[SaaS Club] $29 online course to $60M SaaS

Hey Reader


I hope you're doing well.


Happy New Year! I wish you have a amazing 2024! 🚀

Here's a quick round up of what's been going on at SaaS Club:

🎧 Podcast


Thinkific: From $29 Online Course to $60M ARR SaaS Company


In 2005, law student Greg, began teaching in-person LSAT prep courses, later converting it into a $29 online course which made him $10k/month.


Seeing growing demand for online courses, Greg and his brother Matt launched a basic product in 2012 to simplify creating and selling digital courses.


In the first 3 years, they had numerous pivots and setbacks, struggling to validate their product and business model and acquire customers.


After failing to validate their early product concepts, they shifted their strategy and began manually building online courses for every customer.


This hands-on, time-intensive approach generated revenue and gave the founders vital customer insights to develop their software platform.


In 2015, after launching their new software, they had a breakthrough moment when a webinar resulted in 20 customers immediately paying $1,000 each.


After 5 years of persistence and hard work, the founders hit $10 million ARR, fueled by customer referrals, content marketing, and partnerships.


Today, Thinkific, with a 280-person team, generates about $60 million in ARR and has raised over $200 million primarily through its IPO in 2021.


In this episode, you'll learn:

  • How Greg and Matt funded the business for years through bootstrapping and profitability rather than chasing venture capital.

  • The key role personality and relationships played in acquiring early adopter customers when Thinkific lacked features versus its rivals.

  • Why it took 3 years of pivots and validations before gaining real customer traction and momentum.

  • How Greg evolved from lawyer to first-time founder learning to hire and manage a team while scaling Thinkific.

  • How Greg navigated the difficult decision to lay off 200 employees in 2021 after aggressive hiring, despite having recently IPO'd.

  • Greg's advice on balancing inbound advice from investors and advisors with trusting your own entrepreneurial instincts.

I hope you enjoy it!


Listen to the full podcast episode


📗 Book of the Week


This week's book recommendations are:


Turning the Flywheel: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great by Jim Collins
What is Strategy?: An Illustrated Guide to Michael Porter by Joan Magretta


🌐 Around the Web

YouTube Channel

Here's a link to the full video episode.

😍 Let's Get Social

Want to get more social? Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn.


Have a great week!


- Omer

Interested in sponsoring The SaaS Podcast or this newsletter?


P.S. whenever you're ready, here are 3 ways I can help you:

1. SaaS Club Plus: We're re-launching a brand new paid community for SaaS founders with an exciting new offering. Join the waitlist!

2. SaaS Club Launch: This 3-month coaching program that gives you the tools, knowledge, and support to fast track your journey to $10K+ MRR.

3. SaaS Club Clarity:  Book a 1-hour consulting session with Omer to get unstuck and gain clarity about your SaaS business.












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