The Sparkline

For independent creatives and entrepreneurs building matterful things.

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People ask us all the time: what tools did you guys use to build Fizzle? What do you recommend for building a small, independent, bootstrapped online business? It's a great question. There are thousands of tools out there. It's way too easy to let choosing your tools get in the way of making real progress in your business.

One of the most brutal and constructive lessons we learn as bootstrappers is this: nobody cares about you or your product. Many here at The Sparkline have learned that lesson the hard way, launching a product or website—some labor of time, love and sweat—into nothing but crickets… no sales, no links, no love.

A month before turning 29, after having spent the majority of my 20's working for five different companies, I finally decided to strike out on my own. In September of 2012 I said goodbye to what I hoped would be my last office job. In October, I created an online business that would teach entrepreneurs how to get started with online video.

Last week was the first part of an excellent series where we bring experts in to shed light on how they discover, define and target their audience. We talked about how this process can make the difference between a product/service/article released into crickets (people ignoring you) or released into the hearts and minds of an engaged audience (ready to buy something from you).

Q: What’s the secret of growing a startup? “You’ve got to start with a small, intense fire. Suppose you’re the Apple I. They only made about 500 of those things, so, all they had to do was find 500 people to buy these computers, and they launched Apple. APPLE!

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