Highlights from "MAKE: Bootstrapper's Handbook"

By Pieter Levels

Cover of the book MAKE: Bootstrapper's Handbook

You'll always have time to perfect stuff later. You can always iterate and develop it to be great later. Why not perfect it step by step? Make small improvements.

Making a minimum viable product means it has to be viable, it's not an excuse to be lazy and make something half-assed. So it's all about balance. Make something great that functions and it can be minimal. But make sure it works!

While working alone in my underwear on the side of my hotel bed with my MacBook and my coffee, I was able to outcompete million-dollar VC-funded teams of 30+ people in an office in San Francisco with Aeron chairs, oakwood meeting desks, $20,000 espresso machines, bean bags and ping-pong tables.

If approached wrong, raising money means you can skip the actual product validation (if people want the product) and finding a business model (because you don't need money to survive, you have funding).

The most important selling point of Product Hunt for me is that it's packed with tech journalists trying to find their next story. Usually what happens just hours or a few days after a Product Hunt launch is that you'll see your app show up in articles in the tech press all around the world. That alone is a great thing and probably gets you another 50,000 people to visit it over the next few weeks, depending on the media outlet

In most cases, you should launch as fast as possible. Because you want to have people using it. Why? Because then you can figure out if they use it, how they're using it and if they don't, why not? You can find bugs you haven't found yourself. And you can get direct feedback from users to improve it.

Be mindful that Hacker News is notoriously hateful. They can destroy your entire company verbally in the comment section. But they're also one of the most honest places on the internet. They regularly predict the downfall of huge companies years in advance because they see through the PR bullshit (like [they did predicting the fall of Groupon](https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2654788)). That means they'll see through your bullshit too. And many times they're right

People will judge your app fiercely. If something doesn't work, well it's bad. But if two things don't work, they'll just say the entire app sucks. That's how humans work.

If you can't work on a few different ideas because you think it takes too much time, you're probably spending too much time per idea, too much time on executing something. You should make things more minimal.

These highlights are sourced from my Kindle using Readwise. Readwise automatically syncs all your highlights from various sources. It's cool. Referral link if you'd like to try.

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