After 5 years and $3M, here's everything we've learned from building Ghost


58 bookmarks. First posted by lizconlan may 2018.


On previous birthdays I've talked about revenue milestones and product updates, but this year I'm going to focus more on all the things we've learned since we started.
publishing  software  startups 
9 days ago by basus
It turns out that a funny thing happens when you build a company you can never sell: You end up building a company you would never want to sell.
8 weeks ago by souldoubt
This is a great overview of how a not for profit open source technology company built a working business providing publishing tools. It speaks to how bad the landscape for publishing tools on the web is.

Their product was originally created on kickstarter, and I remember when it launched, and being impressed with it back then. They have now pivoted away from trying to server small content individuals and are making money serving needs in the enterprise.
business  open-source  publishing 
june 2018 by IanMulvany
Last week marked the fifth anniversary since the Ghost Kickstarter campaign which started it all. It's always fun to use these milestones to take a step back…
from instapaper
may 2018 by flobosg
About the product and engineering.

We spent a very long time trying to compete on convenience and simplicity. This was our biggest mistake and the hardest lesson to learn - because user feedback told us that this was what was most important. We deliberately limited flexibility in the product to try and make it more simple. But it ended up being still not simple enough for the average user, and not powerful or flexible enough for the professional user — the worst of both worlds.

So the biggest takeaway after 5 years is that we have been moving, and will continue to move up market, toward professional users who value power and flexibility over ease of signup. This is where we can win compared to the competition.

On being a fully remote team.

The stuff which is actually hard, nobody ever asks about. For instance: How do you know when someone is in a bad mood? How do you deal with loneliness? How do you foster camaraderie? How do you achieve urgency? How do you ever get to know people outside of work when you never spend time with them outside of work?

On being an open source product. An interesting observation about GitHub being too transactional between maintainers and contributors.

The least fun part of working on Ghost is dealing with Github, which is really sad.

Everyone has their pet issue, whether design or accessibility or security or internationalisation or performance or SEO or or or... the list goes on. Everyone thinks theirs is most important and that we should work on right now and they can't believe that we would ignore it. It's always absolutely outrageous.
business  opensource  nonprofit  software  saas  publishing  blogging 
may 2018 by jefframnani
Last week marked the fifth anniversary since the Ghost Kickstarter campaign which started it all. It's always fun to use these milestones to take a step back and reflect on the journey so far.
may 2018 by pitiphong_p
Last week marked the fifth anniversary since the Ghost Kickstarter campaign which started it all. It's always fun to use these milestones to take a step back…
may 2018 by jiuks
via Pocket - After 5 years and $3M, here's everything we've learned from building Ghost - Added May 16, 2018 at 02:28PM
may 2018 by mikele
Last week marked the fifth anniversary since the Ghost Kickstarter campaign which started it all. It's always fun to use these milestones to take a step back…
from instapaper
may 2018 by marcinignac
Last week marked the fifth anniversary since the Ghost Kickstarter campaign which started it all. It's always fun to use these milestones to take a step back and reflect on the journey so far. On previous birthdays I've talked about revenue milestones and product updates, but this year I'm going
ghost  business  opensource  blogging  nodejs 
may 2018 by garrettc
There are seemingly no good nonprofit funding options for journalism/tech
One big surprise in the last 5 years has been discovering that there are really no good funding options for journalism/tech. We've bootstrapped from day 1 and always planned to be totally self-sufficient. But initially we did think that there might be grant funding or support that we might be able to benefit from. It turns out: No. Absolutely none.

I thought between the Knight Foundation and the Mozilla Foundation and the Ford Foundation and the Google News Initiatives — there might be a path to getting a lil' help. However, they all seem to be limited to helping only projects in their own countries (mostly the US) and selecting who is awarded grants appears to be often more about who you know, than what you do.

I'm still curious about this. Are we missing something?
philanthropy  tech 
may 2018 by MF_reads
Lots of good stuff in here:
- Centralised wins on simplicity, Open source wins on flexibility.
The things people ask about most often all have straightforward answers. In summary: You hire people you can trust, you trust them, and the logistics in between are solved mostly with Slack, Zoom and Github.

The stuff which is actually hard, nobody ever asks about. For instance: How do you know when someone is in a bad mood? How do you deal with loneliness? How do you foster camaraderie? How do you achieve urgency? How do you ever get to know people outside of work when you never spend time with them outside of work?

Real challenges of being remote are more human, than business.
business 
may 2018 by robertocarroll
Last week marked the fifth anniversary since the Ghost Kickstarter campaign which started it all.

It's always fun to use these milestones to take a step back and reflect on the journey so far. On previous birthdays I've talked about revenue milestones and product updates, but this year I'm going to focus more on all the things we've learned since we started.

Just for context though, here's a quick overview of where we are today:

MRR: $82,000
Annual Net Revenue: $1.2million
All-time Revenue: $3million
Github Stars: 25,000
Releases: 173
Sites using Ghost: 512,000
Biggest users: Apple, Tinder, DuckDuckGo, Mozilla, OpenAI, OkCupid, Square, Vevo, DigitalOcean, Napster, CloudFlare and many, many more.
Runway: Just kidding, we've been profitable since year 1
ghost  opensource  publishing 
may 2018 by euler
"""
Building a distributed team is both easier and harder than you might imagine

Our team is spread all over the world, and we have no office in any country. After 5 years I would summarise the overall experience as very positive. The stuff you might imagine is hard generally turns out to be a non-issue, like: How do you know if people are working? How does anything get done? How do you pay people if they live in different countries? What about contracts? — The things people ask about most often all have straightforward answers. In summary: You hire people you can trust, you trust them, and the logistics in between are solved mostly with Slack, Zoom and Github.

The stuff which is actually hard, nobody ever asks about. For instance: How do you know when someone is in a bad mood? How do you deal with loneliness? How do you foster camaraderie? How do you achieve urgency? How do you ever get to know people outside of work when you never spend time with them outside of work?
"""
ghost  opensource  distributed  team 
may 2018 by mjs
Last week marked the fifth anniversary since the Ghost Kickstarter campaign which started it all. It's always fun to use these milestones to take a step back…
from instapaper
may 2018 by urbansheep
Last week marked the fifth anniversary since the Ghost Kickstarter campaign which started it all. It's always fun to use these milestones to take a step back…
from instapaper
may 2018 by thecosas
Last week marked the fifth anniversary since the Ghost Kickstarter campaign which started it all. It's always fun to use these milestones to take a step back…
from instapaper
may 2018 by sgerhard
Last week marked the fifth anniversary since the Ghost Kickstarter campaign which started it all. It's always fun to use these milestones to take a step back…
from instapaper
may 2018 by joeybaker
After 5 years, $3Million, and no investors: Here's everything we've learned from building the #1 CMS on Github 🔥
from twitter
may 2018 by rwarner
Phänomenal ehrlich.
from twitter
may 2018 by grzbielok
Last week marked the fifth anniversary since the Ghost Kickstarter campaign which started it all. It's always fun to use these milestones to take a step back…
from instapaper
may 2018 by evanwalsh
Last week marked the fifth anniversary since the Ghost Kickstarter campaign which started it all. It's always fun to use these milestones to take a step back and reflect on the journey so far. via Pocket
IFTTT  Pocket  ToReadWithPocket 
may 2018 by aksie
Last week marked the fifth anniversary since the Ghost Kickstarter campaign which started it all. It's always fun to use these milestones to take a step back and reflect on the journey so far. On previous birthdays I've talked about about revenue milestones and product updates, but this year I'm
Archiv 
may 2018 by DerRemo
Last week marked the fifth anniversary since the Ghost Kickstarter campaign which started it all. It's always fun to use these milestones to take a step back…
from instapaper
may 2018 by adamlogic
Last week marked the fifth anniversary since the Ghost Kickstarter campaign which started it all. It's always fun to use these milestones to take a step back…
from instapaper
may 2018 by kohlmannj
From Kickstarter to a successful business model, the story behind Ghost's business model is a heartening read.
startup  from twitter_favs
may 2018 by ttscoff
After 5 years, $3Million, and no investors: Here's everything we've learned from building the CMS on Github 🔥
from twitter_favs
may 2018 by lizconlan
After 5 years, $3Million, and no investors: Here's everything we've learned from building the CMS on Github 🔥
from twitter_favs
may 2018 by dshaw