I have friends and relatives who have done YC, gone the whole fundraising route, etc. Some who are fairly successful, but I wouldn't trade places with them in a second. I'm not saying bootstrapping is better, but if you are like me (risk averse and lazy) then it is definitely a legitimate option.
Slightly off the main topic but how much marketing and development is required to achieve the type of figures you are talking about? Typically there seems to be a massive amount of money spent on promoting an app into the top 100 list.
If you knew nothing about mobile apps today - where would you start? (Or would you start at all?)
My advice is to not create the next Angry Birds, but try and find a niche that is underserved and create a great app and charge as much as you can get away with. And get a great designer too, that's the best ROI I can think of.
Congrats on your success, do you recommend any good books or resources for bootstrapping/marketing apps?
I'm a big fan of Rob Walling's book/blog.
Thanks for being a great inspiration.
Good luck, living off income from things you make is a great thing.
Also, don't worry about there already being an app that does that. There are 600k+ apps. It's been done. But you can find a niche where the best app isn't that great, or at least where you can do it a little better. Make a great app, and make it look great. Don't try submitting things that look terrible. They will get lost in the noise at this point.
I need all the encouragement I can get.
If you're curious, the first product I'm trying to make profitable (and the one whose numbers I reference in the video) is at http://whattowrite.org
But, as I say, the stats on it are pretty bleak at the moment (I need to improve the funnel performance by ~1000%). I may end up spending 2 weeks invalidating it and then move on to greener pastures.
Regarding the amount of money and number of months it gives me, I chose the amount (10k) in order to give myself 4 months, rather than the other way around. 4 months feels about right. If I could live happily on £1k per month, I would have made it the £4k bootstrap challenge ;)
What is the writers site built with andhow will it generate revenue?
Are you adopting a lean startup approach?
Will wait to see how you monetise this. I suspect there are some serious writers/bloggers out there looking for inspiration and willing to pay?
Tiny typo. It should be 'live' not 'life'.
"So I'm betting £10k that I can build a portfolio of products which is profitable enough to life off before running out of money."
"So I'm betting £10k that I can build a portfolio of products which is profitable enough to live off before running out of money."
5 months, 1 pivot and ~£8K later I'm almost ready to release a public beta. With a bit of luck, this will happen before the end of June. I've then got a further 6 months left in the budget to feed us until the site (hopefully!) starts bringing in enough money to live off. Failing that, it's back to salaried employment (if any one will have me...)!
Having said that... I'm not sure how long ~16k USD (10k GBP) lasts in London but here (Boston) that would not give too many months of runway. Not using consulting for at least a short time he is giving himself a small window for success.
I wish him the best of luck but his approach does seem a bit aggressive.
Building a product based business that goes from making £0 to profiting £2.5k/month in 4 months is definitely an interesting challenge.
This is one of those stories that you wish you could skip to the last chapter so you can see how the book ends.
"All my expenses come from the £10k but I can only make money from products (e.g. no consulting). London is expensive, so this gives me about 4 months."
Bear in mind it's not £2.5k/month for living expenses: it's £2.5k per month for all expenses: including building the product, etc etc.
Brutal winters, though..
Our winters are lovely, as long as you don't mind a little wet.
It's a network of HN'ers launching side projects and bootstrapped companies.
If it doesn't work, I'll have to start applying for jobs related to my degree (teaching).
The key is having focus and a goal in mind. If one can stick to the plan then they are already ahead of the game.
And yes it is fun ! i guess we just gotta keep going
Edit: Looks like this site is also by him, just not submitted by him.
What is the product you are working on?
You talked about about the numbers, but some general idea of the app would be interesting if we are going to follow along with your progress.
I'm sure lots of folks, especially here, would jump in and help you improve your registration rate if we had visibility.
I'm 4 months in, I've had one scrapped project, one failed project and one project which isn't really taking off.
I'll be watching this with interest.
What it CAN do is give you decent SEO via reposts that helps diversify your inbound links resulting in better pageranking. My month of blogging has brought me from ~90th for "android dj app" to ~9th in google search.