Bootstrapping a Startup, a Developer’s Tale

Bootstrapping a Startup, a Developer’s Tale

Most developers will be brimming with ideas, some of which end up as side-projects. But what happens when you decide to turn one of these side-projects into an actual business? A product that you charge people money to use and that you hope will one day become your full-time gig?

What follows is a cautionary tale, warts and all, from someone who has been there, done that and got the t-shirt. Hear from a fellow developer: what it’s like to build and launch a product in your spare time; how your developer brain can actually work against you; why your idea might be doomed from the start; and ultimately, how to make the right choices to maximise the chance your bootstrapped startup will be a success.

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Tekin Suleyman

May 12, 2013
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Transcript

  1. Bootstrapping as a Developer Tekin Suleyman - @tekin - http://tekin.co.uk

  2. What is Bootstrapping? "Classic bootstrappers: entrepreneurs who are working their

    butts off to start a great business from scratch with no (or almost no) money." Seth Godin
  3. Bootstrapping as a Developer

  4. Why Bootstrap?

  5. Why Bootstrap?

  6. Why Bootstrap?

  7. Why Bootstrap?

  8. Crowd.fm

  9. None
  10. Crowd.fm • June 2009 - First commit • July 2010

    - First event published • Feb 2011 - 5 active beta users • May 2012 - Launch • June 2012 - 1st paying customer! • June 2013 - 10 paying customers...
  11. Build Something You Can Sell

  12. None
  13. Build Something You Can Sell Software != Business

  14. The Problem With Ideas... Have an idea → Build it

    → Profit!
  15. The Problem With Ideas... "… and yet by far the

    most common mistake startups make is to solve problems no one has..." Paul Graham
  16. The Problem With Ideas...

  17. Heisenberg’s Observer Effect

  18. The Problem With Ideas...

  19. The Problem With Ideas... http://crd.fm/2oz How to Negotiate the Long,

    Slow, SaaS Ramp of Death
  20. Choose The Right Customers

  21. Don’t target Consumers!

  22. Choose The Right Customers

  23. None
  24. Choose The Right Customers

  25. Economics of Pricing $$$ Number of Customers Revenue Fixed costs

    Variable costs
  26. Economics of Pricing $$$ Number of Customers Revenue Fixed costs

    Variable costs
  27. Choose The Right Customers Customers that are willing and able

    to spend money!
  28. Choose The Right Customers

  29. Choose The Right Customers Build an Audience Content Marketing

  30. Building an Audience "We were able to launch KISSMetrics and

    get over 100,000 monthly organic visitors in less than a year, just through blogging and creating infographics. We didn’t build 1 link manually… we just spent our time and money on content marketing." KissMetrics
  31. Building an Audience

  32. Bootstrapping as a Developer • Do the hard stuff •

    Solve the right problem • Choose the right customers
  33. Bootstrapping as a Developer Build Something You Can Sell!

  34. Bootstrapping as a Developer Tekin Suleyman - @tekin - http://tekin.co.uk