The design of that website looks awfully familiar, ha.
Was a cool story though
I’ve mostly finished building the MVP of my Disqus competitor that won’t track your users or give that info to other parties, and doesn’t have those notifications or links that pull users away from your site.
Landing page – I know I know I should have done this first, but building it was fun even if it doesn’t gain traction.
Possibly implementing fully custom CSS/Styling (sanitized). Still deciding whether that should be part of the MVP or not. Probably not.
Soft launch and after that jump out of my comfort zone and try to sell :D
Outside of that I’m thinking of picking up a copy of Getting Things Done and at least 1 fiction book because I miss reading fiction. Really I just need to get away from a screen! Suggestions on books welcome :)
Good read! I read these every year, but this one was well done.
I am glad the post was useful, I have been struggling with it since the money left my account :)
It feels good knowing that I am not the only one struggling with this.
I am going to write more about it after the event and try to understand if this conf is really worth it for our kind of bootstrapped projects/situation.
That was useful. I’ve been mulling it over as well. It’s a pretty major undertaking.
Thanks, I will pass it to the artist!
Great illustrations :).
Now, I’m not saying that everyone has the potential to earn billions of dollars. But every single successful person I know has the same approach as Ford. They’ve worked for free, interned, worked in minimum wage service jobs, cleaned floors, and cold called.
I know a lot more unsuccessful people who’ve done (and are doing) this. This whole “let yourself be exploited and one day you’ll catch a break” cargo cult really irks me… works great if you’re an employer though.
Some good ideas here–particularly #3
Wow this is a really interesting perspective - a lot of us (at least me) love to drink the bootstrapping kool-aid and not really consider that there might be a reason the VC-funded startups are obsessed with growth beyond greed. It’s very Game of Thrones - you play or you die. I like that he called out 37Signals specifically too, given that they’re the most militant about not growing.
I love the guides on Sumo. Every time I read one I come up with a half dozen “to do” items.
I’m not a big fan of the idea that companies should grow as fast as possible, but I thought that this was a well-reasoned experience report of passing on that opportunity. (Though this scale of opportunity is very rare!) He certainly passed on a lot of potential revenue, and it could’ve been the end of his company. There’s very real risks on both sides of the choice.
Excellent post, thank you. It’s difficult to find content with actionable items, so this was a refreshing read.
the plural of anecdote is not data
This. So much this. Extrapolating from a personal experience to inaccurate generalizations is such an easy trap to fall into. Gotta stay sharp and watch myself.
This quote really makes the article:
… when I finally had something to show off, my business partner opened the local newspaper, picked a bunch of local plumbers, and called them in an attempt to sell the idea.
He called 10 plumbers. 5 of them suggested he place the idea in an anatomically implausible location. 4 of them had their secretary provide the same advice.
Looks like this is his third product, and having an audience of 40k potential users is a great head start. But yeah, not a lot of audience research or anything to see if people wanted it, just “I think I’d want it”, which sometimes works wonderfully and sometimes is a dud. Kudos to him.
I’m amused at how he did everything wrong according to conventional bootstrap wisdom - rushed straight into developing, didn’t do any interviews or create a landing page first, never did direct sales, but succeeded just fine. There’s something to be said for the power of an audience - if you’ve got 40k twitter followers who cares about marketing :p.
Man I’m torn - half the people in the world will tell you to do this, the other half will tell you the focus on getting your first MVP out before you start worrying about content marketing :(.
Thanks @clifford :D