5 Dos and Dont’s Lessons From My Bootstrapping Days

5 Dos and Dont’s Lessons From My Bootstrapping Days

Andrew Filev

Filev's tips: Bootstrap, treasure customers, and scale wisely for business growth.

Starting a business is a mix of overwhelming and exciting experiences. Wrike's Founder, Andrew Filev, shares valuable insights in his 30-minute talk at SaaStr Europa 2019. He covers essential topics like bootstrapping, treating customers as key investors, perfecting product-market fit, focusing on scalability, smart hiring, and maintaining discipline and efficiency.

Filev also discusses how to wisely invest resources, the right time to outsource, and saving money without compromising quality. His advice is a roadmap to building a successful, efficient, and scalable business.

Here are Andrew Filev's top five key lessons for SaaS founders:

Customer Focus and Bootstrapping:

  1. Treat your customers as your most important investors.
  2. Engage deeply with customers to understand their needs and pains.
  3. Be wary of becoming a custom development shop for one large customer.

Importance of the Right Team:

  1. Success comes from people; hire smart, motivated individuals who get things done.
  2. Look for high ambition but low ego in team members.
  3. Ensure cultural fit, especially when hiring people from large companies.

Agility and Execution:

  1. Use your company's size to your advantage, maintaining agility and speed.
  2. Focus on execution, setting measurable goals and operationalizing processes.
  3. Avoid spreading too thin; be cautious with partnerships and freemium models that don't align with your product-market fit.

Adaptability in Business Processes:

  1. Apply agile methodologies beyond software development, into areas like marketing and sales.
  2. Be open to testing and adapting your business processes, including sales strategies.

Transition from Growth Hacking to Scalability:

  1. Shift focus from immediate growth hacks to building a sustainable, scalable business model.
  2. Be strategic about fundraising; raise funds based on proven business models and when you're not in immediate need.
  3. Maintain a culture of efficiency and keep a tight control on capital to retain equity and build a healthy business economy.
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