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Adii Pienaar

Now working on Receiptful. Co-Founder & ex-CEO of WooThemes. Author of Brandiing. New Dad. Ex-Rockstar.

Inflection Point

I was working on one of the lessons for Unstartup this morning and I was exploring some of the very early days of WooThemes. This meant literally delving into e-mail archives of more than 6 years ago to figure out what exactly had happened back then, which lead me to this story...


Throughout the latter part of 2007, I had started building the first WooThemes product and I ultimately pulled the trigger on this release on Friday, 2 November 2007 (today, I'd never - ever - release anything on a Friday). And very soon after opening up the payments functionality, I had generated my very first sale. Soon a couple of more sales followed and by the end of the day, I had sold 5 copies of the product at $99.95 a pop.

The next two days were on the weekend and I subsequently followed up these initial sales with only one sale late in the day on that Sunday. But Monday came and the sales started picking up speed again, where I sold another 12 copies until that Friday.

That accounted for about $2000 in revenue in the first week and at the time I was absolutely ecstatic with this. Prior to this, my highest-paying client projects were for about $1000 and I'd have to work on that for 3 / 4 weeks. And here I had made $2000 selling my own product in the space of a week.


As I relived this experience this morning, I realized that this was a major inflection point for both myself (as an entrepreneur) and for WooThemes. Never say never, but I honestly doubt that WooThemes would've ever been created if it wasn't for those early revenues.

Or more importantly: revenue on day one.

Those revenues ultimately shaped the way that WooThemes built and it automatically made one of the biggest decisions in Woo's history, which was to bootstrap the business. In turn, bootstrapping became such a big part of Woo's DNA, which in turn became a significant competitive advantage over the years.

All of that can be traced back to those revenues on day one though.

What's your startup's inflection poing? What can you do today to move closer to that point of inflection?

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