Don’t Start With Self-Serve

Ash Rust
1 min readMar 28, 2023
Video Below

Today, we’re talking about building a self-serve product as your first version. And I strongly recommend against it.

1. First and foremost — as a founder, building a self-serve app will not mean you can avoid sales tasks. Put that out of your mind. Outside of sales, fundraising, and recruiting are basically the same, so you will have to do it.

2. Now, you might dream of starting with a self-serve experience that everyone loves, but the reality is that your first versions will be bad, so it’s probably not a good idea to risk potential customers with a self-serve onboarding. Sell your product directly yourself and set up at least your first 10 customers by hand.

3. Once you have a manual setup working well and more than 50% of customers you’re signing up remain engaged, then it’s time to start thinking about automating your onboarding or customer success hiring.

Best of luck out there.

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