Arvid is a software engineer turned entrepreneur. He co-founded, ran, and sold The EdTech SaaS FeedbackPanda after bootstrapping the company for just two years. In 2019, he launched The Bootstrapped Founder.
The Bootstrapped Founder
The first earnings he made from the blog was $1.67 after publishing The 5 Books That Helped Build and Sell a Bootstrapped SaaS in Under Two Years.
Series: The Emotional Journey of a Bootstrapped Founder
Founder mental health is an often-neglected facet of the bootstrapped journey. In this series, Arvid shares the methods that helped him manage his mental health while managing the difficult emotions associated with building a business.
Arvid has provided steady updates at Indie Hackers whenever he hit milestones when growing his newsletter. He got 20 subscribers within 2 days after it launched.
He reached 100 subscribers after posting an article on Hacker News; although previous articles didn’t get any traction. He continued to post regular updates about newsletter subscribers; celebrating 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800 and 900 subscribers. Within 4 months, he had reached 1000 subscribers.
In early August, he reported a total of 2500 subscribers to his newsletter.
Zero To Sold
He launched a physical version of the book in June, 2020. Within 24 hours, he had sold 347 copies and was #1 on both Amazon and Product Hunt. He sold over 1000 copies in the 7 Days after launch, earning over $8,500. Blog visits and newsletter signups also skyrocketed. He reported over 700 new subscribers to the list in one week, which was almost 50% growth.
He shared more about his journey at How I Self-Published Zero to Sold, a Bestselling Book on Bootstrapping. [efn_note] He then shared that post on Hacker News, getting a bump in traffic [/efn_note]
He described Zero to Sold as ‘a comprehensive and actionable guide through the four stages of a bootstrapped business: Preparation, Survival, Stability, and Growth’.
- Within 2 months, he had sold over 2000 copies. He broken down the stats more in this Twitter post.
- Week 6 Sales Report. He breaks the figures down more in a Twitter thread.
- Month Three Sales Peport
In October, Arvid started work on his second book, Audience First. He said that:
Audience First will teach you how to build a business the right way from the beginning: with an audience that you want to serve and that will serve you.
He is currently writing the book in public.
He shared more about why he is writing the book at Bootstrapped Founder #48 Newsletter.
He had 110 alpha readers within 4 days of sharing the project.
You can learn more at AudienceFirst.link
While teaching English online to students in China, Arvid and his partner realized that there was a need for a tool for teachers to keep up with the increasing volume of students and cut down unpaid work time. They created Feedback Panda in response to their own need. Arvid shared more about the experience at From Founding to Exit in Two Years: The FeedbackPanda Story.
Arvid created this SaaS tool for authors to solve a problem he was experiencing.
On the official website, he said
For my book Zero to Sold, links started failing within two weeks of release. Amazon flagged the book, and I scrambled to update the links. It took days for Amazon to check and validate my changes. Then, right after that, more links failed, and I removed all links from the book.
He spoke about the behind-the-scenes process on his podcast episode about Limiting Beliefs.
- Learning to code with no CS degree and making $55k a month at No CS Degree
- From Zero to $55k MRR to Exit (in 2 Years) with Feedback Panda at Startups For the Rest of Us Podcast
- RS209: $0 to $55K MRR in 2 Years, Then an Exit with Arvid Kahl and Danielle Simpson at RogueStartups
- Balancing the Grind With Arvid Kahl, Founder of FeedbackPanda & Blogger at The Bootstrapped Founder at Balance The Grind
- Finding Validation with Arvid Kahl of FeedbackPanda at Product Journey
- Vital Learnings from Bootstrapping and Selling a $55k a Month Business with Arvid Kahl of FeedbackPanda at Indie Hackers
- Bootstrapping a SaaS from Zero to $55K MRR in 2 Years – with Arvid Kahl  at The SaaS Podcast
- Growing a SaaS from Zero To Sold with Arvid Kahl at Makerlog Stories. Arvid tells his journey & lessons selling startups & writing a hit book, Zero to Sold.