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North Star Podcast

Jul 6, 2020

My guest today is marketer and software engineer Patrick McKenzie, who writes mostly about software-as-a-service businesses. He currently works for Stripe as a writer and an overall software business expert. I remember when I signed up for Stripe's Atlas program to incorporate my LLC, almost all of the documentation that wasn't legal documentation was written by Patrick.

Patrick has also started multiple software businesses such as a bingo card creator for teachers, an automated appointment system that sent automated reminders to clients, a gaming company for teaching programming called Starfighter, and a software consultancy called Kalezumeus Software.

I have devoured Patrick's work. He is one of my favorite online writers. Before we begin, here's my attempt to summarize what I've learned from him in three sentences. First, charge more for your services and products. Second, the economy is much bigger than you thing. Three, create for unique people, not average ones.


Show Notes

3:07- What surprised Patrick about writing online. Why writing online takes you from someone who is illegible to someone who is legible. Why blogging has a lower value for business people.

13:40- The benefits of owned platforms vs self-published. What people are missing about writing long-form. How to make the illegible structures legible in your online audience.

24:18- Where all the great bloggers went. Patrick's writing process. Why you should grow an email list.

36:43- How to identify which ideas are worth publishing. How care for the craft has influenced Stripe's culture.

46:55- What writing regularly does for a company. Why write the book before the software.

1:00:01 How "Patio11's law" explains the amount and wealth of niche software companies. How to develop a love for your craft.

1:12:36 How to increase your optimism and ambition. Why self-promotion is like cooking.