Zero to Sold - Deepstash

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Validate Your Idea Early On

Validate Your Idea Early On

Research, test, and validate your software product idea before investing time and resources.

Avoid falling into the quicksand of an untested idea and ensure you have a solid foundation to build upon.


1.26K reads

Communicate the Value Proposition Clearly

Communicate the Value Proposition Clearly

Grab your customer's attention with a strong value proposition that showcases the benefits of your product.

Your value proposition is the ultimate bait, hook, and sinker that can reel in your target audience and set you apart from your competitors.


845 reads

The Small Itch You Have

The Small Itch You Have

Start Small, Stay Lean

  • Bootstrap your startup and avoid premature funding that adds complexity.
  • Begin with a minimum viable product to validate assumptions before scaling up.
  • Keep operations lean, delaying hiring and overhead until revenue justifies it.

Scratch Your Own Itch

  • Build products that scratch your own itch - solve a problem you personally face.
  • This ensures a target audience exists and allows intuitive refinement based on your own user experience.


757 reads

Obsess Over Core Value

Obsess Over Core Value

  • Continuously identify and focus on delivering the core value that customers truly want.
  • Say no to superfluous features or scope creep that don't address the core job to be done.
  • Refine strengths rather than chasing breadth.


647 reads

Talk to Customers

Talk to Customers

Proactively engage with real and prospective customers to understand their needs and pain points. Solicit feedback early and often.

Iteratively improve products based on user insights rather than assumptions.


563 reads

Judiciously Automate

Judiciously Automate

Automate processes only after nailing down the essentials. Avoid prematurely over-automating before identifying core pain points.

Outsource selectively - don't relinquish control of critical processes.


544 reads

Hire Slow, Fire Fast

Hire Slow, Fire Fast

Be extremely selective when hiring team members as early hires are crucial.

But part ways quickly with wrong fits - the wrong people can sink a small business. Opt for skill fit over culture fit.


557 reads

Mind the Sales Funnel

Mind the Sales Funnel

Obsess over your sales funnel by monitoring key metrics.

Diagnose and improve lead generation, conversion rates, and customer retention through testing.


535 reads

Focus on Cash Flow

Focus on Cash Flow

  • Manage cash flow aggressively, not just profitability.
  • Tight cash flow will cripple otherwise viable bootstrapped businesses. Maintain adequate reserves and runway.


531 reads

Maintain Control

Maintain Control

  • Bootstrap to maintain control rather than giving up equity prematurely.
  • Take funding only when needed for pivotal growth. Retain leverage to make key decisions.
  • Have a target sales number in mind that allows an attractive exit.
  • When a serious acquirer offer meets that number, be psychologically ready to walk away on solid terms.


508 reads



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Zero to Sold: How to Start, Run, and Sell a Bootstrapped Business is a book written by Arvid Kahl in 2020. The book provides a step-by-step guide to starting, running, and selling a bootstrapped business. It covers topics such as developing an idea, creating a product, finding customers, hiring employees, raising capital, and exiting a business. It also provides advice on the key elements of an effective business, such as goal setting, customer service, financial planning, and marketing. The book also offers actionable advice on how to use technology to create a successful business.

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