Michael Cheng, from Web Agency to Founder of Snip.ly & Lumen5.com: Why Customer Support is the Last Person You Should Hire in Your SaaS Business

Michael Cheng founder of Snip.ly & Lumen5.com

Michael Cheng is an amazing serial entrepreneur, the founder of Lumen5 and Snip.ly which he created after he discovered a need, among his WittyCookie web agency clients, when he realized why they needed a website and how they marketed their content.

Michael has been featured on Maclean’s Magazine as one of Canada’s Future Leaders, on BCBusiness Magazine as one of Top 30 Under 30, Top 25 Under 25, Top 24 Under 24, a keynote speaker for organizations such as the United Nations Association of Canada as well as the Thiel Fellowship.

Today we are going to be talking about being a successful entrepreneur, how to create an entrepreneurial environment for our selves that makes it automatic to show up, being efficient and Michael’s latest venture Snip.ly.



What you will learn

  • Why Michael wanted to evolve from web design agency to a SaaS model
  • Experimenting and success with a subscription model in a web design agency.
  • How the idea for Snip.ly came from understanding why the clients need a website and how they market their content.
  • The story behind Michael’s creation of Lumen5.com, a video platform, and why it was needed to drive the growth of Snip.ly.
  • Greenpeace the fantastic use case for Snip.ly
  • How Michael is building AI into Lumen5.com
  • The 10X vision for Lumen5 and Snip.ly
  • The 8-year journey between WittyCookie to Sniy.ly
  • Michael’s take on how you spot product and business opportunities in your current business.
  • The importance of charging clients when you validate your product early on.
  • The importance of skill balance in the co-founding team and how that has to be able to create the minimal viable product at no cost.
  • Everyone can learn enough coding, in 3 months, to get an MVP to work and get to 100 or 1.000 customers.
  • Fist hires need to be deep specialists.
  • Patience when hiring the right people is important.
  • Be transparent about your dreams, revenue, funding, and risks when hiring new people.
  • Why Michael is wildly attracted to using “Freemium” model.
  • How to keep track of cash flow and hiring is in synch.
  • Why customer support is the last person you hire and why this role needs to be the focus of the founder.
  • How a large support staff is an indication of an engineering problem.
  • How you can avoid dire oncoming business challenges by the founder handling customer support.
  • Michael admiration for Steve Jobs ability to build success in different industries like Apple, Pixar, and Next Computers.



References made in this episode

Noah Kegan & Tim Ferris Show on “How to Validate Your Business”, www.okdork.com/resources/validate-business/
[Previous Episode] Soren Nielsen shares how Ernit.com spend initial funding on a KickStarter campaign for the single purpose of validating their digital piggybank Ernit.com before building the product.

Steve Jobs Autobiography, The Man Who Thought Different: A Biography








Connect with Michael Cheng

Michael’s personal website, www.michaelc.ca/

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