If I Started Now: How to Start a Software Company That Makes $40,000 Per Month

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This post is part of the If I Started Now series, which hands you the step–by–step blueprint on how to get started building a particular business.

Let me share a secret with you.

Software is the greatest tool for building a profitable business that the world has ever seen (even if you don’t have any money to get started).

Bold statement, I know.

However, once you’re finished watching today’s interview, I’m confident you’ll feel the same way.

Why Should I Watch This?

Today’s interview is with Dane Maxwell and it will cover the exact steps you need to take to go from nothing (seriously — you don’t even need an idea!) to a profitable software business.

Dane has already built four six–figure software companies and his biggest seller, Paperless Pipeline, currently pulls in over $40,000 per month. Yes, every month.

If you have ever thought about building an iPhone app, web app, or any type of software then this interview is for you.

The goal of this interview is to help you answer the question, “If I started building a software business, what steps should I take right now?”

Don’t miss this one. You’ll love it.

Click the Play Button Below

Mentioned In This Interview

Special Gift — Because Dane is my main man, he has decided to give away a free gift to Passive Panda readers. Click here to find out more.

Spin Selling — Dane mentions this book in the interview (and I promptly pull a copy off my shelf like it was planned all along). You can check it out on Amazon here.

The Foundation — Dane has also taught hundreds of students how to build their own software companies. One student, Sam Ovens, recently went from having no money to building an iPhone app that pulls in over $2,500 per month … and he did this all in 10 weeks. You can get a case study of Sam’s full story here.

What You Should Do Now

Leave a comment below and share your thoughts on this interview and on any questions you have about building a software company.

As always, I’ll do my best to help.

43 Responses to If I Started Now: How to Start a Software Company That Makes $40,000 Per Month

  1. Brian says:

    Enjoyed the video, good information. Makes you think!

  2. Zaynab says:

    I have to say James, this is the best interview I’ve come across where it goes into detail of the start and finish of getting started in a business from literally beginning with no idea at all. Just want to say thanks for seeking out this information to help so many people.

  3. Kristjan says:

    Wow! Thanks very much for that!
    Dane seems like a cool guy. I can see he is doing very well by the looks of his place.

    I have thought about making a software for a PC and another for a smartphone.

    What’s holding me back is all the legal nicety that comes with it – lawyers, taxes, patents, copyrights, business forms etc. I’d say the legal stuff scares me a bit.

    Also, lack of money. I’ve heard that programmers don’t work cheap. Is it really as costly as I think it is?

    • Dane Maxwell says:

      Kristjan, we actually don’t advise people join The Foundation with any ideas at all. It’s not about having an idea. In fact, most ideas are failed. Most ideas that are extracted from markets around painful problems are successful.

      Your idea might be profitable, but it’s likely it won’t. We won’t know until you try and sell it. Inside The Foundation we kick people out if we find they are developing products or writing code before they have a paying user. Strict, but it’s how we are successful. And we teach you how to do this ethically, legally, etc…

      As far as the legal, I started paperlesspipeline without any attorneys, I found a problem, found a paying customer, hired a developer, negotiated him down to 50% of pay (happily)… used money from customers to fund development. And worried about the legal after I was profitable.

      Hiring good developers is costly. But there are ways around this like I mentioned, and giving equity, for example. Developers are more favorable to equity when they see you already have a proven product with paying customers before it exists.

      Opt in for the case study with Sam Ovens at James link above… we cover all this in depth, for free….

      Thanks for the question.

  4. Donna says:


    There are no words to describe this “nugget” you’ve shared. It did not only make me think, it made me act!

    I asked the questions you shared … and was able to answer them (Wow!) correctly. And now I have serious direction on my business project.

    Thanks again for the wisdom PP and Dane!

  5. Peter says:

    Hi James,
    Thank you for having Dane give his amazing insights. Coincidently I’m in Real Estate and during Dane’s video he got me thinking. I’ve come up with a great idea (the idea has already been developed) that can be approved upon no end. You’re correct Dane when you say why bother coming up with new ideas when they are already out there. They just need to be perfected. This is one of James’ s ethos.
    Thanks again to you both.

  6. Dan says:

    Absolutely amazing, what a great process, get the idea, get money from the customers that helped you with the idea and then launch it, genius!

    I really enjoyed how Dane talks about not worrying about if the market or idea is interesting or not. There are s huge mindset that teaches people to start a business or product based on their passion, “passion don’t pay the bills”

    Thanks guys!


  7. Allen says:

    Hi There

    Enjoyed your video and wanted to share it with others, but the video froze on the second try on Thurs. Aug 23, 2012.

    It says that the video incounted an error. Don’t know if it’s my error or yours.

    Again it was a great interview and I look forward to seeing it again and others to follow.



  8. Stephanie says:

    Hello James,

    This interview was awesome and it makes me think a lot about my business. I do not sell a lot of my services (I’m creating websites for business) and now I just think that it may be because I don’t have any marketing background. I try a lot but I cannot sell a website for the price, that for me, is the right one.

    So I have a question for you… Do you think that I need to go back to university or something like that to get marketing courses or will I learn this through the years?

    Thanks again for this blog that I enjoy to read!

  9. Todd says:

    Thanks for sharing Dane and James. Questions for Dane:

    Can you give us an idea of time and cost to develop the software for Paperless Pipeline?

    Did you bootstrap funding or have partners?

    Thanks in advance,

  10. Keith says:

    Does anyone have any idea how much the 6 month course to The Foundation is?

    I can’t find the price on Dane’s site, and it sounds like it going to be pretty expensive. Are we talking more than 4 figures?


  11. AJ says:

    Man, that was awesome.

    Thanks for making it happen, and the detailed insight.

    Just wondering if the foundation would work from a practical point of view for someone based in the UK?

    Thanks again

  12. Suraj says:

    Brilliant video! However I have one question. I love how you (Dane) say that you outsource the actual building of the software to programmers, but what if they end up stealing your idea!? Has that ever happened to you and if it did what did you do?

  13. Paul says:

    I can’t watch the video. I tried to click on the video and it won’t play.

  14. Amazing video. Downloaded it from Vimeo so that I can watch it again, but next time takes notes.

    Love how you break down the whole process into simplistic steps in order to create the whole.

    Also my new Mantra is going to be :-
    “Solve The Pain” LOL

  15. I chose a niche and started contacting companies by phone but I can’t get past receptionists, some are really rude!
    In the last call I was trying to explain that I was trying to help by building a software and I was told that they aren’t going to help anyone build a software product.
    I thought that by actually carrying a conversation I’d get a better response, but I guess email may work better…

  16. Mae H says:

    This is a great blog that I came across at work. I am happy to carry this with me and read up on your tips (and not to mention the prizes!) ;)

  17. Pam says:

    There are a lot of great ways to make money and one of the things that you have to understand is that any idea will work. I love those Iphone app stories as those people were smart and got in when the market was going up.


  18. Taran says:

    You have lot of great posts to read.I really like your blog, this info will really help me in business.Great work done.

  19. Daniel says:

    Great post. I love industry posts that discuss more psychological aspects, so I loved reading about the two types of disinhibition.

  20. Christopher says:


    That was a very good interview. I watched Sam yestarday late at night and I think that what you guys do it’s awsome! Changing the mindset is critical – I’ve known that before – but sometimes it’s hard, and you show me that’s possible. Thanks a lot and keep up a good work at Foundation.

  21. Taran says:

    This is a great blog that I came across at work.This interview was awesome and it makes me think a lot about my business.

  22. Bridget says:

    Thank you so much for this information! This has been an excellent resource for me in getting started on my entrepreneurial path!

  23. Rick S says:


    What is the name of the protyping/mockup software that you described in one of your posts/blogs? I wrote it down many months ago and now when I want to go out and get a copy, I can’t find my notes..


    Rick S

  24. Maria Maricris R. Lobrido says:

    Hi,I used to have so many business plans on my mind. I don’t have the idea on software but I am willing to learn if you would help me find the opportunity that suits me without spending too much.I’ll be needing your help on this.

  25. Jenny says:

    Great video!
    Dane- In the foundation, of the 88 people that joined, how many created softwares after the 6 months? For the rest the didn’t, what were the reasons why they didn’t?


  26. Jordan Leleivre says:

    What kind of capital is required to pay a developer to create a good piece of software? And where can I find a good developer?

  27. S. B. says:

    Very informative and inspiring. The software business model is, indeed, amazingly scalable.

  28. Dario says:

    Awesome Awesome Post!! But, if your accepted, how much does it cost to be apart of Foundation?


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