There’s always this debate going on in the bootstrapper community about whether you should share your numbers publicly or not.

On one hand, mentioning a hard cash figure is probably the best way to make people pay attention to what you’re saying. Launch post-mortems that go over sales and conversion rates are always popular for that reason.

Pros & Cons

On the other hand, sharing numbers can sometimes feel a little… icky. It can feel like you’re shoving your success in other people’s faces.

And maybe I need to work on my own insecurities, but I know that no matter how successful I am, all it takes is reading another one of these stupid “How I Made $17,000 in 24 Hours” posts to feel like I’m a miserable failure. After all, I didn’t make $17,000 in the last 24 hours. So I must be doing something very wrong!

Life After Launch

So it might seem strange that over 15 months after our launch, we’re now releasing our sales number publicly for the first time.

What made us decide to finally take the plunge and share this data?

Simply that the folks at Gumroad (especially Jessica Jalsevac) put in an amazing amount of work to analyze our numbers, our stats, and even every email blast we sent out to produce an extremely detailed case study about the whole thing:

Download the PDF case study

(And by the way, if you’re wondering what makes Gumroad so great, the fact that they’d go to such lengths to write up a case study is a perfect example!)

The case study is entitled “Life After Launch: How to Beat the Post-Launch Sales Drop”, and as the name suggests it focuses on the various techniques we used to keep Discover Meteor’s revenue stream steady well past the initial launch spike:

Discover Meteor sales timeline

It includes both a timeline of our pre-launch sequence and one of our post-launch sales, a look at our marketing channels, and more.

So this case study isn’t about bragging, but about educating, which is what makes all the difference in my mind.

A Few Disclaimers

That being said, do keep a few things in mind while reading the case study:

  • That $300,000 figure is our pre-tax revenue. It’s not like we have $300,000 sitting in the bank.
  • There’s two of us, so you have to divide that figure by two anyway.
  • We made this amount over a period of 15 months, after spending about 5 months working on the book.

When you take all this in consideration, per-person profits from the book end up being in the same range as a normal developer salary. So despite what the headline says, it’s not like we became millionaires overnight and now spend our days swimming in a giant vault full of gold coins.

Learn More

Coincidentally, in a recent episode of his podcast, Nathan Barry talked about the topic of financial transparency, and I definitely recommend giving it a listen.

Speaking of Nathan, if you’re thinking about launching your own products, I suggest reading Authority cover to cover. Well, it’s an eBook so it doesn’t actually have covers, but you get the idea.

I also wrote a short overview of our marketing strategy to go with a talk I gave.

And finally, I’m always happy to try and help if I can, so if you’re thinking about launching your own products feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.

Now go read that case study!