… ok, that sounds a little creepier than I intended. But nevertheless! Read on for free goodies, a crash course in bootstrapping ethos and strategy!
No outside funding. 100% bootstrapped. 100% ownership… and total control. In 2012, our products grossed us three quarters of a million dollars. All that, starting from a product revenue of $zero dollars in 2008. We have a mix of software, technical ebooks & videos, live technical training, & asynchronous online classes. And by “we” I mean me, my husband, and our sole employee.
I’m a bootstrapping believer, because I’ve seen the alternative
Bootstrapping gives you total control and total ownership. Product income + control has absolutely revolutionized my life. That’s why I stump for the bootstrapping approach.
I’ve had too many friends and acquaintances in the traditional startup biz to think it’s anything but one long disappointment. Here, I tell some of their stories (anonymously).
If you really want to bootstrap your own business (or anything)…
… you need to watch this video. This is the foundation of everything I teach.
Success isn’t what you think it is. After all, 10 years ago, 37signals had no products. The dates and revenue numbers in this video are a little outdated, but the facts and the perspective are evergreen:
It’s 43 minutes long, and there’s a blip in the audio part way through. (Sorry about that, but it’s too important to get out there, rather than waiting forever to re-record.)
Why an idea is a terrible place to start a business
Fightin’ words, I know. But true.
You know what I mean: you wake up energized, eureka! You’ve found your great idea. It has such promise. You know that this time, it’ll work. You’ll make money. You’ll achieve your financial goals. You’ll be able to build the life you want.
But it never works out.
Read these lessons — full lessons from my 30×500 class — and you’ll slap yourself in the forehead and wonder why you didn’t think of it before:
- Lesson 1 – Why Things Are Broken
- Lesson 2 – What to Do About It: Crafting Your System, Step 1
- Lesson 3 – What to Do About It: Crafting Your System, Step 2
But I hated it. I hated consulting. I hated the treadmill. I hated having my work pissed on. I hated the lack of control. So I knew I had to make a change… I knew I had to make products.
Then, as the second year of this effort rolled around, my friend Alex and I launched the first edition of the class that was to become 30×500 — we called it Year of Hustle, after my hustling year. I’ve been teaching designers, developers, & writers — folks like me — like you — how to create & launch their own products ever since.