The new rules for solo founders

What I’ve learned in the last 3 years of trying to start/survive new businesses, as a solo founder:

Old rules: Make, then sell, then grow.

New rules: Grow, then sell, then make.

GROW your audience/following

By creating useful content, building something publicly, or just being helpful to your community.

Use newsletters, social media, video channels, podcasts, live channels.

Talk to them regularly. Give. Then ask.

SELL an idea to your audience

Based on a recurring, painful, problem. Or just something that your audience would really enjoy having access to.

Use landing pages, mockups, prototypes.

Take money up front to validate the need and “market” size.

MAKE a Minimum Viable Product

Make it in the open: this gets early feedback, & continues to build audience.

Use NoCode tools if you can’t code. Use off-the-shelf components for real-world products.

Use what you know (but it’s ok to learn a new skill to fill in the gap if you don’t have a choice). Avoid learning completely new skills just for the sake of learning something new — your goal is to validate quickly.


People who play in the new rules are good at all 3. And they usually run solo.

Follow these people on Twitter: ← This is me. Follow my journey as I document my grow — sell — make stages.

Thanks to Jamie Bullock for article feedback on learning a new skill.

I’m always looking to learn and share on development and solo startups. Connect with me on Twitter: @farez.



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