Ideas and Validation September 28, 2020

I quit my job 3 months ago with 12 months of savings. Here is my plan and the project I'll start with.

Jim Zarkadas @jimzarkadas

After reading the article "The Stairstep Approach to Bootstrapping" , I decided to focus on the following plan.

So far I've been a design agency co-founder (120k ARR), design leader for 5M+ users product (, but it's my first time as an IndieHacker.

I set for myself two goals for these months:

  1. Grow my network and build meaningful long-lasting relationship with like-minded people in the tech industry.

  2. Disconnect my time from my income as much as possible. Stop selling my time and start selling products that will generate passive income.


  1. Bigger network = more opportunities. The more people I know and have mutual trust with, the more opportunities will show up. My favourite quote is "your net-work is your net-worth"

  2. Passive income = freedom. On top of this I'll learn how to build, market and sell products.

Keeping the stairstep approach in mind, the best way to start for me is to make a course on one of my biggest achievements in life.

"How I built a design agency, dropped out of university and reached €120k ARR"

This course will ignite the fire for me and will teach me how to ship, price and sell a simple product. The audience is clear and easy to identify so it feels like a good first shot. Once it's live I can focus on marketing and start building the next course. My goal is at the end of these 12 months to own at least 50% of my time.

What do you think?

  1. 1

    i think a lot of ppl have the goal to get to passive income. do you have a product idea yet, or a process you think will thrash out that idea?

    1. 1

      No, I didn't have any idea when I quit and decided to do this part of my journey. At this moment I am working on a course and in the same time I have some SaaS ideas I would like to explore.

      Also I ll start doing a bit of freelancing in the next months as a side thing to provide me more stability since so far there has been no income for me from products.

  2. 1

    Hey Jim, sounds like a good plan.. There is always a lot of conversations around making a "small" product first (and some people disagree), but I think from a purely mental perspective it's a great idea. Good luck

    1. 1

      Thanks! it's exactly what you said. I think it comes to finding the strategy that works for you as a person. There is no golden rule that everybody should follow imho. In my case I am too inexperienced and afraid to go for a SaaS product that's why I took a step back and decided to teach myself marketing + sales by keeping product development complexity low. Iterating on a design course for example is way easier for me than pivoting a SaaS web app on my own. :)

  3. 1

    Thank you for sharing this! The stairstep approach to bootstrapping is amazing!

    1. 1

      No problem happy I helped!

Recommended Posts