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The Inspiring Origin Story of OC's Cirrus Insight - Part 3

A thought leader guest post from local serial entrepreneur Ryan Huff:

Cirrus Insight Origin Story - Part 3

In the first two posts, I covered the “lightbulb moment,” validating the idea, scoping the MVP, and starting to code.

Bringing in helpIn this post, I describe when I realized that I needed help and how we got to the point of launch.

Bringing in help

Up to this point, it had been a creative problem-solving exercise and coding. Fun stuff! But as soon as I had other people testing the early extension, the full scope of everything that lay ahead hit me… Not only did I have to build the app, but I was starting to realize all the other things that needed to be done to get this app out to market — not to mention supporting it and growing it.

There are some people who can do it all. I can code and I’m competent in a lot of other areas, but I think this is just too much for one person to worry about all at once.

If you truly want to create something new and bring it to market,
you’ll do it faster with a partner.

I go into more detail about how and when to select a co-founder in the post above, but I’ll keep it simple here: I was fortunate enough to have Brandon Bruce as one of my best friends. Aside from being smart and as eager to start something new as I was, he works harder than anyone you’ll ever meet. I’m not kidding; it’s exhausting and exhilarating.

Brandon and I had always shared the ambition of starting a company together and had taken a couple of shots at it during college (including a killer 😂). And importantly, he and I had a complementary set of skills: I was more technical, and he was more “salesy.” As I was still knee-deep in coding and we had a growing group of users playing with the app, we decided he’d do everything outside of coding for the moment, including getting a website up and handling incoming bug reports.

Running the beta

Once we had a (really bad) website up, we created a mailing list, and we started expanding our list of users invited to try the app. We still kept it to Salesforce consultants and MVPs, but we didn’t ask anyone to keep it a secret. We would send out...

Read the rest of this article at

Cirrus Insight Origin Story series:

Part 1: The "Lightbulb Moment" and identifying the problem
Part 2: Validating the Idea, Scoping the MVP

Thanks for this guest post to Ryan Huff.

Ryan Huff is a startup founder with over 15 years in B2B SaaS, with experience building and delivering products in CRM, Sales Enablement, Sales Readiness, Natural Language Processing, and e-commerce. Ryan's started and exited 3 companies, including Cirrus Insight which grew to over $12M ARR and over 70 employees. Today, Ryan is a Partner at Fractional Founders, a management consulting firm specializing in helping tech startups and small businesses overcome growth-related challenges.

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk

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