Product Development March 6, 2020

Bootstrapping to $10k/mo with a full-time job (and why we raised funding)

Luke Thomas @fridayhq

Hi Indie Hackers crew:

A few weeks ago I asked if people wanted to hear the inside story of how I bootstrapped my startup to $10k/mo before raising VC. People were interested, so I just finished up a 5k word post on the story. It's a bit long, but I hope it gives you an inside view of what it's like.

You can read it here:

I also wrote another 2k word post outlining everything I would do differently if I started another company, which you can read here:

My hope is that this gives you food for thought. If anyone has questions/comments, I'd be happy to dive into more detail within reason :)

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    I'm enjoying this article quite a bit. Thank you for sharing. Not sure if you've already done this, but you might consider checking out (@patwalls runs it) and sharing your storing there, too. We ( are going through the process there now and have had a great experience so far.

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      Thank you @fitzn great to hear!

      For anyone that's interested, you can submit to share your story here:

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        Also, might as well plug my own product now since you DID mention focusing more on QA for your app once you hit a certain level of revenue and cost per contract :) Reflect ( has a free tier you could use to quickly create and run front-end web regression tests. Feel free to check it out!

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    Great read, and what an interesting journey you have had. I totally agree that selling into HR is hard (I run an HR SaaS - 😊). But on the flip side, once you are 'in' at a particular company, it is usually for the long haul (our very first customer is still with us), and they don't mind paying big $$$ for even simple add ons.

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    Luke, Automattic (i.e. just raised $300m in funding. They are 100% remote workforce with the CEO an ultra believer in open source (wordpress is open source). You should sell to wordpress. They have the money now. CEO Matt is evangelizing remote work. If you can close him he may pitch your product on your behalf.

    Anyways, thanks for sharing your story. Very helpful (both articles). The Yammer CEO video was quite useful as well. If you have time, can you share other videos by successful founders you thought were helpful.

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      BTW, while not the perfect person (as this person doesn't work on the tech side), I do know someone who reports directly to the Automattic/Worpress CEO. I can make an intro if you'd like and if the person likes your product she may possibly intro you to CEO (no guarantees of course) for a trial rollout. I already know what they use internally as a feedback tool and I can fill you in (and you can decided if your product works better than what they have).

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    Really great read!

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    First comment from the first article "Not a fan of the use of passive income", second article header "1.) Don't believe the passive income lie"


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    Incredible story and super actionable advice. It was definitely long, but I was fully engaged all the way through. Thanks a million for sharing, Luke.

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      Thanks @jordin_codes - glad you enjoyed it!