Who is Nathan Rosidi?
Nathan Rosidi is the founder of Strata Scratch. Strata Scratch is an interview prep platform for data scientists! Nathan Rosidi built Strata Scratch as a side hustle, bootstrapping his whole way to 5 figures in monthly recurring revenue! Nathan wanted to build a product that he needed when he was a data scientist.
How do you balance a side hustle and work in the same industry?
It’s quite difficult to balance both, and Nathan Rosidi makes it a point to not let anyone at his day job know about his side hustle. What’s interesting is that a few of his colleagues actually know about it just based on coincidence! His colleagues were searching for this service and came across his platform, Strata Scratch.
Nathan used to spend 30-40 hours a week working on Strata Scratch while working his full-time job. During that time, he focused on building systems and a great team that can handle the day-to-day.
Can Your Day Job Be a Conflict of Interest with your Side Hustle
If you are planning on starting a side hustle that is close to what you’re doing in your day job, Nathan recommends starting and building just like he did.
He separated all of his work, had a separate laptop, and even had hours that he would work on Strata Scratch. During those hours, he couldn’t touch the day job work and vice versa.
Do you want to turn your side hustle full-time?
When Nathan Rosidi first started Strata Scratch, he never thought of it as a transition to full-time until the end of his career. Nathan believed that this would be there for him to make some money in his retirement, and a good business to settle down with.
What will bring you full-time?
A revenue number will not make Nathan go full-time. It is when Strata Scratch goes from B2C to B2B. Right now, everything is systemized where Nathan does not have to spend much time during the day anyways. When Strata Scratch transitions B2B, the lifestyle is different.
The companies will need meetings and support during daytime hours, and Nathan will need to make himself present.
What is your current monthly recurring revenue?
Strata Scratch has just crossed $20,000 in monthly recurring revenue! In the last 7 months, revenue has skyrocketed! Every month it grows a little bit, even with Nathan doing less work.
What is the profit margin of a SaaS business?
If you do it properly, you should be able to get 50% margins with the software business. There are fixed costs like wages, product development, and other miscellaneous expenses that you know you will incur no matter how many users you have.
Fixed costs are there if you have 0 users or 1000 users, they don’t change.
The costs that grow extensively with your customer base are your customer support and service. As a software business, you need to be prompt when replying to your customer’s questions.
How did you get your first few users?
It was really difficult to get the first few users. Nathan Rosidi had about 2 years of just iterating on the product, testing different hypotheses, and figuring out what users wanted. Nathan got his first few users blogging and posting regularly on Medium.
They have a tight-knit community of Data Scientists that read Medium, and getting in front of those people was crucial. ThroughMedium, Nathan got his first few people to try his platform, and then he sent them surveys to find out what else they wanted.
What was your Minimum Viable Product (MVP)?
Nathan Rosidi did not do your traditional MVP, where you launch bare bones. He decided to launch with the full-fledged platform, full of all the bells and whistles. Nathan had his developer build the front end from start to finish.
This strategy could’ve backfired on Nathan if the business didn’t work, but he looks like a genius now! One of the main reasons he decided to launch full-fledge was because all of the content was already done and on the blog anyways.
What is next for Nathan Rosidi and Strata Scratch?
Right now, the platform is all about interview preparation. As a data scientist, there are so many technical concepts and skills that you need to know to get certain jobs. Nathan would like to get to a point where Strata Scratch can solve all of the questions for data scientists, including all the little technical skills.
Once that is done, Nathan would like to expand his niche from just interview prep to continuous learning for people who are employed. Once that is completed, Nathan would like to help people advance in their careers and create a roadmap for the customer.
Can you post the same blog post on Medium?
Yes, in fact, that is exactly what Nathan Rosidi did. He first publishes the blog post on his website, and then once it is indexed by the search engine, will repost it on Medium. That allows for more exposure and for people to continue reading on your blog if they want more information.
Check out Nathan Rosidi Medium page here.
Where can people go to get their first few users?
It is all about knowing where your users are going to be hanging out and wanting to digest that information. It will completely depend on the industry. For example, the tech industry loves Twitter!
Nathan believes that Reddit users may be a little bit cheaper, they don’t upgrade to his premium plans as much as users coming from other platforms. YouTube users have high search intent and Nathan has seen them have a much higher conversion from free to paid.
No matter what industry you are in, there will be lots of channels to find users. Your goal should be to focus on just 1 or 2 of these channels.
How do you find time to prioritize family, work, side hustle and life?
Nathan believes that having a full-time job helps you prioritize. In the beginning, you are forced to go a little slower because you have only a small amount of time. With that small amount of time, you have to really focus on what tasks are going to be the most important.
“Having a limited capacity is a forcing function to being able to prioritize” – Nathan Rosidi
How do new side hustlers work with a team while working at the day job?
Your team is everything! It can make your life easier or a lot more difficult. Nathan hires freelancers that have full-time jobs too! When he interviews them, he makes sure they have good personalities and can match up with each other.
The other important factor is that Nathan does everything himself first. He makes sure he understands what is happening, how long it should take, and then tells them to add their expertise to your process. Once that is done, you can step away little by little to where you are not managing it anymore.
What do you recommend a side hustler do if they’re passionate about a topic?
If you’re passionate about a subject but don’t know how to turn it into a product, you can do a few things. Nathan recommends monetizing your passion in one of two ways. Both can work for generating an idea, but you can do what is best for you.
What is it that you would pay for that doesn’t exist
This was the case with Nathan. The premise of Strata Scratch is something that Nathan was looking for but couldn’t find. He knew that if he found it, he would be willing to pay for the information. Putting a price to that validated that other people would most likely pay as well.
What is it that is broken that you feel could be better
In some cases, your industry may be saturated or have a lot of products and services available. If you have tried some of the products or services, write down what you liked and disliked about them. Talk to people who have also taken them and find out their side of the story.
You can easily improve something that already exists and charge a premium for a better service.
What book do you recommend for new side hustlers?
While interviewing Nathan, I noticed the vast book collection behind him. Nathan is a fan of autobiographies, learn about people who have had success!
Nathan Rosidi’s favorite:
- Ben Horowitz’s “The Hard Thing About Hard Things”
What would be your #1 tip for a Side Hustle just starting out?
Join the community. Join the groups and discuss with other people. Network with everyone and try to get an understanding of what is necessary to actually succeed.
Connect with Nathan Rosidi
Visit his website at StrataStratch.com
Email Nate at [email protected]