Gumroad’s 2020 Roadmap – By Sahil Lavingia
I am excited to share this. One of the most fun parts about being CEO is spending (a lot of) time thinking about the grand future and then figuring out a set of reasonable steps to get there. This is the most creative bit of my job, and I love it.
Similar to an outline for a book or a gesture drawing for a painting, a roadmap does not need to answer every question. But it should be enough that someone else could take it and you would have reasonable confidence that your vision is executed in the right way (or better, given new data).
And that’s important: after the roadmap is done, it’s about execution. It’s a different set of skills separate from creativity and I believe in minimizing the back-and-forth. The more we can trust the roadmap and move with confidence that we are working on the right things, the better.
A roadmap also serves another, perhaps more important function: inspiration. When I read a good S-1, pitch, book, I want more. I want the sequel. I speculate on what’s going to happen next. I want to follow along.
On this, I give myself credit. Though I try to avoid flashy language and stay relatively indifferent in my attitude, I hope the words themselves embody some excitement. Ideally, there’s a momentum and rhythm to the words – what we’re building, why we’re building it, how that is fed by and will inform the story of the company – that starts to pull you along to a satisfying conclusion – one you’re excited about because you filled in the gaps and plotted out the future more than I did.
This is how raising money works (investors should have their own good ideas on top of your own), how hiring works (people should believe they can add to your vision), and how my favorite paintings work too.
Everyone wants to be part of the process. It feels good.
If not, well, I tried!
You can skip down to the link below to give the Roadmap a read. If you have comments, and I hope you do, just reply to this email.
The extended highlights
We posted records in Gross and Net Sales, $7.39m and $7.33m, respectively.
The annualized Gross Sales rate is $88m, +29% YoY.
However transaction volume of 427k was only the second highest on record, due mainly to a higher ASP of $17.15, compared to $14.93 during the record volume month of August.
Revenue of $492k was also a record.
YTD Revenue of $4.5m is 45% ahead of last year.
The fee rate was down slightly to 6.71% vs. 6.86% prior, likely due to the higher ASP also.
COGS-Hosting expenses fell to $42k but still represents a large overall increase from the $9k/mon average Jan-Sep. AWS was $29k, the bulk of it. Cloudflare was doubled up at $6k ($3k/mon) as the timing was off.
All other COGS categories were in line.
GP increased to $134k vs. $94k prior.
YTD GP of $1.5m is 69% ahead of last year. The GM improved to 27% but was still lower than the prior 11 months average of 35%. Most of the reduction due to the increase in COGS-Hosting, which was 8.7% of revenue vs. the 11 month average of 4.1%.
R&D consulting expense fell to $89k from $106k prior.
Total Opex also fell to $128k vs. $146k prior.
YTD Opex is more than double last year at $1.38m.
The bottom line improved to a Net Profit of +$6.7k vs. a loss of -$52k prior.
The YTD Net Profit of +$104k is down 41% from last year.
Cash increased $397k to $3.57m, reflecting an increase of $1.1m YoY.
Sellers Liability increased to $3.1m, the first time we exceeded $3m. The YoY increase is also $1.1m, which makes sense given our YTD Net Profit number.
Thanks to Steven, our contract CFO, for putting that together.
As always, thanks for reading. See you in 2020.