Freebies to Get Your Bootstrap Juices Flowing

… 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 The dates and revenue numbers in this video are a little outdated, but the facts and the perspective are evergreen:

Click here to download the MOV file

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.

Why not?

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:

It’s kinda obvious in retrospect, isn’t it?
Obvious, yet life-changing. Not obvious except in hindsight, in fact! That’s why I used to hoard these lessons jealously, only sharing them with the folks who paid up thousands of dollars to take my 30×500 class.  But over time, I realized that these lessons are so critical to achieving anything, and that’s why I make them freely available.

About me…

In case you don’t know me very well: my name is Amy Hoy, I’m 28 years old, I’m a self-taught Ruby & JavaScript developer, an interaction designer, and the co-owner of a bootstrapped product empire. My work has been featured in everything from trade mags to art exhibits. By 2008-2009, I was at the top of my consulting game, with major clients like Pepsi, Ford, Mini, Coachella, all letting me and my husband implement our crazy info-viz fantasies.

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.

And that’s what we did, starting the summer of ’08. Inside of a year, I designed & planned and we built Freckle, our first SaaS. My husband Thomas researched JavaScript performance and we co-wrote a book. We launched a live JavaScript training workshop. These formed the basis of an independent, product-driven income… no more clients.

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.