Health Insurance for Bootstrappers

Health insurance is complicated and expensive in the US...especially for bootstrappers. Michele walks through their own experience buying health insurance and gives a guide to the options out there. And Colleen hits her first milestone!

GUIDE: Michele wrote an in-depth companion guide for this episode. Read a more thorough rundown of the different health insurance options.

Michele Hansen  0:00 
Remember how a couple weeks ago, you were saying, you're really excited to get feedback and questions from our listeners.

Colleen Schnettler  0:08 
Yes, I do.

Michele Hansen  0:10 
So we got a really good question from someone recently that they asked me to address. And it is maybe one of the biggest obstacles that entrepreneurs in the US face. Can you guess what it is?

Colleen Schnettler
Healthcare?

Michele Hansen
Yes. Is it healthcare, it's healthcare. Yes, healthcare as an entrepreneur in the US is absolutely insane. And I had gone through so much getting health insurance for us, and had tweeted out a really long thread of the process, because I think people who aren't entrepreneurs don't realize just how crazy and expensive and difficult it is. And so I thought today that I would share some of the things I learned as we went through that process, the different things that we we use, and some of the tricks that I found to, you know, even convince health insurance companies that we qualified for health insurance with them.

Colleen Schnettler  1:16 
Great.

Michele Hansen  1:17 
So I want to start, because this is one of the big inflection points for people is when we were first considering running the company full time, right, so we, you know, we started to co do as a side project and ran it for three and a half years as a side project. And I think we ran it as a side project for longer than probably most people would, because we were afraid of, of health insurance. And you know, something that's really important. As an entrepreneur, I find it is understanding your own psychology. And, you know, we talked about this with Alex a lot, I keep, I feel like we keep talking about that interview. And even when I was a kid, my dad was a consultant. And so we had our own health insurance. And I remember my parents would refer to the company that we got health insurance through. And I think it was called US Healthcare, as US Health Scare. Because it was just so terrible to deal with. And they were as they're always talking about things about, oh, they wouldn't cover this or that, or this was crazy expensive, or this doctor, we need one actually take it and like, I just remember, it was just always a topic of conversation. And I remember when my dad finally went in house when I was 10, or so, like one of the big reasons was, they wouldn't have to worry about health insurance anymore. I'm sure there are other reasons but my 10 year old self that was that was one I picked up on. And so I think I always had that in the back of my mind thinking about our own company and having a family and I just had this idea in my head that getting your own health insurance as a self employed person is really difficult then when you do get it the insurance you get is awful. I still have that in my mind.

Colleen Schnettler  3:11 
I mean, that's a huge driving force for it. You know, it is for my spouse awry. One of us will always have a like, quote, corporate job just for that reason. I mean, that's exactly what I think.

Michele Hansen  3:26 
Yeah, I guess because you guys have federal, or, or VA Health?

Colleen Schnettler  3:28 
Yeah, we had, we had health insurance under my previous full time employer, which was Blue Cross Blue Shield, and now we have it through my husband's job. But especially with kids like that, to me, would be the biggest, like scary point of us both going independent.

Michele Hansen  3:45 
Exactly. So that was the big scary thing for us. And so when I went full time, the plan was that I would go full time, and then my husband wouldn't, because he had insurance through his job. And that only worked for about six months. And just things were growing and growing. And we couldn't stay on top of it with just me. And so he went to his boss and said that he wanted to quit. And his boss said, No. And we're like, well, this is a good negotiating position to be in. So he ended up negotiating down that he would work three days a week and reduce his salary, but keep his full benefits. So we didn't have to lose health insurance, which was so so great. And then six months later, like we were just growing so much more getting a lot of enterprise customers and like if stuff goes down and you can't respond to it immediately, you're going to lose customers, especially the big ones. So we end up going fully full time, two years ago, September.

And so what we did for the first 18 months, which so again, talking about this inflection point of "when do I go full time," which is kind of the next big one after, "How do I get something that works and makes money?".

We did Cobra for 18 months. So Cobra is a basically a federal program for continuation coverage. So for example, if you lose your job, then you can continue getting health insurance, you just have to pay the full premiums that the company would be paying for you. So you know, usually when you're an employee, somewhere, you pay maybe 15, 20, 50% of the premiums instead with COBRA, you get to stay on their plan. But you pay the full premium amount. And it used to be that you could be on it for 12 months. And then with the Affordable Care Act, this was extended to 18 months. And so I think for us, this was about $1,100 dollars a month, which is a lot of money. It was less than the Marketplace plans we looked at that time. And it was also made it easy, right? Because we kept our doctors, we right, we knew what we paid and co pays and what like it was a known thing. And then we had to buy dental insurance on top of that, which I think was about 150 or so a month. And that was actually really easy to buy, you can just like go on Delta Dental's website and just buy it. You still end up with huge bills, when you go to the dentist, though that was really annoying. So.

So first we did COBRA, and I was just if people have this option, it can be a really good one to just look into it. For us, you know, like family premiums were $1,100 dollars, but think about that, it is a business expense. So if you have a business that is running and is is profitable, then yes, you're going to take a hit on the health insurance. But it is a business expense. And so you get to write that off. And hopefully, since you're working full time on your business, it can grow more, you can get more customers, and you can recoup that.

So the next big inflection point for us came when COBRA was running out. And this was March of this year. And I dreaded that for 18 months having to go to the Marketplace plans because they are insanely expensive and terrible at the same time. I don't know if you've ever like looked at them just for fun. I mean, why would you look at no for fun, but..

Colleen Schnettler  7:43 
I would not do that. No.

Michele Hansen  7:51 
I remember I went and and I was like, Okay, let me figure it out what it is like, like, what is a plan that is, you know, like, takes our doctors like, that was the one thing we wanted. So at least like we didn't have to switch pediatricians and stuff, right? Because like where we live, like it's really competitive to get into pediatricians and you know, they all have waiting lists and and like, let's just keep them. So I went to look at a plan that would take our doctors and the cheapest one that our doctors accepted was $3,057 a month with a $6,000 deductible.

Colleen Schnettler  8:33 
Oh my goodness, that's awful.

Michele Hansen  8:36 
Yeah. Oh, and so we could switch doctors and go with an HMO like Kaiser for example. But that still had a 1500 dollar a month premium with a $3,500 deductible.

Colleen Schnettler  8:49 
Wow. Wow, jeez.

Michele Hansen  8:54 
Which is absolutely insane. Yeah, like we would like for one of the plans we would had 50% coinsurance with like for an ER visit after a $13,000 deductible. Like, and so if you had a $100,000 hospital bill, you would still be out $63,000.

Colleen Schnettler  9:17 
Oh my gosh, this is insane.

Michele Hansen  9:18 
And so we're looking at this and we're like, so that that plan that our doctors take $45,000 a year in premiums and deductibles alone, not including dental not including prescriptions and co-pays and everything else. And so at one point I realized I was like that is an entry level employees salary. Like so as a business we could choose between paying for health insurance or hiring someone.

Colleen Schnettler  9:50 
Oh my gosh, that's crazy.

Michele Hansen  9:52 
We actually -- kind of sort of on a tangent here. You know, people will often outside the US look Give us like, Why do you have this crazy system where your health insurance is tied to where you work? And, and I will never forget being in an economics class and in grad school ones, and professors, do you know who we have to thank for the structure of the US healthcare system?

Colleen Schnettler  10:20 
Oh, I know. I know. I know, FDR. Is it FDR?

Michele Hansen
No, it's Hitler.

Colleen Schnettler
What? World War Two?

Michele Hansen
Yeah. Okay.

Michele Hansen  10:28 
Came around in World War Two. Yeah, yes. So the reason why they did this is because they needed to incentivize people to go work in the factories for the war. But normally, the way you encourage people to work from an economic perspective is you raise the wages. The problem with raising wages during a war, is that you then get inflation and inflation on the homefront is a really, really bad thing during a war because it ruins morale, and it gives your enemies, you know, inroads into the population and you know, cuz people are upset because their money isn't worth as much. And so they're like, how can we incentivize people to go into the workforce without paying them more? And knowing that a lot of the people who they would need to get into the workforce were women who would be concerned about their families, offering health insurance was the way to get people in without raising wages and causing inflation.

Colleen Schnettler  11:24 
Yes, so This American Life years ago, when Obama was president had a great podcast on this exact topic for anyone who is interested, wants to learn more. Anyway.

Michele Hansen  11:35 
So back to us realizing that we could hire someone for the cost of health insurance, we actually consider going down that path. So we're like, like, we had heard that you can't get health insurance. If you're just a founder a couple and we just kind of took that as it as a given we're like, Okay, well, what if, like, we could hire someone and then get cheaper health insurance? Because I mean, there's there's company plans, like that HMO I quoted, like, you could get that for like, seven or $800 a month for a family on an employer group plan.

Colleen Schnettler  12:09 
Okay, can I can I pause you here, but you are a company? Why can't you get company plan?

Michele Hansen  12:14 
Because it's a spousal only group. So there is there gonna be some key words I'm going to drop in here that are like things you're going to need to Google if you're looking for health insurance. That is one of them -- is a spousal only group, which is specifically like, you know, like people think of like mom and pop businesses.

So oh, and so one thing I forgot to mention on COBRA, by the way, you only qualify that if you work for a company that has more than 20 people, companies under 20, people don't have to offer Cobra coverage, which really sucks if you work at a small company.

Okay, so we are a company which I was like, we're a company, we should qualify for health insurance as a company. But because we were a spousal only group whenever we went to go talk to all the PEO, so these are companies like just works and Gusto has a PEO and like they'll basically administer all of your benefits and an HR for you. They would not work with us as a spousal-only group. You had to have at least one employee of who, who was not, you know, like married to the founder on the policy.

Colleen Schnettler  13:27 
That seems completely arbitrary.

Michele Hansen  13:30 
Yes. So, so we realize we're like, Okay, what if we, like hired someone like part time for like,

Colleen Schnettler
Yeah.

Michele Hansen
$15 or $20,000 a year? And we ended up getting connected with sort of an acquaintance of ours through the, you know, MicroConf, Laravel entrepreneur world. And, you know, they had had issues with health insurance. And I was like, Oh, you don't like like we can hire, you know, our acquaintance's wife, and like, she can work while the kids are in school. And like, they need health insurance, because they they had been doing, which a lot of people recommended to me, were called health shares, which we'll get back to that. And so we like looked into this, but then it ended up being like, way too complicated, because we still wouldn't have qualified because not only they, they're, they're in a different state, which meant that we would have to be incorporated and paying taxes in that state. And then we would have to have a separate plan in that state. And we have to qualify for not being just a founder, only spousal group in other states. So it actually would not have solved our problems. I think they were in Missouri or Arkansas, and we're in Virginia, and so that didn't work out. But we actually went down the path of thinking about hiring someone just because of health insurance.

So then the next thing we looked into because they had talked about health shares, was like okay, maybe this is something we can do. Have you ever heard of health shares?

Colleen Schnettler
No.

Michele Hansen
Or health ministries are sometimes called?

Colleen Schnettler
No.

Michele Hansen
So they are basically these organizations that it kind of functions like health insurance, except that isn't. So everybody pays into it. And then whenever you have to go to the doctor or whatnot, then they pay out of that sort of central kitty of money. But they're much, much cheaper like $500 a month. The so the catch with them that they're not insurance, usually they're run as a ministry. So there there's like, usually specifically like Christian organizations, and I got some, some people have had really good experiences with them, some people have had really bad experiences with them. For me, personally having to certify that I was Christian in order to get health insurance felt like the most screwed up version of American capitalism possible. And I like just could not wrap my head around, like, coupling those things together. And, and some people had some real horror stories with them, like not paying out, they also oftentimes they won't pay for, you know, therapy or, or other things like that, like they have some, you know, specific things that they they don't believe in, and they won't pay for. And so I decided that wasn't the route for us, but it is the route for some people. So I'm just going to mention that it's kind of worth looking into and seeing if that's going to be a fit for your family.

So at this point, I was feeling pretty dejected. And then I had a had a breakthrough.

Colleen Schnettler
Yay. Tell me.

Michele Hansen
So I learned that there are a handful of states that allow small business owners to qualify for small business health insurance as a group of one.

So basically, they allow something that grammarians would would absolutely balk at that it considers one person, multiple people. Or there's also a spousal-only group of one because you're legally considered one person. And so you're also a group of one if you're if your spousal-only. And so I found this chart from the Kaiser Family Foundation, which is associated with Kaiser is a nonprofit that does health research. And it goes through every single state that says whether they have what what their definition of a small group is, which is usually two, but some states define it as one. And then whether they are guaranteed issue insurance for a self employed group of one, which basically means that does the does the insurer have discretion on whether they will grant you coverage? Or do they have to grant you coverage like they would a larger company? So this table I want to say is, is slightly out of date. And but it's a good start. So like, for example, is that you know, in Connecticut, like a group is one person versus in California, it's two.

This was a really good start learning this specific language, "self employed group of one spousal only group," this was this search term, that got me off on the direction of actually finding out that in my state, because those Marketplace premiums have been skyrocketing the last couple of years. Um, the state actually passed legislation that made it so that for the purposes of health insurance, spousal only groups of one could be considered for employer health insurance. And this law in Virginia had passed in 2018 and became valid in like the middle of 2019. But I remember I even I had to like email the and call the state insurance commissioner, the state representative who wrote the bill and my state representative, who I believe voted for the bill, to confirm that spousal only groups qualified for this because there had been previous legislation about groups of one that specifically exempted spousal-only groups from qualifying for it.

Colleen Schnettler  19:23 
Geez.

Michele Hansen  19:23 
Right. So I actually ended up getting like like a, like a letter from the Commissioner of Insurance in Virginia or an email saying that like yes, specifically like spousal- only groups qualify as as groups of one and can purchase employer health insurance.

So then I went back online to healthcare.gov. And and it was like, oh purchase small business health insurance. They have their own rules for purchasing health insurance, and we did not qualify to purchase small business health insurance through the Marketplace and I still don't understand why. And there are all these different rules about it. But we couldn't purchase it through the Marketplace. And I was like, This doesn't make any sense. Like it says that I can purchase it. But this is also saying that I can't purchase it. And so it's crazy. So I ended up emailing a broker I had worked with years ago, because I'm years and years ago, I was the Operations Manager for a small digital agency. And I was responsible for buying the company's first health insurance plan. And I have to say, like, if I had gone into this process, without that understanding of the health insurance industry that I learned from that, like this, this would have been totally overwhelming, which is why I'm doing this podcast.

Colleen Schnettler  20:42 
I'm overwhelmed just hearing a story. Like this makes me never ever, ever want to have to find private health insurance.

Michele Hansen  20:52 
I think I need to write a blog post because this is probably --

Colleen Schnettler
Yeah.

Michele Hansen
Total, you know, this is so overwhelming word vomit on insurance.

So, so anyway, so I ended up emailing this broker, and I was like, I was like, Can you just help me understand what this means? And like, can maybe, can I buy insurance from you? Like, am I allowed to buy insurance for you? And, and he was super nice. And and he was like, you know, we usually work with larger companies. But, you know, here's a here's a broker that works with small businesses and and, you know, I have some clients who work with them. And, and, and maybe they can help you. And so I talked to this local broker, which I had, I guess, I had initially been kind of afraid to do cuz I was like, Oh, we don't qualify, like, we're just gonna waste their time. Like, I don't want to even bother with that. They ended up being super, super awesome. And they said, No, we like we have had had clients who are able to get insurance as a spousal only group of one, you know, we can work with you.

In order to get through underwriting with them, which is basically like the health insurance company then, you know, thoroughly goes through everything with a fine tooth comb, kind of like how when you get a mortgage, you get a pre-approval, but then you actually have to send off all your tax returns and bank statements and everything for them to, like, fully vet it. So it was like stuck in underwriting with the health insurer for like two or three weeks. And I ended up having to send that paperwork that I had from the Commissioner of Insurance, like I had, there was like a policy letter I had found online, and like something from the state representatives I had talked to, and then that email I had, specifically saying this spousal only group of one qualifies in Virginia, and then having to send it to them and in convincing the insurance company of what the law was and telling them what the law was.

Colleen Schnettler
Wow.

Michele Hansen
Because they didn't even seem to know it. And it also it just changed six months earlier. The insurance company did not seem super eager to work with us, but we were granted insurance.

Colleen Schnettler
Tada!

Michele Hansen
And that took effect in March. And I think we actually got dental included with that. So I think it's about like $1,300 a month.

Colleen Schnettler  23:12 
With what's your deductible?

Michele Hansen
None.

Colleen Schnettler
Oh, okay.

Michele Hansen
Yes.

Colleen Schnettler
So it's better than your Cobra cover. Sweet.

Michele Hansen  23:18 
Oh, way better than Cobra coverage. Yeah. Okay. Yeah, I think we're actually we're saving like $100 a month or something because because the dental and everything else was was included so it actually ended up being pretty awesome but then of course the pandemic hit which is you know, on the one hand really great to have insurance but also you know, we stopped going to the doctor and to the dentist and everything and then and then we ended up moving to Denmark this summer and so now we have to pay for insurance through our taxes and so we never even used this amazing health insurance that I fought so hard to get but yeah, that is the saga. "Spousal only self employed group of one" are the search terms people are going to want to use when they are tackling the unruly dragon that is us health insurance. Um -- it's awful man.

Colleen Schnettler  24:19 
How many hours of your life do you think you wasted trying to sort this out?

Michele Hansen  24:23 
oh my god like hundreds of hours and then also there's the expense of it right? Like if you're thinking about you know, running your let's say your product is making your salary, right, it's matching your salary which is a time when a lot of people considering jumping into full time. If you have a family you need to add $15, 20,000 on top of that to really you know, plus you know, whatever you're paying in taxes right like to get at what is your you know, what is your f-you money number, right?

Colleen Schnettler
Yeah.

Michele Hansen
It's crazy. It's I think it's the number one thing that holds people back from becoming entrepreneurs in the US. And then it gets even more screwed up when you realize that that's actually the point. Like the point is for people to not work for themselves, the point is for people to work for companies, because again, the, the whole point was to encourage people to work for companies without raising wages, which is, quite frankly, I mean, it's a crazy thing to look at a chart of wages in the US since the 1970s, and see that the cost of having an employee has gone way up for a company, but wages have stagnated because benefits costs, especially health insurance, have skyrocketed.

Colleen Schnettler  25:45 
Yeah. So can I summarize, for those that are thinking about making this leap and trying it? First thing, use your COBRA as long as you can. So you can have time to sort it out.

Michele Hansen
If you have it, if you work for a company with more than 20 employees.

Colleen Schnettler
if you have access to it.

Colleen Schnettler
Second thing, get on the internet, and see if your state qualifies for this group of one company health insurance.

Michele Hansen  26:06 
Self employed group of one. And if it's only you, you might have to add a spousal only self employed group of one.

Colleen Schnettler  26:17 
And then once you sort that out, you have to go to the marketplace and try and buy it. But they might not let you buy it there, because they don't even know the laws?

Michele Hansen  26:27 
I wouldn't even they don't know the laws, if you don't have an employee. It doesn't seem like you can buy through the Marketplace, even if your state allows you to buy Small Business Health Insurance without an employee.

Colleen Schnettler  26:36 
So you have to find an independent broker and write them. And then you're going to email them that email you got from your state, maybe telling you it's legal. That sounds great.

Michele Hansen  26:46 
So they're not using a broker at least is that you don't pay extra on top of that, like there's all sorts of kickbacks going to the insurers. It's kind of like when you buy a mutual fund or life insurance, like you're like you don't pay a fee to your agent, like they're just getting a percentage fee. Which is also -- this is also why you should be cautious about financial advice from somebody who works for a company. But that's a topic for another day. But basically, your broker is going to get a get a kickback from the insurer. And they will show you they should show you plans from from multiple insurers as well. Be -- don't be afraid to go find a local broker. And if you have a friend who you know works in HR, for example, for a company near you, in your state, maybe ask them who they work with. And maybe that whoever they work with can get you off on the right direction. You can also just Google it, but I feel like with such a complicated thing, people like to work with people who are recommended.

Colleen Schnettler  27:44 
Yeah. Wow. Well. eah. Glad you guys sorted it out, essentially,

Michele Hansen
It's a saga. Gaga.

Colleen Schnettler  27:50 
Yeah, no kidding.

Michele Hansen
And it's so expensive. Like I just said, If policymakers actually wanted to encourage small business creation, reforming health insurance and making it not so ungodly, complicated, and expensive with what I would say is the first step.

Anyway. Did you get your 10 users yet?

Colleen Schnettler  28:15 
I did -- got them yesterday.

Michele Hansen  28:16 
So to catch everybody up. Because we had our interview last week with Michelle, which was so amazing, by the way, like I really want a VA after talking to her.

So Colleen got her image management service done and ready and into the Heroku marketplace, which is the first place she's launching it. And in order to get it out of out of beta -- or into beta --

Colleen Schnettler  28:42 
So it's an alpha. It has to go to beta.

Michele Hansen  28:45 
In order to get it into beta with the Heroku marketplace where like other people can search for it and sign up for it. She needs to get 10 users of it. So, did you get your 10 users?

Colleen Schnettler  28:58 
Got them.

Michele Hansen
Yes!

Colleen Schnettler
Got it yesterday! Victory!

Michele Hansen  29:00 
Sliding in under the deadline! I had written in on my calendar today ask Colleen if she got 10 users. And you're like, "this is my goal, hold me to it. And you did it."

Colleen Schnettler  29:12 
And that's one of the things I love about our coffee chats is, as this is a side project I'm trying to fit in between work and life. It helps to have our weekly catch ups. So I'm like, Oh, I got to do this. Because I told Michelle, I was gonna do this. So yesterday, instead of just like throwing it into the ether, like, I targeted specific people, I knew that I knew how to Heroku accounts. I was like, "hey, do you want to sign up?" People like personal invitations, and it worked. So I got my 10 users. So the documentation is almost complete. I wrote it once. I gotta go and add some documentation for other languages because I wrote it. It's very Ruby on Rails specific right now. So I need to go back and add some other language support. And then I submit the documentation for approval, and then I believe I had to talk to a real person, which should be fun. And then it's in beta. And then it's I can't charge for it yet at that point, but it's open. And it's available on the marketplace to allow users to sign up and try it out.

Michele Hansen  30:15 
So a couple of weeks ago, we're talking a lot about documentation. And I'm curious -- if kind of had almost a mental block around it.

And I want to say, or you just really weren't looking forward to it. Like, it was very much a chore. And I'm curious if we made any progress on it.

Colleen Schnettler  30:33 
I find that for me, writing documentation is like writing an English paper was in high school, like, I hated starting. Now, once I started, it was okay. But man, starting was just challenging. And documentation is the same way. Two days ago, I started two days ago, so better late than never right? I sat down, and I started writing it. And once you start, it's okay. Right, you get into it. And so I wrote my first draft of it. And then I was reviewing it today and realize I hadn't -- I needed to include this for, you know, different languages. So it's almost done. So it should be done by tomorrow. So by next recording of our podcast, I will definitely be in review, I would have hoped they can turn it around faster than a week, we'll see.

Michele Hansen  31:21 
It sounds like. You said it's boring, like a high school paper, but you didn't treat it like one, you know. I mean, I didn't start English papers until the night before. So you, and you've actually you're editing it and you're editing it, you're going over it, you're I mean, maybe you were super conscientious in high school.

Colleen Schnettler  31:42 
Once I started getting into it, it was fun. Because I was able to like, take a step back and try to put myself in the shoes of someone who's never seen this before. So it was good for me to approach it in that way, to really try and spell out all the details of what's happening, how it's happening, and how you can work with it. So it was actually kind of fun. Once I started, man, there's just something about starting that's tough with that, for me, I don't feel that way about writing code. Like I love trying to implement new features or whatever. But there's something it's, you know, I don't blog. And that's probably why. You know, there's a lot of talk in the developer community, oh, you should blog. I've written like five...

Michele Hansen
There's a lot of talk in the developer community that "you should blog, you should have side projects, you should know why..." you don't need to do any of that.

Colleen Schnettler
Let me just say you don't need to do any of that. If you don't want to do that. The blogging thing, especially like I love that other people do, and I appreciate it. But it takes a ton of time. And it's just not something I've ever been into. So...

Michele Hansen  32:47 
But you know you are into, is like solving your problem and not having to deal with this anymore. And I wonder if you can kind of put yourself in the shoes of Colleen six months ago who was slogging through image management manually on a site and like, imagine that you are talking to yourself six months ago, and explaining this really cool tool that you have just found. But you have to tell past you how it works.

Colleen Schnettler  33:19 
Yeah, totally. And so I'm trying to approach it in that way, like, and it's funny because so I have to write it in other. Like I said, I have to use other languages. And I don't know Node. I've never I mean, I know JavaScript. But I haven't written anything with a Node back end. And so a friend of mine, jumped on a call with me today to talk a little bit about the node ecosystem. And how if you have a Node application, the ways in which you might implement this. And it was great to see his perspective coming in from like, a completely different language. And it also he was like asking me how something worked. And this particular part I had written like six months ago, I didn't even really remember I was like, I don't remember if I preserve the ID or the name of the tag or both. So I had to go back in and check. So I added that to the documentation. So when I forget again, in six months, I can look at my own documentation.

Michele Hansen
Nice!

Colleen Schnettler
So it's good. You know, another thing that I'm thinking about, but it's a little premature to do is I told you it's everything is written in such a way that I can pull it off of Heroku. And I have more people interested in this that do not use Heroku. So my original plan had been to like go through the entire Heroku pipeline. But the problem with the Heroku pipeline is you have to get 100 people to sign up.
That's crazy.

Michele Hansen
That's a lot.

Colleen Schnettler
That's a crazy lot of people. Are you kidding,

Michele Hansen  34:49 
Like, I mean, if I can, like if you're getting basically five people a week. Like that's gonna take you 18 more weeks. Right,

Colleen Schnettler  35:01 
like it's gonna take forever. So I don't, I don't, I'm not there yet. Like, I've got to get my documents approved. But as soon as I'm in beta, I'm also going to, maybe we'll see, we'll talk about it.

Michele Hansen  35:11 
Like 18 weeks? How, like, how many more Perpetual Marches is that, I don't even?

Colleen Schnettler  35:17 
it just seems like I don't know, if I'm missing something I, as I said, I think I actually get to talk to a human. So I can be like, hey, human, really. Um, so I've got I've had a couple people that are not on Heroku asked me to use it. And I'm tightly integrated into the Heroku ecosystem, because I'm a Rails developer. But I know a lot of people who are pure JS developers, and they're not. They're not using Heroku. So some of them are, but most are not. So I'm thinking maybe once I get everything rolling with Heroku, I will take the steps to release it into the wild. We can we can talk more about that. But I've been thinking about that, as more and more people have kind of been like, Oh, I want to try it. I'm like, Oh, well, right now. You can only sign up for Heroku. They're like, Nah, I don't use Heroku.

Michele Hansen  36:03 
Well, guess what's being off of Heroku? You can also charge for it right away.

Colleen Schnettler
Yeah, girl. Sure can!

Michele Hansen
So maybe, to kind of, you know, yeah, as you said, once you get everything sort of set on Heroku. I mean, also, you're removing your platform risk, right, like we talked a little bit about the whole, don't build your house on someone else's lawn risk, and you are diversifying that risk right away and can potentially start bringing in paying users faster. Sounds like a win win

Colleen Schnettler  36:33 
Yeah. So yeah, that might be that might be a win win. So I'm thinking about that.

Michele Hansen  36:42 
Well, we'll be excited to hear where you are next week.

Colleen Schnettler
Awesome.

Michele Hansen
And if anyone else has any other questions for us, or things that you would like to hear us talk about, definitely feel free to tweet at us. You can find us at @softwaresocpod.


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