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The Bootstrap MBA

The Bootstrap MBA

By Jakob Greenfeld
In this show I document my journey to an independent MBA-type education focussed on building bootstrapped businesses. Over the course of the next 12 month I will try to learn everything I can about ideation, software development, and marketing and then I will apply what I've learned by launching a new product each month.
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Episode 10: A conversation with Amaan Sayed about learning, risks, and relationships
Amaan reached out to me on Twitter since he wanted to learn more about my Bootstrap MBA experiment and we ended up talking about a wide range of topics.
February 9, 2021
Episode 9: Keevin O'Rourke teaches me how to grow a newsletter
Keevin launched on November 5 and already gained 3,359 subscribers in just one month. Keevin discussed two things about the process of how he made his previous newsletter successful: 1) be conscious of where you put your stuff out. 2) Think about what you really like to write about. To increase the value proposition; 1) make readers/clients feel that it's an investment rather than entertainment. 2) make sure that the information you're giving out is hard to find and really valuable. Jakob and Keevin further discuss different platforms that are used to promote your stuff, one example is Reddit. Promoting yourself on Reddit may be a little bit tricky but it's worth it. The best thing about creating content on Reddit is that there are other people hat contribute or pitch in ideas or opinions on the topic you choose and can help grow your audience that way.
January 21, 2021
Episode 8: Helen Ryles, the queen of side-projects
Helen's Twitter profile  Her insane side project review which contains links and comments to all projects we talked about.
November 30, 2020
Episode 7: Rob Hope, quitting freelancing and building a portfolio of small projects
Rob Hope is a maker from South Africa and the project he's most famous for is a site called One Page Love. But he also recently published a great book titled Landing Page Hot Tips, he has a podcast and curates beautiful emails. We talk about all the projects he worked on in the past,  why every side project he launched provided lessons for the next and  how all of them helped him to fulfill his dream of quitting freelance.
November 12, 2020
Episode 6: Mubashar Iqbal, the king of side-projects
I got the chance to talk one of the people I admire the most in the maker world. Mubashar Iqbal ("but you can call me Mubs") is an incredibly prolific maker with decades of experience building things.  We talk about his process for coming up with product ideas, his experience collaborating with other makers, and the learnings from his past and current projects.  Resources mentioned: Making a Side Project article series by Mubs. Pod Hunt - like Product Hunt but for podcast episodes. The list of all the projects Mubs worked on. Quuu - a social media tool he helped get off the ground. one hour saas - an experiment to build a SaaS business in just one hour a day. Marketing Stack - a simple project with more than 5000 upvotes on Product Hunt. Maker Pad - which emerged through his collaboration with Ben Tossel. Founderpath - his current project that he started together with Nathan Latka.
November 3, 2020
Episode 5: Maker News and Learning From Nathan Latka
I talk about my launch of Maker News and the things I learned by studying Nathan Latka.  Resources mentioned: Hacker News Day by Mubashar Iqbal Maker News How to ask your mentors for help by Derek Sivers 6 Lessons I Learned from Nathan Latka
October 27, 2020
Episode 4: The Grand Unified Theory of Product Ideation and My Second Product Launch
I talk about what I learned about product ideation and my "Grand Unified Theory of Product Ideation" that summarizes the ideas of people like Paul Graham, Pieter Levels, Nathan Barry, and Amy Hoy. Further, I discuss my second project launch: a Product Idea Prompt Generator that I build to make my daily "ideation workout" more effective. 
October 15, 2020
Episode 3: Maker Reads - My first Product Launch
I talk about the launch of my first project Maker Reads. Also I didn't really plan the launch, it went surprisingly well and the project was able to gather more than 200 votes on ProductHunt and made it into their Newsletter.  I also discuss my struggles to stick to my plan and how I'm going to adjust it. 
September 23, 2020
Episode 2: First Steps into the Ruby on Rails World
A few resources mentioned in the episode: Michael Hartl's book called Ruby on Rails Tutorial. The Ruby on Rails homepage The Laravel homepage. My tweet on the outdated look of the Rails page and the comment that points out the outdated version in the promotional video. The tweet by David Heinemeier Hanson that discusses how most of the Rails developers nowadays are quite old. The article by Derek Sivers on his experiences with Rails. The Rebuilding Rails tutorial. Richard Feynman's principle "What I cannot create, I do not understand” Rich Hickey's take on Test Driven Development (TDD) Article I found useful that lists four essential articles in the Rails Guides.  The Guide to the Rails Guides Cloud 9 IDE and screenshot of the problem I experienced.  (At that link you can also see the response by the support team.) Heroku (service for Rails hosting.) My first attempt to make sense of Ruby on Rails
August 19, 2020
Episode 1: Introducing the Bootstrap MBA
This is the first episode of the Bootstrap MBA, a podcast by Jakob Greenfeld. In this introductory episode, I summarize what my plan for the next 12 month is, what the bootstrap MBA is all about, how I came up with the idea, my motivation, and how I decided what exactly I want to learn My focus will be: Ideation: Humble business ideas that have the potential to make $XXX per month and can be validated quickly by a solo-developer. Software Development: Web apps using Ruby on Rails. Marketing: Effective product launches and personal brand building via blogging, podcasting, and Twitter. The three steps I will focus on for each area are: Acquiring knowledge. Reading books, articles, case studies. Solidifying knowledge. Writing and talking about my learnings. Applying knowledge. Generating business ideas, developing and launching software products, building a personal brand. Resources mentioned: There's no speed limit by Derek Sivers I'm Launching 12 Startups in 12 Months by Pieter Levels MAKE by Pieter Levels, General Overview The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick, Ideation Generating Product Ideas by Artiom Dashinsky, Ideation The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber, Management The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman, Economics Dotcom Secrets by Russell Brunson, Marketing Ruby on Rails Tutorial by Michael H artl, Software Development The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ deMarco, Mindset Keys to Great Writing by Stephen Wilbers, Marketing People Mentioned: Jon Yongfook Mubashar Iqbal “Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” ― Farrah Gray “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” ― Haruki Murakami
August 12, 2020