Day #191 | Churn

Losing a customer sucks. It always does. It's rejection. Even though it's not personal, it feels like it. Many times someone unsubscribes and my whole day is ruined. Not as in I cry or anything. But my excitement for the day can go from like an eight to a five.

But if I reason about it like I'm doing now, I realize it's stupid. I'm playing a game that is long by design, and there will be good days and bad days. The ups and downs are part of it, and just make the journey more enjoyable and the reward so much sweeter.

I remember getting very upset with a $5/mo customer unsubscribing from GitGardener. Today that seems silly to me and I'm mad that I was hard on myself for no reason.

I also remember talking to my dad about losing customers.

My father owns a small/medium size business in Greece, around 50 employees. He sells medical devices to hospitals. Mainly devices used in spine and brain surgery. Very interesting stuff, that's probably in my future. But not yet.

Like most people, I really admire my father. I also understand that he has been running his company for 35 years and been through it all. So I talked to him about it.

"It's all about how much you need your customer", he said. "If you have three customers and lose one, it sucks. I used to be like that in the beginning."

"But nowadays I don't need anyone individually, so if I lose a client/hospital/surgeon, I wish them all the best from the bottom of my heart and move on. I won't lose sleep over it. Money is not an issue for me anymore anyway."

"Also," my father continued, "it has to do with experience. With time you understand that not only it's not the end of the world, but maybe even a blessing in disguise."

That struck me. So my father wasn't always stoic and zen like this. He is just doesn't need anyone anymore. So why would he lose sleep, even though he is "losing money"?

Similarly, now when I lose a $5/mo customer I honestly couldn't care less. What? My MRR will go from $1546 to $1541? So what!

But when I was at $300 MRR and two $50/mo customers churned.. Oh boy, bring the stretcher. This guy is going to pass out.

Us makers are still very young in this game. Two to three years of building products is considered to be a lot. That's insane.

We might have troubles with stress, work-life balance, motivation, tying your happiness to your product's success. But we are still early in this long long game.

We'll see the people that remain in five years time.

Anyway. As you can imagine, I experienced churn today. But I won't let it ruin my day.

Edit: The customer said he was very happy with the product but found automated ways to gather more EU startups. He wished me the best and said he would recommend my product to others. That's cool.

@alexwestco