Posts Categorized: Bootstrapping

Is bad copy killing your product?

This is a horror story. This is a story about the lurking, creeping horror of killer copy. Not the good kind of “killer” — no, not dope or sick or totally bad — but the kind that murders your ambitions in their cradle. Spoilers: This horror story has a happy ending. And if you watch… Read more »

Help! My SaaS isn’t growing! +60% revenue, 1 year later…

Just about a year ago, I wrote that Freckle had hit the Plateau of Doom. We were dead in the water at $28,000 a month. We’d grow a little… then shrink a little, grow a little, shrink a little… for months at a time. Why? y=mx+b. Growth (new accounts) is pretty much linear, a reliable… Read more »

Startup Escape Plan: How to free up time, energy & money to build your future

When you stop working for the day, have you really gotten anywhere? Will the hours that you spent today still be paying off for you next week, next month, next year? If your answer is “No,” then you’re probably here because you’re somewhere on the left side of this spectrum: But you want to be… Read more »

Oxygen Mask Entrepreneurship

Back when I was 24-25, I told myself that our brand new baby business would be doing $1-2 million a year by the time I turned 30. My 30th birthday is Sunday. Did we make it? Nope. Am I sad? Nope! So, should I then be giving thanks to the overweening power of subconscious self-protection… Read more »

Mojito Island & Entreporn, Revisited

This article is about Entreporn and Mojito Island, and the emotionally manipulative fantasy narratives of “success.” Entreporn is a word I coined, on this podcast. Mojito Island is another term of art that you might want to know, coined by DHH himself. Without further ado… If you ever wanted to understand the startup media through… Read more »

Fuck “Innovation” 2: Time is a Line, You Guys!

I’m writing this on Friday at 8pm. Slightly soused, if you must know. Just a scant 2 hours ago, Alex and I wrapped up our infamous 30×500 Bootcamp, 7 (really 8) hours a day, two days in a row. Yes, the lessons are pre-recorded, but the homework critique, the guidance, the Q&A? Totally live. Then… Read more »

Validation is backwards

If Startuplandia had a bible, you might guess it was The Lean Startup. And credit to Eric Ries where credit is due – he’s managed to get the masses hooked on his book’s hopeful vocabulary: Validation, Pivots, and Minimum Viable Products, oh my. Really, Eric’s reach is tremendous: I remember when a close friend of… Read more »

4 economic facts that say “bootstrap now”

Fact: Since 1970, virtually every penny gained through productivity has ended up in the pockets of capital, rather than labor: — New York Times Fact: While profits are up 44.7%, incomes are up only 3.9% since 2007. — New York Times Fact: Tech workers are not immune. Over 1 million tech & creative workers have… Read more »

How do you market a product that’s for everyone?

When you set out to start a product business… you pick a fight with entropy. And entropy usually wins. The default result is failure. If you’re sane, you know it. You’re scared by it. You act anyway, but that fear is always there. Unfortunately the most natural response to fear is to try to decrease your… Read more »

“Done” should be spelled F-A-I-L

“It’s almost done, I just need to add this one more thing…” Whooooooa there. When you teach designers & developers to bootstrap their own product businesses, as I do, that’s a phrase you’ll hear a lot — and you’ll come to hear it (as I do) as the sound of a shotgun being removed from… Read more »