From Corporate Developer to Micro-SaaS Entrepreneur: My Journey to Founding Hurrah.dev

From Corporate Developer to Micro-SaaS Entrepreneur: My Journey to Founding Hurrah.dev

Hey there!

I often get asked how I stumbled upon starting Hurrah.dev. My journey began back in 2005 when a small company in Cleveland, OH hired me to build what was then called a Content Management System. I was just making the leap from Lead Software Developer to Chief Software Architect.

The company was small and had a product they were working with, but needed something that would scale. It's also important to note that this was during the time when Microsoft was creating the second iteration of the .NET Framework, which provided many opportunities that didn't exist in Classic ASP.

I spent almost 3 years designing and developing a product that evolved from a CMS into a Digital Experience Platform, which is still used by clients as large as FedEx, Ericsson, and Centene, among others.

For the next 10 years, up until about 2018, I focused on enhancing, supporting, and growing the product. However, things started to feel a bit stale. While it was a great product with many happy customers, my career began to stagnate.

Reflecting back, I realized that I was happiest when I was innovating, building, and designing new products. The problem was that the company I built the product for wasn't interested in changing things up. They had a lot of satisfied customers and were still finding new ones, so my job became increasingly tedious.

Around 2021, my kids went off to college, and I decided to spend my nights and weekends doing what I love. I started on Upwork.com, searching for exciting new jobs, which luckily coincided with an up-and-coming market for Micro-SaaS.

My Upwork.com journey was rocky, to say the least. I had to write dozens of proposals a week, and many times, nobody even read them. That was not how I wanted to spend my time, but when the right opportunity came along, I was on cloud 9 for weeks.

I also took on some challenging projects, such as picking up where others left off, which can be difficult. However, I was taking on anything I could to learn the latest tech and build new things.

That's when I realized I could turn this into more than just freelancing – I needed to make it a real business. As a lead developer and software architect for many years, I found that there was one other thing I missed during my freelance career. In addition to a love for technology, especially the latest and greatest, I missed sharing it with other developers.

That's when I reached out to friends and family in the tech community and started to collaborate. Even my son, a junior at Miami University of Ohio and a computer science major, participates in our weekly meetings.

Now I had everything I wanted from a career standpoint, but I was troubled by how to find clients. So, I started to focus on my process. I realized that developing every site from scratch worked, and I had tons of boilerplate code, but it was still taking a long time, and that time led to prices that were too high for the Micro-SaaS and MVP projects I loved.

This realization is where my freelancing became a company. At this point, I decided to use my skills as a software architect to develop a tool that would help me build these web apps faster and support them more efficiently.

I spent about 6 months without clients to build a simple and customizable NuGet package that I include in all of my projects. It goes hand-in-hand with a boilerplate database designed for growth.

Now, armed with this starter kit, I could build new web apps in under half the time. At this point, I had people, a product, and customers. This was where I felt the need to take some risk and invest more than just time in my business.

By investing in marketing, I've been able to grow the business, and I'm hoping for much more in the future.

Looking back, I'm proud of the journey that led me to create Hurrah.dev. It hasn't always been easy, but the challenges I faced and the lessons I learned along the way have made me a better entrepreneur and developer. I'm excited to see where this journey takes me and my team next, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to do what I love every day.

Until next time...

-Mike


Thank you for reading all the way through. My goal for this newsletter is to give you valuable insights into automation, micro-saas, and solutions to help you run a more efficient business.

Here are a few ways I can help you:

  • Hire my team at Hurrah to help you turn your manual work into automated processes. We work with B2B and B2C businesses of all sizes.
  • Get a free review of your company's Excel or Access document and discover how a custom Micro-SaaS solution can optimize your processes.
A photo of Mike Kerchenski

Mike Kerchenski

Experienced full-stack developer with over 20 years of expertise in building web and mobile applications. Proficient in ASP.NET, .NET Framework, ASP.NET MVC, Web API, ASP.NET Core, and Azure. Skilled in database design, database programming, IIS, deployment, source control, dev ops, and front-end development. Passionate about the art and science of programming, constantly learning, and adhering to best practices such as source control, unit testing, and SOLID principles.