The Episode in 60 seconds
Considerations when deciding whether to bootstrap:
- Bootstrapping is a long term project which needs time and dedication.
- Once you decide to get on the VC train, you can’t go back.
- External funding rounds also mean valuation rounds, which you have to keep driving up. A downround can be detrimental.
- If you cannot get a top tier international investor, it may not be worth the trouble.
Bootstrapping a user base:
- Brand: building trust and recognition is a long term game that will pay off.
- SEO / organic search: quality content and a product that truly meets the user needs will go a long way. Of course, this makes you dependent on the search engine algorithm.
- Community: know your target audience and build a community around your product.
- Once you have a user base, experiment everything and optimize whatever you can.
- Always test on a subset of users to minimize overall impact of negative test results.
- Monitor all KPIs, not just conversion (e.g. customer retention, customer lifetime value, satisfaction, etc.).