Hi,

You probably wonder what the Bootstrap MBA is and what this site is all about. So let me explain.

The bootstrap MBA is a personal learning experiment. It's a challenge I invented to hold myself accountable and to focus my learning efforts.

I've dabbled in entrepreneurship, web development, and marketing for quite a while. But I've decided it's now time to get serious. I finally want to learn how to build web apps properly, how to launch a successful business, and how to get the word out and attract customers.

I know that I'm not alone with my struggles. Even after many years, most aspiring entrepreneurs aren't making the kind of progress they should have. The amount of time they spent on learning is definitely not the problem. Instead, what they lacked was a clear understanding of the most basic objects, of how entrepreneurship really works, why it works the way it does, and how the various aspects of it are connected.

Put another way, what they needed but didn’t have was a clear map

Once I realized that this is definitely true for myself, I set out to find a proper map. I searched everywhere, but all I found was questionable advice on how to become a frontend developer, or growth hacker, or startup founder. This wasn't what I was looking for since my goal isn't to get a job at a big company or to build the next Uber.

My dream is more modest. I want to learn how to bootstrap humble businesses that allow me to live an independent, happy life.

I found a few books and online guides that seemed like a good fit. Upon closer inspection, however, it always turned out that they lack the details, depth and actionable advice that you need to make real progress.

After weeks of unsuccessful searching, I was at a point where decided that I need to create my own map.

So this is what I did. I collected resources, and came up with a plan, a curriculum, a timeline. My next twelve months will be dedicated to a single goal: becoming a proficient bootstrap entrepreneur.

The curriculum revolves around the three key areas:

  • product ideation,
  • software development,
  • and marketing.

To understand the fundamentals, I've selected a small number of books I will read and digest. But reading alone won't get me anywhere. Hence I also came up with a list of assignments for myself. Most importantly, I will launch a new product each month. This will allow me to test my learnings in a real-world context.

If you're interested in further details, feel free to look around. I've created several pages that discuss the curriculum, relevant resources, the assignments, and my timeline in more detail.

With that said, I should point out that I'm perfectly aware that planning is the fun part and the real work begins once the planning is over. The best plan is worthless if it isn't executed. And it never has been easier to get sidetracked. Hence, to hold myself accountable, I will track my progress publicly and share regularly what I've learned.

I will also happily modify my plan as I move along. "Plans are worthless, but planning is everything," as the saying goes. Hence, I'd love to hear if you have any kind of feedback, comment, or suggestion.

You’re invited to follow along, to comment, and to modify my ideas freely to start your own experiment!

Best,

Jakob

PS: If you consider starting a similar experiment, I'd love to hear from you!

To receive updates on my progress, you can either follow me on Twitter or sign up below 👇