Above Board, the official Fathom Analytics podcast
A podcast exploring running an indie + bootstrapped software (SaaS) company. Follow Jack and Paul (the co-founders) in their journey of building and growing Fathom Analytics.
Published every two weeks, listen in on lively debates about profit, customers, software, and how they’re working to keep their business in line with their values.
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Here are our latest episodes
Dealing with negative feedback
What do you do when you can’t always please all your customers? Jack and Paul discuss how they deal with negative feedback, the different types of negative feedback, when it’s valuable (and when it’s not), and even how they deal with negative feedback internally in the company.November 14, 2023 · Listen to episode
SaaS founder time machine (questions)
Jack and Paul get into what’s going on inside Fathom Analytics right now, and then answer some questions about what it was like starting the company, what they’d do differently (or the same), and if there’s anything they’d change if they had to start Fathom again.October 30, 2023 · Listen to episode
Vacations for bootstrapped founders
Can bootstrapped founders take time off for vacation? Is that even legal? And under what circumstances is that possible? Jack and Paul dive into vacations for indie founders, as well as a short update on what’s going on with Fathom Analytics on this episode of Above Board.October 16, 2023 · Listen to episode
Paul’s perfect day (for productivity)
Jack and Paul dive into Paul’s routine and how he approaches tasks and work that needs doing. They chat about motivation, complex work, focus and so much more.September 25, 2023 · Listen to episode
Consultants for Startups
Jack and Paul dive into SaaS companies hiring consultants.August 28, 2023 · Listen to episode
Justin Jackson and Paul Jarvis chat about starting and maintaining a SaaS
Old friends Justin and Paul catch up for the first time in years and catch each other up on the state of Transistor and Fathom. They cover lots of lessons for new and veteran entrepreneurs, spanning their decades of experience in the world of indie software: cofounders, markets, surfing, experience, product moats, free time, the importance of putting things out there, and so much more.July 31, 2023 · Listen to episode
Is a lot of startup advice incorrect?
Maybe it’s not even that advice is “incorrect”, maybe it’s just that it’s simplified to the point of being uselessly reductive.'July 17, 2023 · Listen to episode
What does retirement look like for a SaaS founder?
Can we retire? Do we want to retire? Can we adjust our work now (pre-retirement) to get the most out of life while we’re still young (ish)? Jack and Paul dive into what retirement looks like both for each of them, but also what their retirement from Fathom could look like too.July 1, 2023 · Listen to episode
What’s important when everything’s important in your company?
Jack and Paul get into a discussion about what happens when the company you started begins to do well, and you have to prioritize things that all seem equally important, and all seem like they need to get done at the same time. While they may not have any answers here, they do discuss what’s worked (and not worked) as far as Fathom Analytics is concerned.June 26, 2023 · Listen to episode
No more branches, ever!
Jack and Paul discuss changes to how Fathom Analytics develops features, moving from long-lived branches to "continuous development." Why did we start doing this? What are the benefits? And most importantly, what could go wrong?'June 7, 2023 · Listen to episode
The saga of building our Google Analytics Importer
Universal Analytics is dead. GA4 is a dumpster fire of complexity. So what what did we do at Fathom? We build an importer to save your historical data from Google. How’d we build it? Why’d it take so long? What worked and what didn’t work? Jack and Paul get into the whole story about building one of their biggest features.May 22, 2023 · Listen to episode
How our SaaS company approaches marketing and promotion
In this new episode, we look at what we’ve changed, what’s still the same, what we’ve abandoned in terms of how we promote our bootstrapped company, and look ahead at what our marketing strategy could be. Meowing cats, TikTok kids dancing to analytics, and costumed protestors — all this and more.May 8, 2023 · Listen to episode
Ruben Gamez on marketing, long-term success and making the right decisions
You don’t need to have a huge audience or social following to start and build a successful and sustainable business. People have started companies this way for centuries.April 24, 2023 · Listen to episode
How to build a multi-million dollar SaaS without funding (an interview with Rob Walling)
Jack and Rob Walling get into the nitty gritty of running a SaaS company with an honest and transparent conversation, based around Rob’s new book: The SaaS Playbook.April 10, 2023 · Listen to episode
Silicon Valley Bank and bootstrapped companies
In this episode, Jack and Paul chat about what happened with SVB, if they feel that more banks are going to fail, how it affected and could affect indie or bootstrapped companies, and how they’d (this is not legal advice, just opinions loosely held) fix things if they were in charge.March 27, 2023 · Listen to episode
Matt Wensing on Product Market Fit, raising money and enterprise sales in SaaS
Our guest today was Matt Wensing, the founder of Summit.March 13, 2023 · Listen to episode
Can makers become managers?
Jack and Paul discuss changes at Fathom Analytics. What used to work in the past in terms of workflows and specs is no longer working and actively blocking them from moving forward as quickly as they’d like. So, they sat down, formulated a plan, and shared it on this episode.February 27, 2023 · Listen to episode
Are programmers going to be replaced by OpenAI?
In today’s episode Paul and Jack get into using AI to help write code for software. Is it useful? Is it accurate? Can it be used to write entire applications? And most important of all, will OpenAI tools like Github’s CoPilot eventually replace developers and take their jobs?February 13, 2023 · Listen to episode
Jack and Paul answer your questions (Pt. 2)
Listeners and customers sent in their questions for us to answer, and we did just that! Questions about burnout, Google Analytics importer, our new hires, and more.January 30, 2023 · Listen to episode
Jack and Paul answer your questions (Pt. 1)
Listeners and customers sent in their questions for us to answer, and we did just that! Questions about our brand, infrastructure, upcoming features, and more.January 16, 2023 · Listen to episode
Paul and Jack are back
Jack and Paul catch up on the last few weeks.October 24, 2022 · Listen to episode
A brief history of (Fathom Analytics) time
In this episode, Jack and Paul look back to the beginnings of Fathom Analytics (which started in 2018).August 29, 2022 · Listen to episode
Can bootstrapped startups survive a recession?
When the economy is hurting, do small businesses have to suffer? Jack and Paul discuss how Fathom is (hopefully) built to be able to weather financial storms by not growing beyond our means at any given time.August 15, 2022 · Listen to episode
The art of making great decisions for your business
It’s no secret: Fathom Analytics is growing. So what are Jack and Paul deciding to do about growth regarding development, support, and the business in general?July 25, 2022 · Listen to episode
When the business itself becomes the distraction
Today Jack and Paul get very candid about what’s going on with Fathom Analytics lately, specifically regarding distractions.July 12, 2022 · Listen to episode
Can Matt Damon save Coinbase?
Coinbase just laid off 18% of their workforce and they rescinded all job offers that had already been already accepted.June 20, 2022 · Listen to episode
Does Jack Scale?
Jack and Paul talk about a wide array of topics related to running a growing software company.June 6, 2022 · Listen to episode
Dr. Sherry Walling on the mind of entrepreneurs
Jack and Dr. Sherry Walling dive deep into our minds to discuss burnout, depression, the benefits of neurological diversification, the mental health fallout from Covid, psychedelic assisted therapy, and more for people who work for themselves.May 22, 2022 · Listen to episode
Is Google Analytics 4 a middle finger to SMBs?
On today’s show Paul and Jack chat about bringing a privacy officer on board, why taking proper breaks are important (even if you run an indie business) and what we are considering for the future of Fathom Analytics (version 3).April 25, 2022 · Listen to episode
Jordan Gal on competing with giants
Jack and Jordan Gal share stories from the front lines of indie companies. Starting and running a software business, mistakes made along the way, exiting a company built from the ground up, living with bigger competitors who get all the industry press, and so much more.April 25, 2022 · Listen to episode
Is product market fit really just luck?
Is product market fit is something you can plan for, just luck into, or if it's simply a trailing metric you can only learn after the fact. And related, do you really need to build an audience before you build a product to sell?April 11, 2022 · Listen to episode
How we’ve failed
Jack and Paul discuss our business failures... past, present and possibly even future ones.March 28, 2022 · Listen to episode
Growth is testing Fathom
How a higher than usual growth rate has been affecting Fathom Analytics.March 14, 2022 · Listen to episode
How can small businesses make a difference to Ukraine?
Businesses aren’t people, but they’re run by people. That means your own values can help inform actions and stands you take.March 1, 2022 · Listen to episode
Should we take funding? (feat. Rob Walling)
Today we had the pleasure of chatting with Rob Walling, who’s built and sold several startups (like Drip) and now runs a startup accelerator for SaaS bootstrappers called TinySeed.February 21, 2022 · Listen to episode
When to spend money
It’s important to consider how much of your revenue you should be spendingFebruary 7, 2022 · Listen to episode
What it took to get Fathom off the ground
Jack and Paul get interviewed about starting Fathom Analytics, growing it, and what we’ve done for marketing.January 24, 2022 · Listen to episode
EU Ruling: Google Analytics is now illegal
In this episode Jack and Paul talk about the ruling from the Austrian DPA stating that Google analytics is illegal. Who does this affect? What can be done? Did Fathom Analytics have the inside scoop on this, and that’s why they created EU Isolation in 2021? All this and more in today’s episode.January 17, 2022 · Listen to episode
Our daily routines
Jack and Paul get into the pros and cons of indie companies sharing their MRR and MRR milestones publicly.January 10, 2022 · Listen to episode
Paul quit the internet… again?!
We’re not trying to sell you anything right now, we’re only here to share our experiences making money working for ourselves.December 27, 2021 · Listen to episode
Sharing MRR is egotistical
Jack and Paul get into the pros and cons of indie companies sharing their MRR and MRR milestones publicly.December 13, 2021 · Listen to episode
The episode where we initially think there’s nothing new, but in actuality a whole ton of things are new
Sometimes Jack and Paul feel like every day is groundhog day, and that not much changes day-to-day. But in reality...October 18, 2021 · Listen to episode
What’s been happening at Fathom?
Jack and Paul get into all the things that have been happening behind the scenes at Fathom Analytics.September 27, 2021 · Listen to episode
The pros and cons of being the Chief Hype Officer
Jack and Paul discuss what it means to work in public and tweet about “coming soon” features.August 27, 2021 · Listen to episode
Carrd: from bootstrapping to raising venture capital
On today’s show Jack and Paul speak to the enigmatic and mysterious founder of Carrd, “AJ”.August 16, 2021 · Listen to episode
What’s the best pricing model for a SaaS?
Should you compete on price? Should you go after lots of smaller customers or a few massive customers?August 2, 2021 · Listen to episode
Hiring, firing and retiring
How to approach bringing more people into Fathom to work on the core product and integrations.July 19, 2021 · Listen to episode
Version 3 is live
Jack and Paul get candid about the behind-the-scenes of launching a major software product release.July 5, 2021 · Listen to episode
The Markup on Above Board (Fathom)
In this episode Jack and Paul speak with Julia Angwin, the co-founder and editor in chief of The Markup, a newsroom who uses technology to investigate technology (Big Tech).June 21, 2021 · Listen to episode
Drug abuse and WWDC
Jack’s gone from 6 or more shots of espresso daily to cold turkey—and has been noticing a clearer head and slower thought processes.June 11, 2021 · Listen to episode
It doesn’t have to be fascist at work
Jack and Paul share their views on the turmoil at Basecamp and why they deleted the episode of this podcast that featured DHH.May 25, 2021 · Listen to episode
Sparktoro on Above Board (Fathom)
Today Paul caught up with Rand Fiskhin, co-founder of Sparktoro (market research + audience intelligence SaaS).May 11, 2021 · Listen to episode
Investing in relationships
Database migration, scaling, and a v3 update (of course). Jack and Paul dive into why the sales process for SingleStore and why their personal (and technical) touch works so well. We also talked about when April Fools jokes can land (and when they can’t).April 5, 2021 · Listen to episode
How to destroy the privacy of your entire customer base with a single line of code
Jack and Paul give their professional(ish) opinion the weight and risks of using external scripts on a website.March 22, 2021 · Listen to episode
We landed a whale
We cover getting an amazing new customer using Fathom, the DogeCoin revolution and investing in general, and of course, some very specific details and features that are coming soon to Version 3 of Fathom.February 19, 2021 · Listen to episode
We don’t want your business
A race to the bottom in pricing is never a good idea (both for you or your customers). Jack and Paul discuss why the best-case scenario with that idea is you’ll get screwed by your own growth.January 20, 2021 · Listen to episode
Paul quit the internet
What happened when Paul quit the internet? What does it mean for Fathom? What does it mean for Jack now having to field every Paul-related tweet?December 11, 2020 · Listen to episode
Privacy stories: Fastmail
In this episode Jack and Paul speak with Bron Gondwana, the CEO of Fastmail and how they’ve managed to run their privacy-focused email software since 1999.December 4, 2020 · Listen to episode
Someone tried to put us out of business
A malicious person decided they wanted to have a go at ruining Fathom Analytics.November 20, 2020 · Listen to episode
DuckDuckGo on Above Board (Fathom)
Jack and Paul from Fathom Analytics connect with DuckDuckGo’s Communications Manager, Daniel Davis to chat about their search business, DDG’s take on digital privacy, and how DDG competes with big tech (Google).November 13, 2020 · Listen to episode
We’re taking a break
Jack and Paul talk about taking a short break from this show until November or so.September 4, 2020 · Listen to episode
Building an audience, analytics & virtue signalling
Jack’s Laracon talk, building an audience, what to do about all the virtue signalling in the ethical product space and much, European privacy laws and their impact on American businesses and services, and much more.August 28, 2020 · Listen to episode
Credit cards, trust and why people buy indie software products
Jack and Paul talk about the reasons Fathom asks for a credit card up front, and how that impacts our growth.August 14, 2020 · Listen to episode
Being competitive, YouTube and going viral
On today’s episode Jack and Paul chat about using competitiveness to your advantage, the good and bad of video games, how we dealt with a very viral customer, the logic of a privacy-focused company like Fathom using a platform like Youtube and Jack’s upcoming Laracon talk.August 14, 2020 · Listen to episode
New hires and vacations
On today’s show Paul and Jack chat about bringing a privacy officer on board, why taking proper breaks are important (even if you run an indie business) and what we are considering for the future of Fathom Analytics (version 3).August 7, 2020 · Listen to episode
Bad CEOs and Cat Jumpers
Jack and Paul dissect a few issues they have had with other companies and leadership at those companies, and then how those companies responded (both the good and the bad).August 1, 2020 · Listen to episode
SaaS collaboration tools, organization, pancakes and more
Jack and Paul answer questions from listeners today, including: our favourite pancake recipe, the tools/apps we use to collaborate, how we determine hiring vs bringing on cofounder vs freelancers, and our full design and development processes.July 16, 2020 · Listen to episode
Jack and Paul speak about having to fire a customer for the first time. It was tough, but it had to be done.July 10, 2020 · Listen to episode
We’re not trying to sell you anything right now, we’re only here to share our experiences making money working for ourselves.July 3, 2020 · Listen to episode
Are you a bad person if you use YouTube?
Jack and Paul get into if Fathom should create and post videos to YouTube (which is obviously owned by Google).June 11, 2020 · Listen to episode
Is Joe Rogan a sell out?
Is this a trend towards the end of podcasts being a free and open platform? On this episode we talk about Joe Rogan selling out.May 28, 2020 · Listen to episode
Were we wrong about enterprise customers?
Jack and Paul discuss the pros and cons of supporting enterprise clients.May 25, 2020 · Listen to episode
Customer happiness over money
We’ve all been there: we get a bill for a yearly subscription, but didn’t get any warning about the charge happening.May 15, 2020 · Listen to episode
Capitalism and copycats and communism, oh my!
Jack and Paul talk about the benefits and problems involving taking venture capital for a software company, what we think about competitors copying us, and why “free markets” should potentially have some limits or at least some regulations.May 8, 2020 · Listen to episode
Why was the first $10k MRR the hardest?
Join us as we talk about hitting that milestone and why it mattered as a milestone.April 24, 2020 · Listen to episode
Fighting with COVID-19
Paul and Jack get brutally honest about the current pandemic, and it’s horrible effect on small businesses.March 23, 2020 · Listen to episode
Why do programmers suck at design?
Jack and Paul dive deep into what goes into a design, and talk about it’s value.March 10, 2020 · Listen to episode
Jack is leaving
It’s the end for Jack, as he has a heart to heart discussion about wrapping things up for good.February 25, 2020 · Listen to episode
Being a solo founder sucks
What are benefits of only making half as much (and giving the rest to someone else)?February 11, 2020 · Listen to episode
Every single marketing effort Fathom has used thus far
From content marketing, to paid ads, to social media, Jack and Paul dive into every single type of marketing they’ve done to promote Fathom.January 28, 2020 · Listen to episode
How to win friends and influence features
In this episode Jack and Paul discuss how new features are decided upon.December 3, 2019 · Listen to episode
The open-source dilemma
Jack and Paul hash out our honest reasoning behind not open-sourcing V2.November 18, 2019 · Listen to episode
Above Board, the podcast trailer
This is the trailer for the Above Board podcast, short and sweet.November 13, 2019 · Listen to episode