Bootstrappers: Measure In Quarters, Not Months
It's been fun to track the progress of some bootstrapped solo entrepreneurs in my orbit. Some of my favourites, worth following on Twitter are:
Each of them is building something unique. Or, more appropriately, unique things. Most aren't building just one product - but many of them.
They're all incredibly open about sharing progress, milestones, and hurdles. They're leaving a fantastic trail of incredibly useful insights and education for others to follow.
One thing I've noticed, though. Progress - revenue and otherwise - tends to be measured in months. Not quarters or years. I get it, it's good to keep an eye on the immediate future so you can plan beyond that. But I feel sometimes monthly can cause more worry than it should.
Public companies share revenue updates on a quarterly basis, and share year-over-year growth metrics with their audiences. Solo entrepreneurs should follow the same path, for a few reasons:
- Revenues are generally on the low-end by design. So, you'll likely see higher variance monthly vs quarterly.
- Multiple products, each finding product market fit over different timeframes, can trigger variance of revenue.
- Good vs bad months are often cyclical. Sometimes people and teams are allocated budget at the start of a quarter, and spend it fast. Less left over in March, June, August, December.
If you're a solo-founder, give yourself some credit! Compare this year to last, this quarter to the same quarter a year ago. Trajectory matters more than state.