This Founder Went from Failed SaaS Launch to $10 Million ARR
Christian Owens is founder and CEO of Paddle. Paddle is a SaaS product that helps other software companies sell their products. It provides checkout, subscriptions, taxes, licensing, and insights in one unified platform.
Christian learned to build websites when he was 12 years old. He started walking into local businesses and asking them if they wanted a website. Some business owners just laughed at him, but others hired him to do the job.
At the age of 15, Christian built an invoicing application for Mac. But he had no idea how to sell software and no money to spend on marketing. So he started contacting other people with Mac products and persuaded them to do a special 2-week promotion where they'd combine all their products into a heavily discounted bundle and promote that to all their existing customers.
The promotion was a huge success and they made over $400,000 in sales in 2 weeks. At the age of 16, Christian dropped out of school and focused 100% on this business and kept running these bundle promotions. By the time he was 18, he had already made his first million dollars.
In 2012, Christian founded Paddle with his co-founder Harrison. They wanted to make it easier for software companies to sell their products. But they quickly realized that they had a big problem and it seemed like no one wanted their product.
Things weren't looking good, but they kept at it. And one day they had a surprising insight about their product. They realized that most of their customers only cared about one feature. They didn't want everything else.
And that insight led to the founders throwing away 90% of the product and focusing on that one feature.
Today Paddle generates over $10 million in annual recurring revenue. And Christian at the age of 24 has become CEO of a company with over 140 employees.
In this interview you'll learn exactly what the co-founders did to take a business that looked like it was going to fail and turn it into 8-figure SaaS business.
It's a great story and I hope you enjoy it.
- “The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers” by Ben Horowitz