“Go from Idea to MVP, and beyond. Now!”
That’s the tagline of Founder’s Book - A platform of tools and resources for first-time founders and early stage startups.
Goutham is the founder of Founder’s Book and is a first time founder himself.
He recently crossed $34000 in revenue in 7 months since starting his journey.
Goutham doesn’t build in public, in fact he doesn’t use Twitter as his marketing channel at all (unlike so many other indie hackers)
Instead, he has found a bunch of different growth channels that have worked well for him.
So I asked him to do an interview with me for this newsletter.
What follows is a lightly edited, text interview that Goutham did for the Listen Up IH audience.
Let’s start 👇
Tell us a bit about your background? Who is Goutham and how did you come to start FoundersBook?
Goutham is a first-generation migration, nocoder, solopreneur and a first-time founder. I have a background in business and data analysis and product management.
Motivated and inspired by my own struggle of spending hours to find resources and ending up nowhere or information overload, I slowly realised there are many founders and startups that suffer from the mighty knowledge gap that in turn affect their confidence big time.
Let's accept this, we as founders are judged on many fronts.
From business knowledge to tech capabilities, working with a team and being mentored in the traditional startup world.
But startups and their landscape are evolving faster than we as a human race.
We now have jobs that never existed 5 years ago, No-Code is accessible to the consumer level not just for legacy businesses. We have to educate and upskill ourselves to foresee what future problem solving would look like.
Adding to this, founders and startup teams spent a good amount of time looking for resources.
We wanted to slash those times and give back that missed opportunity to build their businesses which results in a better efficient product ecosystem.
Our primary goal at Founders' Book is to re-skill and pre-skill the next generation of founders and startups.
It is an honest attempt to support aspiring and first-time founders to identify new startup opportunities, understand the art of starting up and the convergence of the Internet, consumer technology, automation, content, curation, platform and no-code economies.
Did you start any other projects before this? What lessons did you learn and apply here?
Honestly speaking, NO.
I have worked in multiple startups in formal employee roles and as an intern.
This experience built a strong foundation on “what not to do” more than “what to do”.
This also gave me first-hand experience on learning to experiment and learn from the failings.
Please share more details about Founders’ Book.
Simply, Founders’ Book is a platform for first-time founders and early-stage startups with all the tools, resources, guides, OS to manage startup ops and access to up to $500K in credits and savings from 200+ SaaS platforms to support their venture building process.
How did you build your first MVP? What tech stack did you use?
Our MVP was a simple Notion page with a curated collection of tools and resources.
Working with the early-adopters, we transitioned to a membership based platform, adding content, guides, templates and introducing both Startup OS and Startup Credits.
We wanted to be a full-stack solution and first-step for anyone who is currently building and aspires to build a startup.
How did you get your first 10 paying users, what was your approach?
I did not have enough confidence to talk about my startup or build in public.
We used our launch on Product Hunt as a testing ground for the uptake.
Thankfully and surprisingly, we had our first 16 paying customers on the launch day. We listened to them every single time and built what they wanted along the way, slowly building the product and increasing our user base.
What was your growth strategy once you got the initial users?
Working with newsletter creators. We ran sponsored ads on newsletters that have a strong subscriber base who are interested in startups, entrepreneurship, no-code tools and general aspects of venture building.
We saw some traction and scaled it working with over 20 in the last 6 months of being live.
Which Growth Strategies have worked well for you since then?
Side-project led growth has worked well for us.
We not only serve founders and early-stage startups but also work with accelerators and incubators in over 7 countries.
Any trick/edge that helped you get growth or build the product well?
Our distribution strategy!
We identified multiple distribution channels and other channel partners. Agencies, accelerators, incubators and startup operators.
This helped us to work with them going onboard as a “Knowledge-as-a-Service” model as they do not have enough bandwidth or human resources to put together a product in this scale and growing.
Any advice and/or insights for other founders? What would you advise someone just 1 year behind you?Where do I start?
- Build in the indie way
- Be open to failures, they are your best friends in the earliest days as you learn a lot from them
- Collaborate and partner so you can mutually leverage on each other’s strengths
- Constant validation of hypothesis, try doing the maddest thing first. If it doesn't work, get to mainstream
- Build a community and please don't feel shy to ask for help. There are many good people out there who are happy to support you in your journey.
Thank you so much Goutham for an enlightening interview 🙏
Thank you for reading!
Hope you found value in Goutham’s story.
Do you want to get your own startup featured?
Are you building something cool?
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