12 Startups in 12 Month
Apr 18, 2021
I'm launching 12 startups over the next 12 months. Read on to learn why, how, and the framework I'll be following.
I'm launching 12 startups over the next 12 months. This post is an attempt to give myself some structure to this whole bootstrapping / indie maker thing. For the next 12 months, I will be following this framework. Hopefully it serves as a useful resource to all my fellow makers out there.
My goal in life is to have 24 hours a day to spend how I choose. To do this, I need to have assets that earn money while I sleep. I have no interest in working a traditional job and I don't want the stress of trying to launch a VC funded unicorn. I don't want to apply to accelerators and wait for someone to accept me. I want to build my own way. On my own terms.
I'm not trying to become a billionaire. Rather, my goal is to be a time billionaire and have financial freedom. The best way for me to achieve this is to bootstrap software startups.
There are three main parts to launching a startup. Coming up with the idea, building it, and marketing it. I am going to split my time evenly between building and marketing. I tend to over-build things so hopefully forcing myself to split my time evenly will solve this. I've spent the last year trying to build a startup Wavium without much structure. It's time to change that. I need a routine and new habits.
This outline is a living document that will change as I acquire new information and knowledge. The framework consists of five parts. The first three focus on building and launching startups, while the final two are longer-term and will help me increase my startup success rate.
Here is a time breakdown of each section.
- Ideating: ongoing
- Building: 2 weeks per month
- Marketing: 2 weeks per month
- Learning: ongoing
- Sharing: ongoing
When choosing the monthly idea to work on, it'll have to check all of these boxes or I won't start working on it.
- Is this a problem I have had?
- Can I build it in under two weeks?
- Can I monetize it from day one?
- Is there little ongoing maintenance?
- Can it make me money while I'm sleeping?
- Does it excite me?
To find an idea that I'm happy with I'll need to be brainstorming all the time. According to James Altucher, the more ideas you write down, the better they become. So, I need to be writing down ideas every day.
Based on the criteria I've set for ideas and my personal goals, software is the logical choice for what I should build. Plus I know how to design + code software products.
The most important part of building is to only build the core of the product. Constraining myself to 2 weeks of building per month means I'll have to be ruthless with the features I want to add.
“For each feature, ask yourself if you could still sell your product without it. If the answer is yes, then lose the feature.”
You can always add features later, but you can never recover the time you spent making stuff nobody needed. Build only the core, then launch it.
To move quickly I need to use tools I am familiar with.
- Design: Figma
- Front end: React & Next JS
- Back end: Firebase
- Payments: Stripe
This is my weakest skill, so I'll need to learn lots about launching and marketing products. Here is a great excerpt from MAKE:
Launch early and multiple times. Launch to famous startups websites (like Product Hunt, Hacker News, The Next Web), mainstream websites (like Reddit) and mainstream press (like Forbes).
But more importantly, find where your specific audience hangs out on the internet (or in real life) and launch there. Launch in a friendly way, that means "here's something I made that might be useful for you", instead of acting like you're some big giant new startup coming to change the world.
In order to increase my chances of success from one of my startups, I'll need to always be learning about the three parts listed above.
I've compiled a list of amazing people to learn from on my Twitter.
- Demand side sales
- ...many more
For every startup I launch, I will be building in public. That means being transparent about how it's going (even when it's not going well). Hopefully this inspires someone else to give it a shot.
Sharing also leads to building an audience, which will greatly increase my chances of success. I'll be sharing my progress over email, which you can subscribe to at the bottom of this page.
- 10 ideas per day
- 2 high-value tweets per day
- Weekly recap blog post and newsletter
- Monthly summary blog post and newsletter
- 2 weeks of building per month
- 2 weeks of marketing per month
- Plan tasks each week
- Stick to a daily routine