Arvid Kahl is a software engineer turned entrepreneur. He co-founded and FeedbackPanda, an online teacher productivity SaaS company, with his partner Danielle Simpson. They sold the business for a life-changing amount of money in 2019, two years after founding the business. Arvid writes on TheBootstrappedFounder.com because bootstrapping is a desirable, value- and wealth-generating way of running a company. In over a decade of working in startup businesses of all sizes, Arvid has learned a thing or two about what works, what doesn't, and how to increase the chances of building a successful business.
On Feedback Panda
- For context, and I know you've told this story before so we'll be brief, why you started Feedback Panda with Danielle and what it took to grow?
- (I may do this in the intro)
- Ultimately, why did you sell, was that the ambition to start with?
On Zero to Sold / Bootstrapper problems
- I'd recommend people pick up a copy of your Zero to Sold book if you're a bootstrapped founder, or are trying to figure out how to grow your business. Arvid, talk me through why you wrote the book and what indie hackers can learn from it?
- I find a lot of founders start out with an idea and without validation will just start building. Some may even work away for 6 months on a product and launch it to crickets. How do you ensure you're solving a critical problem, and a problem that has a market who are willing to pay?
- What mistakes do you see many bootstrappers make that are easily avoidable?
- Bit of a weak Q - may avoid
- Most indie hackers are still trying to figure out an idea, others have built something but are struggling to gain momentum and are looking for any growth channel they can use. How can these founders start to get those early users and start to grow?
- What are the relative challenges of creating a SaaS vs. a book?
On Audience First
- So you're writing a new book now, Audience First, which delves into why and how to build an audience for your business. What made you choose this topic to talk about?
- Writing in public
- As a preview to the book, what does it take to build an audience?
- In your research on different social networks (for the new book), what surprising thing have you learned?
- Finding an audience for your side business - article
- Video / Photgraphy
- 4 steps to an epiphany
- One of your most recent podcast episodes is about how you use Twitter. Lots of indie hackers are having success using Twitter and building in public. What's your recipe for success on the platform?
- Do you think we're getting to a saturation point of the same kind of content on Twitter?
- Book - The Mom Test
- Podcast -
- Indie Hacker