Rules for Bootstrapping Web Startups

Allan & Steve from LessEverything have a great list of rules for web startups. I learned a lot about # 9 at Nakama. It was all about staying just ahead of the growth curve, and near real-time scheduling. The piece that was missing from our efforts was a revenue model (who paid us for what). And I think that # 1 & # 7 are key for most web startups. Figure out who pays you and why. Then build a product that they love, that they will evangelize for you.  

  1. Build something people need and love. People will talk about it.
  2. Release, release and release. Release it before you think it’s ready, you’re wrong, you don’t need that feature.
  3. Your app will probably fail, most of them do.
  4. Be Ballsy, don’t follow the herd, make a courageous moves.
  5. Build something you want to use. Continue to use it, feel the user’s pain.
  6. Google Adwords isn’t a revenue model.
  7. Find the cheapest, fastest way to 500 paid users. People will pay for your app, if it’s good.
  8. Design is an iterative process, not just development. And you won’t get it right the first time, so don’t sweat so much.
  9. Don’t scale until you actually need to. (The front page of Digg does not count as need.)
  10. Don’t spend any money.

10 thoughts on “Rules for Bootstrapping Web Startups”

  1. I'm just looking into creating apps and this is good advice. I'd like to add from the customer perspective that adding in freebies is a good idea (I use 37 Signals backpackit for work, but love it as I can also sign up for free for my personal use). Another good idea is having someone answer customer service questions promptly. Having a FAQ people can search themselves is OK, but I love when I can type in a question and just get an answer right way via an email. There is a very low cost software out there to do this called sufaq.com. I'd be really interested to see what else is out there free or low cost to handle back end issues that come up with the app making/promoting process. __

  2. I'm just looking into creating apps and this is good advice. I'd like to add from the customer perspective that adding in freebies is a good idea (I use 37 Signals backpackit for work, but love it as I can also sign up for free for my personal use). Another good idea is having someone answer customer service questions promptly. Having a FAQ people can search themselves is OK, but I love when I can type in a question and just get an answer right way via an email. There is a very low cost software out there to do this called sufaq.com. I'd be really interested to see what else is out there free or low cost to handle back end issues that come up with the app making/promoting process. __

  3. My personal favourite: "Google Adwords is not a revenue model." It's amazing how often this comes up in conversation.

  4. My personal favourite: "Google Adwords is not a revenue model." It's amazing how often this comes up in conversation.

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