Business Opportunities: Bootstrapped Founders

For this issue, we studied 11 online communities of bootstrapped founders with >160.000 members and identified >60 problems. Below is a curated list of the 4 problems we found most appealing.

We organize the main part into problem categories with a specific problem and a potential solution. We add an attractiveness rating from 1 to 5 for the problems and solutions. Of course, the last part is quite subjective. That’s why we provide a short explanation for our rating. At the very end, you find the list of communities we studied and the full list of problems we’ve encountered.

We hope you enjoy this report on business opportunities around bootstrapped founders and we’re looking forward to hearing from you.


🤔 Problems looking for Solutions

👨‍💼 Virtual Assistants

Problem: It’s difficult to find great, trustworthy virtual assistants (VA).

Solution: Social recommendation platform for hiring VAs.

Attractiveness: 🔥🔥🔥 Hiring VAs currently mainly takes place on platforms like Fiverr or Upwork. There are thousands of freelancers offering their services, but the rating system doesn’t build the trust necessary for long-term cooperation. In contrast, social recommendations are stronger indicators for hiring the right person. Such a model might lead to less supply as compared to Fiverr or Upwork. But who really needs thousands of VAs to choose from?

💻 Landing Page Feedback

Problem: Many founders are looking for feedback on their landing page.

Solution: Grammarly for landing pages.

Attractiveness: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 “Need landing page feedback!” was one of the most frequent requests we encountered. A Grammarly for landing pages that predicts its performance and suggests improvements would make life easier for a lot of people. The challenge here is to train a machine learning algorithm. As far as we know, there’s no publicly available dataset for landing pages. That’s where we would start: gather and label enough data.

👨‍💻 First Users

Problem: Founders have a hard time finding high-quality first users.

Solution: First Users as a Service.

Attractiveness: 🔥🔥🔥🔥 Acquiring first users is difficult and time-consuming for founders. There are companies offering services for this, but their incentive structures for users are often times problematic: they pay users to participate. From our experience, the best first users are those that actually struggle with the problem that the company is trying to solve. Those users don’t care much about monetary incentives. Having a service that identifies these kinds of users would help founders find high-quality users. One way to go about this would be to establish a reliable and efficient process that leverages the quality and authenticity of online communities.

📈 Reddit Marketing

Problem: Founders don’t know how to market on Reddit.

Solution: Educational content and coaching for marketing on Reddit.

Attractiveness: 🔥🔥🔥 Reddit is an often neglected marketing channel. However, if done right, it offers great potential for learning and growth. Helping founders understand the culture of specific subreddits and answer questions such as “how should I engage with this specific audience?” and “what type of promotional content is also valuable for the community?” would be super helpful. This way, subreddits would receive less spam and experienced Redditors have the opportunity to monetize their expertise.

📙 Further resources

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