Zero to Sold

How to start, run, and sell a bootstrapped business

Arvid shares his learnings from building FeedbackPanda, a bootstrapped EdTech SaaS business that grew from 0 to $55,000 MRR in two years and was then sold for a life-changing amount.
You will learn how to start, run, and sell your own bootstrapped business.
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Hello hunters! 👋 This book is my attempt to share what I learned over a decade of trying to build startups without sounding like I've figured out everything now that I had some success. I share my learnings in the context of what we tried, how it worked, and how it didn't — more often than not. So, what is this all about? *FeedbackPanda* is an EdTech SaaS that I founded with my life-partner Danielle Simpson. She was an English Online teacher who had English Online teacher problems in a huge English Online teacher community, so we build an English Online teacher productivity product to solve her problem, and sold it to her peers. We bootstrapped all the way, were profitable a few weeks after we launched, and grew the business for two years before we sold it. Being a good German, I made lots of notes and documented almost everything in the business. Zero to Sold is the ultimate document of a successful bootstrapped business: a memoir, a manual, a journal, and a guide. The book is a culmination of over 6 months of writing, every single day. It contains everything I know — and nothing else. It's as actionable and pragmatic as I could make it. You will: -🔍 Learn how to explore and validate your idea before you jump into building a proto type that no one needs. - 🎯 Find a well-defined audience, locate their critical problem, envision a solution that fits into their workflow, and build a product that makes them want to pay. Then, build a repeatable process of selling your product: a business. - 💰 Grow your business sustainably and make it sellable, even if you want to keep it forever. Or sell it for a life-changing amount of money. Either way, you can prepare. I hope it will help you validate your ideas, build your products, and grow your businesses. Because building a business allows for wonderful things to happen, like this: Danielle and I worked hard while we ran FeedbackPanda, but we also had amazing opportunities. Here's us taking a well-earned sightseeing day on top of the Great Wall of China during a visit to a Chinese EdTech conference in 2018. That's the kind of stuff that building a business can make possible. Quick update: the book has now reached this incredible, INCREDIBLE milestone:
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@arvidkahl Congrats Arvid! Any plans on releasing an audio version anytime soon?
@arvidkahl Definitely in the company of other great books. And I can appreciate the German-ness that went into making it! Looking great!
@sashaeversnap I'm definitely planning to. Not sure how, really. I wonder if I should record it myself.
@fernikolic1 Thank you, that's very kind!
@arvidkahl congrats, can only imagine the learnings and information you’ve distilled into this! Big launch - great work.
Isn't there any preview of this book? Even the table of contents is not seen properly.
@sungho I uploaded the ToC again, you can see it as a big image here:
Congrats to the Launch Arvid and thanks for sharing your experience. This Books saves a lot of time for new founders.
@flowdee Thanks! That was indeed the point. Back in 2017 when I was joining the IndieHacker community, I was looking for a central resource, and beyond a plethora of guides and articles that touched on some but not all parts of the journey, I felt lost. Zero to Sold is my attempt to create that resource. Not saying it's the only resource needed, far from that, but offering something more comprehensive than a scattered collection of articles.
Hi Everyone, Arvid is not only a great guy, he is also a great writer. His content about entrepreneurship is always inspiring and actionable.
@jeremy_maub Thank you very much, Jeremy. You don't know how much this means to me. The ever-looming imposter syndrome and creeping self-doubt are washed away for me right now :D
Hello Arvid, I'm so glad this book was published. Following you for some time through thebootstrappedfounder newsletter. Bought it yesterday and I can say it here - this is one of the things I can recommend even before reading. It's a steal at this price. Thanks again for collecting and sharing your experience in one place. All the best
@bruno_raljic Thank you so much, Bruno. I'm very grateful for your support, and I am happy to hear that my newsletter has been insightful for you. Did you know that I started the newsletter to hold myself accountable so that I'd write at least one article a week? :D
@arvidkahl that was a clever decision :D