The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten on Smash Notes

The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten podcast.

Unfiltered insights and actionable advice straight from the trenches of startup and business life. The show hosts, Steli Efti and Hiten Shah, are both serial entrepreneurs who have founded multi-million dollar SaaS startups. Being busy CEOs of fast-growing companies, they know the value of your time and make sure you get the most out of each 22 minute episode. Tune in for new episodes every Tuesday and Friday.



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In this episode, Steli and Hiten talk about how you can generate your first thousand dollars in revenue. Steli and Hiten talk about the importance of doing the math to reach your $1000 goal. Do you charge less and try to reach several customers? Or, do you charge more and aim for fewer customers? Either way, setting your price point will help inform the steps you take to achieve that goal. Also be sure to share your plan with Steli and Hiten and they’ll be happy to give you their two cents.   

Time Stamped Show Notes:


00:04 – Today’s episode is about how to generate your first thousand dollars in revenue with your startup

00:36 – Steli and Hiten have an ebook: 0 to a Thousand Customers and Beyond

01:42 – To earn your first thousand dollars, do the math

02:12 – Know how much can you charge and do the math that will help you get the price point to reach your goal

03:16 – You can either get a customer to pay you a thousand dollars or get 50 people to pay you $20 for a product or service and this takes two different approaches

04:26 – Deciding the price point or the mass appeal is going to restrict your game plan and your customer acquisition channels

05:01 – Setting the thousand dollars as a goal is attainable and once you get there, you can do it again

05:50 – Hiten thinks setting the timeline is NOT as important as setting the revenue goal

06:18 – Set a goal for how many customers you can get in a week

07:45 – The mechanisms to get money from your customers:


08:38 – Hiten likes using Stripe

09:02 – If you are in e-commerce, use something like Shopify

09:29 – Steli says people should not spend too much of their time thinking about the payment mechanisms as you could just ask customers to send you a check


10:15 – Figure out the payment process as you go along

10:38 – It is not a customer when you don’t get money from them and they are different from users

11:40 – Start with one customer at a time and worry about giving discounts in the future

12:06 – Don’t solve or worry about future problems right now when you are just trying to achieve your thousand dollars

13:01 – Get excited about charging the money and receive the validation


13:32 – Charging for your product is the biggest validation for your product


14:03 – If you are an entrepreneur, put a plan together and share it with Hiten and Steli to get advice

14:33 – End of today’s episode


3 Key Points:


To get your first thousand dollars, do the math—Charge a thousand from one customer or break up the revenue goal by a number of customers.

Getting paid is the biggest validation you can get for your product or service.

Focus on getting your first thousand dollars, worry about everything else later.


Steli Efti:


Hi, everyone, this is Steli Efti.


Hiten Shah:


And this is Hiten Shah.


Steli Efti:


In today's episode of the startup chat we're going to talk about how to make  or generate your first $1,000 in revenue with your startup, all right. This kind of  fits nicely into the first little eBook that we'll put together, 0 to 1,000 Customers  & Beyond, and some of the prior episodes that we've done on how to get  your first ten customers, how to get your first 100 customers and all that, and  we know that people really appreciate a lot of that, so I wanted to talk  with you specifically reframe the conversation, see what kind of differences it will make in the tactics and the advice that we give on generating your first money. Right, so  and I think that this will be equally important for the venture backed startups or  the startups that have bigger teams that want to do huge things, but maybe the  people that are self-funded or maybe the solo founders out there that are listening to  us, and I know there are a lot of them out there,

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