A peek at my worldview on borrowing: Why I’m such a fan of bootstrapping projects (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this series, I briefly covered the Minimum Viable Product method of getting your idea to market.

This time, I’m just going to tell you a story with hopes that it will illustrate my point.

I heard a podcast a few weeks back on the Smart Passive Income Blog (highly recommended site). The podcast interview was with a guy named Jarrod Robinson, a young PE teacher from Victoria, Australia. He’s developed over 60 apps to help PE teachers like himself with workout routines, video performance tracking, and student databases. I was impressed.

What really got me was his method of validating one of his early apps. He had developed a few but really had not much of a following to speak of. He wasn’t a celebrity, by any means. What he did have was an idea, a pen, and a napkin (cliche, hey?).

He had been mulling around this idea to solve a problem he faced while teaching PE class. One evening, he drew up three screenshots of what the app might look like. Yep, on a napkin. He took pictures of the napkins, and then hired a freelance graphic designer to whip up three screenshots with color and some buttons. $45 and a day or so later, he had his shots, and he uploaded them to a website for other teacher’s critique. When he got an overwhelming response to the shots, he knew it was time to move forward.

This is where it gets really cool: Jarrod bought a WordPress crowdfunding theme called Fundify that allowed viewers to swipe their card and pledge an amount toward the production in exchange for early access and other added-value. A button on the funding site showed how close the goal was (I believe the total was something like $5-$10k). PE teachers around the world shared, pledged, and rooted for the project because it filled a need that they had. Jarrod was able to whip it out and get it to his fans.

That’s just too cool.

A prime example of the power of a tribe, creative thinking, and finding the intersection of the offer and the customer’s need.

Liked this tale of the creative funder? Drop a comment and let me know what you thought!


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