Getting Carried Away

Bootstrapping new products can be more than a little thankless. You work nights, mornings, weekends and on lunch breaks to make this awesome new thing. Then you pay out of pocket to get it online. Then you monitor it to make sure it keeps working. And let’s not forget about all the promotion you really should have been doing from the beginning.

More often than not, no one cares.

Eventually you’re demoralized at best and burnt out at worst. There’s no positive feedback loop to keep you invested and interested.

Subconsciously we know this, so it’s natural to over-compensate.

Faux Validation

You’ve probably done at least one of these:

  • Design and print some business cards. (I like Moo.)
  • Get some stickers printed and strongly suggest friends and family stick them on their cars. (StickerMule is great.)
  • Create the company on LinkedIn. You can easily spend a couple hours fiddling with the profile.
  • Make a special Dropbox account for the company and add yourself as a team member. It’s best to stay organized, right?
  • Have a Press Release made ‘officially’ launching your product. Only legit companies have press releases!
  • Buy an ad in a print magazine or paper. So many people are looking for websites there…
  • Maybe go all out and get t-shirts made. And rubber ink stamps for use on the letter you send to the recipient…? Why not!

It’s Ok

To be honest, I think these are great ideas.

Bugrocket Stuff

It can give you some easy motivation wins to accomplish something related to the project, even if it’s a bit silly in the long term. Most of these things cost so little and take so little time that they’re worth it just as a nudge to get back to real work.

In short: Don’t be afraid to spend time and money on your project, even if that time and money isn’t spent as well as it could be in an ideal world.