Well, here’s an unexpected update for those of you who have been following my GapScout journey for the past year or so…
Summary: My heart is not into it, and after a lot of reflection, I have decided to exit the business. I’m currently working with some folks on a buyout and/or licensing. I have transitioned to coaching founders.
Software is fun, but it sucks, too. What I find most fun about it is building a brand, competing, and marketing. And since August 2022, I’ve been doing my thing from that standpoint, and it was working!
Through content marketing alone, it has gained a lot of traction! Thousands of visitors to the site each month, and 10-20 daily sign-ups for the email list, which has thousands of folks on it as well. Had some moments where it went viral on Reddit, too. People want what GapScout has to offer!
But the other side of the coin: software is emotionally draining. At least for me.
I encountered many hurdles over the past year. We overcame them, but each time it made me question… “why am I even doing this?”
I would lament these issues with my wife, Lorena, as I began to seriously question why I was choosing to have this stress in my life (she was incredibly patient with me).
Because that’s the thing… Doing GapScout was a choice. I didn’t need to be building a software company. After I sold my first company, I had many options, including doing nothing.
The final straw came when G2 sent me a letter saying I couldn’t analyze their very public reviews without a licensing agreement. At first, I thought, “Okay, no biggie, there’s got to be a solution”.
I spoke with lawyers and with their legal team. Here’s the thing: G2 (and similar sites) have been rewriting their T&Cs to limit AI analysis of ANY kind to protect their investors. It’s insane. They can technically sue you even if you manually review the content on their site and document any themes or insights on a pad of paper. Like… what?!
Nonetheless, we found the solution, and that was to pay G2 (and similar sites) a licensing fee. They were cool with that, as you would expect. So, I was at a crossroads…
- Option 1: continue forward with the project, paying yearly fees to these sites.
- Option 2: back out now, and sell.
I took a few weeks to discuss with Lorena, and I landed on exiting the business.
I’m confident that the end of GapScout will sort itself out in some capacity. I’m done stressing about it. The project had it’s fun parts (i.e. marketing and growing the brand), but I’m moving on.
If you’re interested in purchasing GapScout (the website and/or the software platform, please contact me at: email@example.com
Okay, so what’s next then?
One thing this journey taught me is to choose to spend my time doing whatever makes me happy. And something I’ve always been energized by helping other founders overcome challenges.
I have done this informally for years, both during and after my big exit of my first software company.
It’s fun helping others travel the path that I’ve already been down. I like to celebrate their wins, and help them get unstuck when encountering a roadblock.
When it comes to remote businesses (software, digital products, agencies, etc.), there are very few things that I haven’t seen. I recently completed a coaching certification program to get some ideas on how to better structure my coaching so that it can yield positive results for clients as quickly as possible.
It’s exciting! I’ve only just started to let people know that I am taking on clients, and as of writing this, I have four founders officially signed-up. Several others have phone calls with me this week.
I just need a few more, and I’m closing the doors.
I’m the one doing the coaching, and I’m not trying to have a 40hr/week “job”. I want to show up with energy and enthusiasm so that I’m helping the folks I work with.
If you’re interested in me helping you to grow your business, then let’s get on a 60min strategy call.
Trust me, it’s not your typical coaching process (oh, and it’s free).
So that’s the story and where I am at today. I feel like a weight is off my shoulders, which is how I know this is the right choice for me.
Finally, if I may offer a bit of advice. A key takeaway, if you will:
Always check-in with yourself. In life, in your job, in general. If you are powering through that “ball in the stomach” feeling, then take a minute to understand what is causing that feeling in the first place. Your current path might not be the best for you, and you have it in your power to make a change.
If you made it this far, thanks for reading!