My name is Jakob, and I've recently decided that instead of pursuing a career in academia or looking for a regular job, I'll try if entrepreneurship might be a viable option for me.
And since I'm convinced that formal learning is far less effective than an independent learning journey, I've developed what I call the Bootstrap MBA curriculum. It's a plan that, hopefully, will allow me to learn how to bootstrap profitable businesses.
On this site, I share my experiments and learnings.
But why should you care? In fact, why would anyone read content from someone who is neither an expert nor a particularly good writer?
Good question. If you give me two minutes, I promise it'll make a bit more sense.
First of all, it's perfectly reasonable to be skeptical.
I'm not an expert and I don't play one on the internet. In fact, most of the time I've no idea what I'm doing.
But I consider this to be my biggest advantage. Here's why.
It seems obvious that you should only learn from experts. However, usually experts have long forgotten what it's like to be a beginner. They no longer understand all the small issues that are bothering someone who is just starting out.
As an example, let's say Elon Musk decides to start a new company from scratch and promises to document every single step. Would it be entertaining? Of course! But useful? I doubt it.
Elon has millions of Twitter followers, there are thousands of people that will pre-order his new product immediately, and his new startup will get coverage in all big magazines simply because it's started by him.
So unless you're currently the CEO of a billion-dollar company, his strategies and methods won't be particularly applicable to your situation.
I'm convinced, it's much more effective to learn from someone more average who has just recently learned what you want to learn and is maybe just one or two steps ahead of you.
And I'm the king of average. I'm not only not an expert, but also neither rich nor do I live in Silicon Valley or have any kind of network I can rely on.
With that said, I should clarify that I certainly can't promise that my Bootstrap MBA experiment will be a success or that any of my businesses will generate millions of dollars in revenue.
All I can promise is that I'll share it all with you, the ups and downs, the planning, the mentoring, the fine-tuning, the strategizing.
What exactly will you publish?
I don't want to become full-time content creator or "influencer" who churns out content just for the sake of it.
Instead, I want to keep the content on this site as real as possible.
This means, I won't schedule calls or start pointless experiments just so that I have something to share.
So while I won't make any promises, here are a few examples, of what you can expect:
- When I'm planning a new project, I'll share my thinking process.
- When I'm using a new stack to launch something, I'll document my steps so that you can easily build something similar.
- When I have an interesting call, I'll share the recording and/or a summary.
- I'll share reports and updates on my various projects.
What is the Bootstrap MBA?
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 and a curriculum. 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 linked several pages that discuss the the curriculum, resources I'm using and commonly asked questions 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!