Why is Ruboss Doing Consulting Again?

by Peter Armstrong, Co-Founder / CEO

Ruboss was founded in 2008, and we started Leanpub in 2010. From 2008 to 2019, we bootstrapped Leanpub by providing consulting services. Here, "consulting" mostly means "contract software development": we worked with clients in both the US and Canada, building web applications and mobile apps. We also provided strategic consulting, but mostly we were a software development shop. We stopped consulting in 2019, as Leanpub's revenue was enough to support our team.

We've been focused on Leanpub since then, but we're resuming consulting services in 2024.


Simple: we want to grow our team faster than Leanpub's revenue is growing.

From 2020 to 2023, we interviewed hundreds of coop students, and hired dozens of coop students. Many of these students were diamonds in the rough, and Ruboss gave them valuable work experience (writing production code on Leanpub) to help their careers.

Now, in 2024, many of these students are graduating university.

(Who would have expected that?)

This is an embarrassment of riches for us.

We have a large pool of talented, experienced employees to hire, who want to work with us and who we want to work with. Not only do we know they're good, we helped them get that way!

Now, we've already hired some of them, but we want to hire more of them!

This decision is not being made lightly. We have four years of experience focusing 100% on Leanpub with a very small team, and a decade of experience doing Leanpub plus consulting with a larger team. There are advantages to both configurations, but we're excited about the potential of growing our team again. We believe that with a larger team with a broader set of skills than Leanpub alone can support, we can make more progress on Leanpub than we could just based on Leanpub's revenue alone.

We've thought deeply about this, and have concluded that it's better to have a larger team partially-supported by consulting clients, than a small team supported only by Leanpub. (We would raise money, but given the "not a hockey stick" growth trajectory of Leanpub, and the age of both Leanpub and its founders, it's just not a good fit for venture capital at this time. Also, we're based in Victoria, BC, Canada. Venture capital in BC is basically a guy named Boris.)

So, we turn once again to our good old friend, consulting. From 2008 to 2019 we bootstrapped Leanpub by earning millions of dollars doing great work for happy consulting clients, so we know what we're doing here.

This isn't our first rodeo.

(No, we don't use a punch clock like this to track our time on consulting engagements. We use Harvest.)

While we've added a lot of youth and enthusiasm to our technical team, our management is experienced, with decades of experience building software in Silicon Valley startups, for consulting clients, and with Leanpub.

We're looking for clients who want to work with a small team that combines the pragmatism and judgment formed from decades of software experience with the fresh ideas, technology enthusiasm and energy of new graduates, to build something great together.

The key to this whole model is Leanpub. Leanpub isn't just our own project, it's also the ideal proving ground for new Ruboss employees. As it's our project, Leanpub is a safe place for them to learn and grow, and it's a place where they can make a real impact. Then, once they've proven themselves on Leanpub, they're ready to take on the responsibility of also working on client projects.

It's a win-win-win: we get to grow our team, our clients get to work with a great team, and Leanpub gets to benefit from a larger team with a broader set of skills than Leanpub alone can support.

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