Hi, I’m Amy. “Who” I am doesn’t matter so much as where I’ve been & what I’ve been doing, and why I’m doing this, right here, now, for you.
My backstory in a paragraph
I hated the mechanics of being paid for my time.
I hated consulting. HATED it. Hated the futility of it, hated the bureaucracy between me and the end user, hated the futility and wastefulness of it. And the economic model, too, was a total drag.
When you get paid to produce, you get paid for your time, no matter how it is that you’re billing.
You’re burning your most precious asset in a bonfire and at the end, all you’ll have is ash. (And a little bit of cash which, let’s face it, never lasts. Yep, I’m a poet.)
Even the best value-based billing system in the world won’t save you from the Work, Get Paid, Start Over cycle.
But time doesn’t have to be your only asset
If you build actual assets — rather than burning what nature gave ya — those assets can keep generating returns well after the hours are spent. Each hour you spend can, retroactively, be worth more and more as time goes on.
If you’re rich, those assets might be a huge interest-generating pile of money, or maybe lots of real estate. If you’re not rich, though, you can create assets through sweat equity.
I’m talking products, people. Products!
You know, True Wealth.
I knew this for myself; by the day that we started working on Freckle, I had known this for years. For a decade, almost.
But I had never acted on that knowledge. Not until the pain got unbearable.
Thus began my “Year of Hustle”
I reached maximal Fed Up Ness with the hamster wheel of consulting in May, 2008. I convinced my soon-to-be husband, Thomas Fuchs, to build a product company with me. He was skeptical, but I overruled him! Ha!
I’ll be honest: It wasn’t hard for me.
I had long mastered the art of knowing what people wanted, & needed, and how to sell it to them. I was reading biz books as a teenager (such a nerd!) and I had always taken my job of selling my consulting services very seriously and done it very well.
But my friends kept failing.
As Thomas and I made thousands of dollars right off, with a very reasonable amount of effort, I watched friend after friend after friend struggle and fail.
All preventable, too! If only they’d known the right way to go about it.
Why did they all do it wrong?
That was what I asked myself: Why? Why is everybody failing in such obvious and predictable ways?
Well, as it turned out, a VC-backed consumer startup had all kinds of networks and information to rely on. But a bootstrapper, who made things to sell? Nada. Zip. Zilch. Not books, or even blogs, much less communities to gather around.
So I started blogging about biz on my formerly code-and-design blog. I held a conference call and told stories of struggle and success, in December 2009, and the number one bit of feedback was: MOAR!!
And so, slowly, 30×500 (the how-to-not-fail-at-selling-your-first-product class) was born.
We started with Freckle & JSPR in 2008…
Since then we’ve added a bunch of products & workshops to our lineup:
- HTML5 Mobile Pro (workshop: retired, video product: still chugging’)
- Product Launch Roundtable (sold out! video available as a 30×500 bonus)
- and of course the mack daddy of all start-a-successful-product classes, 30×500, very much alive and coming up on $1,000,000 in student-generated revenue.
Together, Alex, Thomas and I put on bootstrapping conferences:
- 2010, Vienna, Austria: Schnitzelconf
- 2013, Philadelphia: BaconBizConf
- UPCOMING: May 29-30, 2014 Philadelphia, BaconBizConf rides again.
Today our company is 4 full time people (me, Thomas, Devon, Thomas C.) and 1 part-time person in Philadelphia and 1 full time person in the Philippines.
That’s the history.
It’s also the story of WHY I do what I do:
- to create the life I want for myself, and for our team
- to work on things that last
- to serve my customers directly, with no one who can force me to do anything but my very best
- to teach the skills that I have to others so they can do the same
If I can help you make your life better by helping others and getting paid for it, that impacts your family, your friends, your neighborhood, and of course your customers… and that makes their lives better, too.
Trickle down rule-o-nomics, baby.
Here’s how to get started.
Don’t Fave This Post: How to REALLY Launch in 2014 is the post that brings together so much of what I teach into one kickass guide.
More reading: History As It Happened™
I’ve been writing on this site a long time, and so you don’t just have to listen to me say “Over 5 years, I did this!” You can also read what I wrote at the time. The history is interesting (and educational, if you’re wanting to try it yourself):
- October 2010: I’ve Made $216,688 From Products This Year
- March 2012: 3 Years of Bootstrapping – Half a Million Dollars A Year Later – and 30×500, Redux
- December 2012: 4 Years Into Our SaaS: Why Bootstrapping Was the Only Logical Choice
- December 2013: Lessons Learned from 5 Years of SaaS… and $1 Million in Revenue
- December 2013: 5 Years of SaaS Growth: Every Month, Exact Numbers
Aside: Other stuff we’ve made
…for funnies or out of rage (at shitty design/experiences) that you might have seen around on the internets: Twistori, Every Time Zone, Creative Scrape (RIP), Failcamp (the very first one, yes, really).