Alex McClafferty, founder of WP Curve, understands what it takes to scale and succeed with a productized startup.
With WP Curve, he did while managing dozens of employees and servicing over 1000 clients simultaneously.
In this interview, Alex teaches us how he grew WP Curve from the stage of “infant startup” with a few clients (less than $500 per month), to a million-dollar run rate and then selling to GoDaddy (presumably for some multiple of that amount).
He also teaches us some of the crucial mistakes and challenges all growing businesses face, like analyzing your market, choosing a business that energizes you, and knowing how and when to phase yourself out of the business.
5 Top Takeaways You’ll Get From Listening:
- (13:05) The key investment many startups fail to recognize, and then regret. Alex discusses the one area he would want to spend more time, money and energy on.
- (21:44) Why jumping the gun can lead to failure—the kind of failure worth writing a blog article about.
- (20:19) Finding your first batch of clients in unexpected places. Learn how WP Curve’s first customers became their biggest advocates.
- (27:35) The importance of tapping into your business CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate). This is crucial to avoid hitting a growth plateau and only requires a bit of “napkin math”.
- (31:46) “Will you still love me in the morning?”. The majority of entrepreneurs struggle to maintain their interest in their business after the 1-year mark. Alex shares the key advice to having a startup you won’t get bored of.
- (13:50) Take time to explore your customer psyche. Look at what customers’ emotional state is based upon your product. When your customers say that your product is “life changing”, this creates the opportunity to urge them to spread the word.
- (18:40) Don’t underestimate the value of giving some of your products away for free… You’ll reap the rewards 2-3 months later when those downloads become long term clients.
- (19:35) Evaluate your product and business model from every angle. Is it useful? Does it provide value? Does it create a way for people to spread the word? You may also find that your skillset is highly marketable, but is being pointed at the wrong market.
- (30:00) Keep your focus on what’s in front of you. As entrepreneurs, we have a tendency to quickly jump from one product to the next. Resist the urge to jump ship for the “next big thing” that excites you. If you plan on growing and scaling your business, you’ll need to focus on the less exciting aspects.
- (34:10) Have a solid escape plan. Don’t fall into the trap of waiting until the last minute to create a plan to phase yourself out of the business. Implement your “escape plan” from the start and know exactly what your role in your company will be in the future.
Alex referred to some important books, courses, and lessons that helped him shape his business model.
- (8:54) “The 4-Hour Workweek” by Timothy Ferris (Book)
- (11:15) The Reforge Program by Brian Balfour (Program)
- (21:44) The WP Curve White Label Failure (Blog Post)