. And it's about serving your customers better than your competitors. Don't let them abuse you—just provide great service and value."
—Courtenay Farquharson #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau