Zero to Sold: How to Start, Run, and Sell a Bootstrapped Business
Zero to Sold recounts the story of FeedbackPanda, a bootstrapped Software-as-a-Service business that I co-founded and grew from zero to $55,000 Monthly Recurring Revenue in under two years — and then sold for a life-changing amount.
You will learn how to start, run, and sell your own bootstrapped business.
This book is my attempt to share what I learned over a decade of trying to build startups without sounding like I've figured out everything, now that I had some success. I share my learnings in the context of what we tried, how it worked, and how it didn't — more often than not.
You will learn how to:
- explore and validate your idea before you jump into building a prototype that no one needs.
- find a well-defined audience, locate their critical problem, envision a solution that fits into their workflow, and build a product that makes them want to pay. Then, build a repeatable process of selling your product: a business.
- grow your business sustainably and make it sellable, even if you want to keep it forever. Or sell it for a life-changing amount of money. Either way, you can prepare.
I'm Arvid Kahl, a software engineer turned entrepreneur turned writer. Zero to Sold is a book about what I learned in over a decade, culminating in the successful sale of FeedbackPanda, an EdTech SaaS business that I founded with my partner Danielle Simpson.
We bootstrapped all the way, were profitable a few weeks after we launched, and grew the business for two years before we sold it. Being a good German, I made lots of notes and documented almost everything in the business.
Zero to Sold is the ultimate business documentation: a memoir, a manual, a journal, and a guide. It will help you validate your ideas, build your products, and grow your businesses, whatever stage you might be at right now.
You'll find several sample chapters for free over here. You'll be able to read "The FeedbackPanda Story," "Not All Subscribers are Equal," and "Preparing for the Sale from Day One."
Here's the Table of Contents of the web-optimized ePDF.
Is this book opinionated?
Yes. My perspective on building a bootstrapped business is one of many. Take any piece of advice in the book with a grain of salt, as promising as it might sound. While I try to teach you to think critically, your actions, and how you implement the concepts laid out in Zero to Sold will be left up to you.
I may have a lot of experience, but that does not make me an expert in all possible fields. I share only what I know, and I will show you where you can find the experts for anything else.
Is there an audiobook?
Absolutely. Here on Gumroad, you will find the Anniversary Edition of the Zero to Sold audiobook — an exclusive DRM-free mp3/mp4 version of the book with the preface read by me.
If you're a fan of Audible and other platforms, please check out the Zero to Sold audiobook page.
Is there a print version?
Yes, the paperback version of Zero to Sold can be purchased from Amazon.
You said there's Purchasing Power Parity Pricing, right?
Yes! You'll find the coupons for that on the landing page at https://zerotosold.com/. A bar will pop up on top of the screen after a few seconds, providing you with a coupon code depending on your location. Here's how PPPP works.
Can I share this book with my team/class/organization?
This version is for individual use only. You can purchase a team license that can be shared within your team/class/organization.