The hard slog (an introspective humblebrag)
For some reason, this week was a pretty good week for Tenon. We got a large number of upgrades, including annual payments for some of our larger plans. We also got our fair share of purchases of our “Micro” plan, which doesn’t really make us much money but every bit helps. This morning I had to log in to Stripe (our payment processor) to help a customer with an expired credit card. I quickly became astonished at the worldwide reach of Tenon, especially lately. We have paying customers across the US, Canada, France, Scotland, Ireland, England, Norway, New Zealand, Australia, India, Spain, Japan. As SaaS companies go, we’re extremely small. As an accessibility company we’re extremely small. Hell, as any type of company we’re extremely small.
It is easy to feel like everything with Tenon is a hard slog. I am working, at some level, 7 days a week (usually mornings and evenings) on Tenon. Monday through Friday, I wake up in the morning and do an hour or so of catch-up on things like support requests that’ve come through from users in Australia and Asia. I work my normal work hours for TPG and when that’s done, my evenings are filled with family commitments interspersed with Tenon work. My laptop and mifi device come with me as I sit in the car programming while my daughter is at dance. When the family goes to bed, out comes the laptop for more work. But it isn’t just me. Developers and sales guys are also at it as well. It isn’t a stretch to say that someone is working for Tenon 24/7/365.
It is a hard slog. Everything is bootstrapped. Every penny goes right back into the company, paying for development, paying for overhead, paying for long-overdue legal bills. I’ve personally made nothing from Tenon so far, but I still consider it a massive success. I’m humbled by the fact that our growth is almost entirely from word-of-mouth. I’m humbled by the fact that other people believe in us. The slog, however hard at times, is perhaps its own reward. To everyone who has ever said nice things about Tenon to someone else: Thank you