🎙️ Episode #19

From SEO Maestro to Investing Magician: Joost de Valk on the Power of Raising Funds In Bootstrapping Ecosystems

Joost de Valk - raising funds in bootstrapping ecosystems

Show Notes

Joost de Valk shaped the landscape of WordPress SEO with his company Yoast. What started as a small bootstrapped product grew into a 40-person enterprise with over 12 million websites using the flagship product Yoast SEO. Incredibly, this was just the beginning of Joost’s journey. In 2021, Joost and his wife Marieke van de Rakt exited Yoast, which set him on a new, exciting path into the world of investing with Emilia Capital.

In this episode, Joost shares his unique experience and perspective of the software creator ecosystem as seen from both sides of the fence. We explore his investment criteria, outcome expectations, and the intricate dance between profit and growth.


Thanks to Joost for joining us and providing such valuable advice about building successful distributed companies. Join us next week with Jason Cohen, a serial entrepreneur and the founder of the renowned WP Engine, as we explore how to build and scale successful businesses.

plugin.fm is brought to you by Freemius, your all-in-one payments, subscriptions, and taxes platform for selling software, plugins, themes, and SaaS. If you enjoyed this episode, head over to plugin.fm to check out previous episodes.


Episode Contributors:

Joost de Valk — Guest

Patrick Rauland — Host

Vova Feldman — Content quality control

Scott Murcott — Content research and preparation

Zee Hazan — Audio and video quality control

Emiliano Pioli — Audio and video editing

Chapters & Episode Notes

0:00 – Intro

0:55 – Investing in Meaningful Tech: Joost’s Journey from Creator to Investor

6:34 – The Case for Investment: Navigating the Path to Growth in WordPress

10:20 – Exploring the What-Ifs: How Taking Capital Could Have Changed Yoast’s Journey

13:52 – Understanding Investment with Amelia Capital: How Much and What for?

19:29 – Balancing Investment: Growth vs. Lifestyle Goals

25:29 – Evaluating Founders: The Art of Assessing Self-Awareness

31:58 –  Maneuvering Through the Journey: Insights on Hiring, Investment, and Speed

35:47 – Outro


Joost: We don’t really care about money, we care about impact. 

Patrick: Today’s guest, G Deval, bootstrapped his business and grew it to 12 million websites that use their flagship product, Yoast SEO. 

Joost: We didn’t take investment at Yoast, and I will not tell you that everyone should take an investment. 

Patrick: Yoast and his wife, Marieke, exited the company, which set them on a new exciting path into the world of investing with their company, Amelia Capital. 

Joost: If you are just in it to make a certain amount of money, that’s fine, but then probably don’t take investment from anyone. 

Patrick: In this episode, we’re going to jump into how much you could expect to raise from an early funding round. 

Joost: $200,000 in revenue a year is probably not enough to take meaningful investment. 

Patrick: Why you might want to raise capital from investors like Yoast. 

Joost: What I think is actually the most important thing is that you—I’m not saying we’re doing this perfectly all the time. 

Patrick: Joost, welcome to the show. 

Joost: Thank you for having me. 

Patrick: Okay, so Yoast SEO, you grew it to 140 people, 12 million websites were using the regular Yoast plugin, which is incredible. You’ve exited, and now you are an investor in software products. I guess just genuinely like, why do that? I think a lot of people who listen to the show are software creators, and there is no end to that journey for I think a lot of these people, so why end that journey and start a new one?

Joost: Well, first of all, I didn’t end it. I’m releasing a new product, and I don’t think I’ll ever really stop creating stuff. But I’ve fallen into the trap of thinking I know better, and Marieke and I can help other companies grow faster, better, more, while doing meaningful stuff. So, we don’t just invest in products; we only want to invest in things that we think actually do something more for the world than just make money. And we think we can help those companies. We’ve obviously done fairly well with Yoast. For a while, we thought that was an accident, and as you help more companies, you realize, no, it’s not an accident. There’s actually quite a few things that we’ve done right that we can help other people replicate. There are also things that we did wrong that we can help other people prevent, prevent themselves from doing.

Patrick:  That’s where I’m an expert. I’ve done everything wrong.

Joost:  That’s the only way to learn, man.

Patrick:  I think other people learn in other ways. I definitely only learn through mistakes, definitely.

Joost: We’ve made a ton of mistakes at Yoast, and I think we can help people with that experience. But we can also show them, like, hey, we did this and that worked. You can make these changes, and that’ll really work. And I think that’s very valuable. And then, on top of that, we made a good amount of money when we sold Y, and we want to bring some of that back into the WordPress ecosystem because that’s how we think it’s supposed to work. You have to reinvest back into what made you rich.

Patrick:  Yes, I love that. I remember seeing your WordCamp Europe talk in—

Joost:  Yeah, that was in Liton.

Patrick:  Yeah, but so I saw a talk from you 10 years ago, and that lines up with what you’re saying now about reinvesting.

Joost:  Hey, I’m consistent. Yeah, I truly believe in open source, and I also truly believe that we need to build business models around open source to make this ecosystem work.

Patrick: I like that. Let me actually ask, when I think of an investor, I think of people who only care about returns. Is “investor” the right word?

Joost: Well, the thing is, I want those companies to make money because if you’ve seen that talk on the victory of the commons, and if you haven’t, I urge you to go and watch it because I still think it’s very relevant. Companies need to make money. If companies make money, they can do more of what they do. And if they have a purpose to exist other than making money, they can do more of that other thing. Now, so we invest money and time/opinions/help, and for most of our invest portfolio companies, that is one to two hours a week. It’s not like we’re investing full days, but it’ll be in sprints, right? So sometimes we’ll look at one thing for four hours, and then we won’t look at it for a couple of weeks. But I think every investor helps their portfolio companies, especially when you invest like we do, pretty early stage. We’re usually the first investor, so you need to help people build a company. And the first time you’re building a company, that’s scary stuff. You’re setting up things, you’re maybe hiring some people, you’re incorporating or not, or well, you’re making all these decisions. And that is what we help with. And then we help you well make the product better. It’s not philanthropy; we intend to do that truly with the idea of making money and then reinvesting that money into other things again. And of course, that goes wrong like nine times out of 10.

Patrick: Yes, I do agree with that. Early on you said it’s about once you make money, then you can kind of do anything. Feels like you’re teaching someone how to fish. Like they now know how to fish; they’re making enough money to pay for their costs, and now they can really add.

Joost: Yeah, and I think I’m also not necessarily the biggest fan of the system of doing a round and then raising another round and then raising another round because that only works when you’re building stuff for the really, really big market. And not everyone is, and that’s fine. And I think we have the added benefit of basically being, well, we only invest our own capital, so we don’t have other investors investing into our funds that have to get our money back. So we don’t really care if we get our money back in two years or in 10 years. I really don’t care.

Patrick: Yeah, that gives a lot of flexibility. I’m sure as an investor, what is the argument for working for having an investor for taking raising capital? What is that argument? Because I don’t think we hear it enough in the WordPress world.

Joost: So we didn’t take investment at Yoast, and I will not tell you that everyone should take an investment. That being said, in hindsight, would I have taken investment at Yoast? I would. We probably, at some point, would have. But it really depends on who’s investing and what they can do to help you. The thing is that a lot of the processes that you’re going to run into as your company grows bigger are entirely new to you, and you’re basically figuring it out all on the fly. You either hire people to help you do that, or you get an investor on board that helps you do that. There’s multiple ways around that, and I’m not saying that one is better than the other, but sometimes one is too expensive and you can only do the other. And I think that investors can also help you with things that you might not even realize that you need. One of the things we had, and we’d been thinking about selling Yoast for a while, so we had run a sales process before COVID, and it broke because of COVID. And because of that, we learned when we were selling Yoast the second time to run a proper process with a banker. Now, that is not something that a startup will do on their own easily. We got lucky; I had some friends in the right places, and I found a Dutch banker who was incredible, helped us through the process, and we were big enough to actually find a banker that wanted to help us and could do that because a lot of those bankers will only take deals above like 10 million or 100 million or their threshold. So, working that sort of thing becomes easier when you have an investor. And I think an investor also makes it easier for you to determine whether you want to get out of your business at some point or not. I do think that when you take investment, you have to really, really think about, do I want to get out of this business at some point? And if you don’t, which is fine, pick an investor that’s fine with that too. I mean, we’d be very happy to take like a 10% stake in the company and then take 10% of returns from the company every year for decades if that company’s running well.

Patrick: So I’m just taking some notes here, but is the idea you can structure the deal differently if you do want to get, let’s say you want to exit in five or 10 years, do you structure the deal differently or why do you have to think about that early on?

Joost: Well, you have to think about that because if you don’t, you might bring investors on board that need to get rid of their money, need to get their money back after a certain point in time. So either you need to buy them out or something else needs to happen so they’ll look for what they call a liquidity event. And I mean, if you’re not ready to think about that yet, that’s fine, but then you have to make sure that you keep investors or that you get investors that they’re fine with you keeping your options open.

Patrick: Yeah, there has to be a liquidity event, which is either, you know, like all the way at the end of the progress, like going public on the stock market. That’s the ultimate liquidity event. But there’s also other ways, there’s other stuff along the path.

Joost: I think most of the time it’s selling your company to someone bigger, correct? And I hope to invest in something that goes public at some point, but it also looks like a lot of work.

Patrick: Yeah, it’s a lot of work. I can’t imagine. So let me ask you this, you talked about you didn’t take capital at Yoast. What if you did take capital? What do you think would have changed? Would you have gotten bigger, like instead of going up to 140 people, you would have gotten up to 200 people? Would you have gotten to the same size but faster? Like, what would have been the differences if you did take capital?

Joost: I don’t know whether we have hired that many more people, that many more people. I think we actually probably hired a bit too many at some point, which is something that maybe an investor could have prevented us from doing. I think we would have gotten bigger. I think we probably would have expanded into other platforms sooner with had we had the cash to not make that a big risk. We were very risk averse because it was all our own money, and we were paying a lot of people’s salaries. And you can play a bit more, well, a bit faster if you have cash that is not really bad if you lose it. We’ve invested in some companies where that has not gone well, and then used to speak to those founders after, and they’re surprised that I’m still friendly with them, and I’m like, we were in this together. I mean, this happens, businesses fail, it’s fine. And I think that that is something that, well, the idea that losing a couple hundred thousand dollars or Euros on trying something and then having it fail is not the biggest deal in the world can really change how you run a business. But it’s also very scary because it also, yeah, I want you to have that drive. So it is about finding that you have to find that equilibrium where you’re taking chances, but you’re also still thinking about how we are going to turn this into a profitable company every day.

Patrick: I guess the way I’m thinking about it, and I’m also probably also risk averse, I’d rather build something long-term, even if it takes forever to get there. Sometimes it doesn’t even make sense, like the math doesn’t work out, but in my brain, I just want to take the safest route. And I think if I took capital, if I had capital to spend, I might be a little bit more free-flowing with the money and try crazier ideas that I wouldn’t have tried if it was just my money. So if you’re risk averse, it might help you, it might help you grow, it might help you overcome your limitations of being a risk adverse person, which is a superpower in some circumstances, but is also a weakness when you really need to get your profitability.

Joost: You need a bit of both, right? So you need to be able to take the risk, but you also need to have that gut feel for hey, I want to do this, and you need to really want to be that entrepreneur. It’s not necessarily easy, and not everyone needs investments to do that. But if that makes it easier for you to do it, and there are so many reasons why it can be very scary. I mean, I can imagine if you have kids, for instance, that it really changes how you look at these things. Marieke and I have four kids, we know how this works, and we’ve been raising kids as we were building Yoast. We realize how hard that is, and at the same time, it’s also very rewarding.

Patrick: Yeah, let me ask you about Amelia Capital. So you built this with Marieke, your wife, and can you tell us, like, I guess how does the company operate? Are there companies that you target for your portfolio? You know, are you giving people $10,000 or are you giving people a million dollars, like what a lot of people in the WordPress world, and including myself, really don’t know how this works, especially with tiny software or service companies as opposed to the larger ones.

Joost: It’s hard. So we don’t necessarily target companies, they target us, so they come to us for investment. We get a lot of decks every week where people basically ask for money. I do shows like these to make people aware that they can ask for money, and then they come to you. That’s sort of how it works. We invest somewhere between 25 to 250,000 Euros, usually in the first goal where I would probably for if you’re just starting out it would probably be on the lower end of that. If you’re a bit farther, it might be a bit on the higher end. Or we take anywhere between 10 to 25% of equity, not much more than that because I want you to run your own company, and we don’t want to be the boss. And we very specifically don’t want to be the boss, so you are running your company, and we will help you, we will advise you, and we will actually test when we’re talking about investment whether you would actually listen to what we were saying, but we don’t want to, well, it’s you who runs the company.

Patrick: Yeah, well, let me ask you about that. Okay, so 25,000 to 250,000 Euros or dollars, I guess they’re close. What do people typically do with that in my brain, and do you give people advice on what we think this is where the money would be best spent?

Joost: Yeah, it’s not like we only talk to them once, and then I talk to most of those people every week, every other week, so it’s continuous advice. And I think that’s part of why you take the investment from us. Usually, people can choose, and you choose for an investor that fits you, and we look for that as well. We look for that click. Do we like you? Can we work with you? I’m going to be on a lot of calls with you or in meetings with you or at parties at conferences with you. Do I like that? Do I see that as something as a good use of my time? Does Marieke see that as a good use of her time? Do we think that we can help you? And that’s something that you have to do the other way around too, so that’s what people taking the investment have to think about as well. Like, do I want to look at Joost head every day?

Patrick: Let me ask the question in a different way here. I think when I think of, I listen to a lot of, you know, tech podcasts about investing, and like with some classic e-commerce brands, especially at the start of the pandemic, people were like, “Oh my God, DTC is exploding. Just launch a product on your own website, everyone’s going to buy from you.” And I don’t know if it was the investors, I don’t know if it was the companies, but everyone just, like, bought paid ads, but they were never really profitable. It was just the strategy. My bias is that the investor said, “Use the money to buy as many paid ads as you can to get customers in the door,” but they never figured out if it was the right marketing channel. I probably have the fear of a lot of WordPressers like, “I don’t want to lose my independence,” you know? In my 250 euros, I might be able to hire two incredible top-of-the-line engineers who can solve every product problem we’ve ever had. And that, to me, is probably how I’d spend that money: have an incredible developer, have an incredible designer, make the product the absolute best it can while I figure out all the business stuff. Like, is there that flexibility?

Joost: Absolutely, yeah, and we’ll help you with that. But yes, there is, and I think that’s definitely what some of the people that we’ve invested in have done with that money. We actually have an in-house designer as well who can help you a bit. And we also have a very good developer who I do code reviews of most of the code of our investment portfolio companies with. So we go quite deep. The thing is you’re valuing a company which basically, usually most of the time isn’t really a company yet. So there’s a plugin and there’s an idea, and then well, you value those assets. But we go quite deep. I mean, it is a close relationship, and we like to be fairly close to them. And yes, we are fine with you hiring a developer, and we’ll probably even help you hire one. So I’ve done job interviews with the companies we invest in. I look at resumes. I will point. I will refer people to the companies we’ve invested in like this would be a good hire.

Patrick: Having a great idea is one important part of raising capital, but you also need business defensibility which we’ll talk about later in this episode.

Patrick: Let me go back to the question of why would someone want investments. So let me tell you my ideal is to make enough money every year that I can have an easy life. That’s also a rich life. By that I mean, like, let’s say I can magically make $200,000 a year and I only have to work 20-30 hours a week. That is like the perfect. I don’t if I can ever make that happen. I don’t want to grow the company anymore because that means hiring more people, having more overhead, having to deal with more conversations, just more meetings. Oh my God, meetings. Like, the more people you hire, the more meetings you have. Oh, like how do you, I think a lot of investors want unlimited growth, and I think there are some owners who want, hey, I just want to get to this place where I’m comfortable. I’m making whatever your magical salary number is and I don’t want to work 40 hours a week. Maybe I just want to work 30. How do those two balance?

Joost:  I’ll be honest, if you don’t want it’s not that we want unlimited growth because I don’t necessarily care for that, and I think we are weird in that way because we don’t necessarily care about money, which is weird because a lot of this is about money. But, yeah, yeah, we don’t really care about money; we care about impact. Which is what we’ve always cared about at Yoast; impact was more important than making money. And that’s why there were so many features in Yoast free when if you were running it as a commercial business you really wouldn’t have done that. There is this thing where if you are just in it to make a certain amount of money so that you can have your life that’s fine, but then probably don’t take investment from anyone because you’ll get another voice in your company and you have to truly listen to that voice, and they will want to grow more because if I have 10 or 20% of your company and you make 250k a year and I’ve invested, then it takes quite a bit of time to make that back whereas if you grow like, yeah, twice as much then it makes it a lot less time to make that money back. But if that is so it depends a bit on where you’re coming from like that 200,000 in revenue a year is probably not enough to take like meaningful investment but if that becomes like 10 million and you don’t want to grow beyond 10 million it’s fine. There is this limit of like, and that sounds like a whole lot I realize that but I mean Yoast was over that and there are more businesses in the workplace world I know that are over that and even at 5 million, the do your life becomes very different; you’re managing people and you’re managing a lot of different things, yeah, but what I think is actually the most important thing is that you have this other goal that you have for your company which should be bigger than just making money, what do you want to achieve. We help you achieve that. So at Yoast that was SEO for everyone. If you look at equalized digital, one of our investments, they make an accessibility checker; they want to make accessibility better for everyone. They’re super passionate about accessibility and to them too money is second to accessibility and that’s what we go for. I get excited when people are passionate about a topic and want to make something better for the world, the web, whatever. And I think that if that’s your drive then you want to continue doing that then we are well a good investor because that’s what we really like helping with, I think most investors will be okay with you saying after a certain point like this is big enough for me, but then they’ll ask you to leave and put in another CEO.

Patrick: Okay, got it. It’s good to know. I genuinely don’t know how many people in the WordPress and I forgot that I don’t think I used the word earlier but how many people in the WordPress world want a lifestyle business and how many people I genuinely have no idea. I wish I understood that dynamic a little bit better, but you know what, people in this podcast probably skew a little bit more towards growth and growing a much bigger business than…

Joost: The annoying thing about making money is also that if you make 200k a year you’ll end up thinking I could do a little bit more.

Patrick: That’s true. Every time my salaries increase I’m like, what where that money goes.

It’s also like 200k in the especially in the US is not what it was 10 years ago so they I mean these things grow but I think that you have to be honest about what do I want to achieve with my company when you take investment so you have to you have to have a like a longer term idea for what your company needs to be.

Patrick: Let me dig into that and sorry one quick thing first. Actually at my day job right now we’re actually working with equalized digital so I just wanted to give you a kudos and a little pat on the back. They are awesome at accessibility. They found, I mean not good for me, they found a ton of issues on the website that I now need to fix, but they’re very good at finding those accessibility issues. I assume it’s money well spent.

Joost: They are rockstars of accessibility. I really like what they do.

Patrick: Yeah, first of all, do you invest in anyone that doesn’t have a big idea? It’s just like hey I found this plugin it makes money. Do you work with people to refine their vision or do they need to have that vision before they come to you? I think we’d like to help you refine it but we’d have to see that it makes the world better already before we start doing that.

Joost: I mean investing in large part especially if you’re as early stage as we are is also investing in the people the founder. Do you trust the founder or the founders to do the right thing do you think that they can handle it do you think that they can grow and so yeah we’ll we’ll try and help them and I actually really like helping them but it’s also like they all have they also have to be open to listening and to well sometimes very harsh feedback when you say hey you’ve built this nice website I don’t I really don’t understand what you’re what you’re writing on there which is funny but that a lot of what we do is is feedback like that like yeah your story is too hard make it easier to tell there’s a lot of that there’s a lot of marketing a lot of me going through code and seeing that a single developer has worked on code and going like yeah this is fun please start using wpcs start documenting your code start making sure that if we hire another developer it’s not going to take them three years to figure out what this code base does yes it’s that sort of thing that you don’t necessarily think about in the beginning where we will help.

Patrick: So you mentioned investing in the founder. What are the qualities that you want to see in a founder? Do they need to be excellent public speakers? Are you also interested in people who want to raise more capital beyond? I kind of assume yes.

Joost: Yeah, in fact, I’ll help them if we can. We don’t care about public speaking necessarily. I mean, what’s important to me is that you can reflect on what you’ve been doing so far and then improve. The willingness to learn and grow is probably the most important thing for an entrepreneur because there, in the beginning, you’re there with a couple of people. Then you get an investment, you hire a few people, you need to start managing other people, you need to do things that you might not have done before. And then if it goes well, you’ll be hiring more people and you’ll not be managing just a few people but you’ll be managing dozens of people which really changes your life. And you need to grow along with that and be okay with that and then figure out like hey, what’s the best role of these people within this company and are they best suited to be the CEO or should they be the CPO or what? I mean, one of the things we did at Yoast was that I stepped back at a certain point from the CEO role and became the chief product because I’m better at product and code than I am at managing an entire company of 100 plus people and Marieke was better at creating company culture and doing all those things. So there, what we look for, I think most, well, we look for a good idea which we believe really helps the world in some way, we look for some defensibility so something that allows you to say hey, we’ve built this and not someone else can come in and copy this in two days which is getting harder because AI makes it pretty easy to copy things but defensibility can also be brand. I mean, at Yoast, I think a large part of why Yoast is still very popular when Rank Math is still around which is a copy of Yoast is because the brand is better and well, so there are things you can do to make it defensible but that’s what we look for. And then we look at like hey, are these founders the people that can do this and do they have the team that is needed to do this? So if you say hey, I’m going to figure out the business side of things and you’re not a developer yourself which happens a lot then I will often encourage you to find a technical co-founder because I want a developer with skin in the game to be in it because otherwise it’s going to be hard to run a technical startup.

Patrick: Yeah, I’m stuck on the founder. My brain is stuck on the founder. You said you want to know that the founder has the ability to reflect on what they’ve done so far and improve, and to me that sounds like self-awareness, and that seems like an, like, not impossible, very hard to judge if someone is self-aware, and they can, like, to me it’s like looking at yourself from above and going, “Oh, that wasn’t a good move, Patrick,” and there’s a lot of people who don’t seem to have that.

Joost: No, but it becomes pretty clear when we were in like one of the first calls with you and we’ll give you some feedback, and then we see how you deal with it. And I will literally, we’ll probably already tell you some things that you should do better or Marieke will do that, and then we look at, “Hey, are they taking this to heart? What are they doing with this?” Or are they coming back to us and saying, “Hey, you said this and that, can you help me work through that?” Or “You said this and that, but I disagree because…” And I mean, we’re not always right, and I don’t care whether you say that I’m right and do it, or whether you come back to me and say, “Hey, you said this, I didn’t do it, but I want you to think about it and reflect and grow.”

Patrick: So, you know what Joost? I will disagree with you respectfully here. I don’t know if I can, I don’t know, maybe I don’t have the skills to judge if someone is that self-aware.

Joost: I’m not saying we’re doing this perfectly 100% right all the time, we’re definitely not.

Patrick: Near the end of the show, we’re going to get into what Joost could have done better and in short, do more and do it faster. Stick around for those details.

To me, when I think you’re hiring someone in general for any business, you’re judging their judgment, and that’s really hard—whatever they’re good at, whatever you’re hiring them to do, it’s your judgment, their judgment that you’re hiring. It’s really hard to figure out if someone has good judgment, and it feels like it just takes a long period of time to figure that out.

Joost:  It is. Hiring is hard, don’t get me wrong. And this is not dissimilar, I agree. We’ve hired more than a hundred people at Yoast. It’s a trick that you do get better at, I think. And it’s also like sometimes it takes a bit more time. Investments are not like a 20-second decision.

Patrick: Let me ask about the business stage, right? So, there’s different stages of your business. If someone’s open to investment at some point, at what point should people reach out to either you or a different investment company?

Joost: Well, before or after. 

Patrick: Okay, you’re pretty open. There’s no like, there’s no right time or wrong time to reach out.

Joost:  What works for you, and then sometimes we might say it’s a bit too late or the evaluation you want is too high for us.

Patrick: So, you’ve had this awesome journey at Yoast making, I guess I would call it essential infrastructure for a WordPress site, which is basically what you’ve made, which is incredible. And now you’ve sold that, and now you’re an investor. Looking back at that decade plus of experience, what advice would you give yourself and other creators?

Joost: Move faster.

Patrick: Move faster. Tell me more.

Joost: I should definitely have made Yoast premium faster. We had more ideas for other stuff which we should have moved faster on. I think one of the problems of the WordPress ecosystem is that we look inwards a lot, and outside of us, the world is changing. So, outside of us, Shopify and others have built products that are actually fairly cool. They are out-developing us in some of those areas. And I think the entire ecosystem needs to speed up and needs to build better and more products faster.

Patrick: Yeah, I love that. Here’s one of my crazy business ideas. This—you’ll probably tell me how this is wrong—but in my mind, the faster you go, the more likely you are to succeed because you’ll quickly find those mistakes faster and fix them faster.

Joost: That is, I mean, that’s the ideal mindset, right? And also very much the open-source mindset is release early, release often, and just continue going. I think that works to a degree, so sometimes you might want to polish a bit before you do your first release, and then you do release early, release often after that. Time to market is not a new concept. This is a fairly old concept where people in the ’80s were already very much about time to market, and I think that it’s not something that’s gone away. Just like marketing has not changed in the last 100 years, the platforms have changed, but people essentially and how to respond to things have not changed all that much. What is important is that you move fast on things that matter. If I can urge everyone listening to this to do one thing, it is to build something that does more than just make money. If it has a bigger goal than just making money, it’s probably going to sustain you a lot longer.

Patrick: Yeah, I can definitely say anytime someone’s reached out and said, “Wow, Patrick, this has been really helpful” or something like that, just when you’re genuinely adding a lot of value in the world, that it feels good.

Joost: I mean, the fact that Yoast runs on millions of sites is something I’ll always be happy with. Love that.

Patrick: Joost, thank you so much for joining us and sharing all of your incredible insights.

Joost: My absolute pleasure. Thank you for having me.

Patrick: And listeners, thank you for tuning in. If you enjoyed Joost’s insights, please hit like and subscribe so that we can continue to bring on influential guests onto the show to share their knowledge, experiences, and expertise. If you’re more of a social kind of person, then we’d appreciate it if you share this episode on your social channels to get the word out about the content we’re creating for entrepreneurs like you. If you’re looking for early bird access, please visit plugin.fm’s website if you’re not already on it and click on the subscribe button to find out who and what’s to come before anyone else. plugin.fm is brought to you by Freemius, your all-in-one payment subscription taxes platform for selling software, plugins, themes, and software as a service. If you’re struggling to grow your software revenue, send a note to [email protected] to get free advice from Freemius’s monetization experts. My name is Patrick Rauland, and thanks for listening to plugin.fm.

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