Hi! I'm Justin Jackson

I'm the co-founder of (podcast hosting and analytics) and I write about bootstrapping, pursuing a good life, building calm companies, business ethics, creating a better society, and introspecting the tech industry.

Featured Post

Please don't do this

Someone just sent me five duplicated, poorly targeted emails in a row: Writing "I trust this email finds you well" in multiple cold emails and then aggressively asking me to book a call is the worst way to earn my trust. You can read this newsletter online In sales and marketing, we should do things with the intention of getting results. This isn't just true for cold emails; it applies to all our efforts. There's no point in putting effort into something that is destined to fail...
Read now
14 days ago • 1 min read
?? ?? ?? ?? ?? Vlad sent me too many emails in a row

Don't ignore the Prosumer market

The normal advice for people building SaaS companies is "Don't build software for consumers (B2C); build it for businesses (B2B)." But, there's a third category that doesn't get very much attention: prosumers. Business-to-consumer (B2P) is an underrated business model; here's why.​(Reply to this email and tell me what you think!) View this article online Who are Prosumers? Here is Wikipedia's description of a prosumer: A serious, enthusiastic consumer: not professional (earning money), but of...
19 days ago • 3 min read

How to do indie marketing these days

Many indie hackers I talk to (or hear on podcasts) struggle to find good marketing channels for their businesses. It does feel like it's harder to do marketing today than it was 5-10 years ago. With that said, here are some thoughts on "how to do indie marketing these days."​(Reply to this email and tell me what you think) View this article online 1. The better you understand your industry or category, the more you'll know the best channels.​​With domain experience, you should have a good...
2 months ago • 3 min read

Flipping tables and hiring kids

I have tons of stuff to share with you: the Transistor team and I just got back from our team retreat in Nashville (here are some photos). And soon, I'll be heading to Belgium to speak at Full Stack Europe (you can still get tickets here). But it's Friday, and today I want to share with you two things: A game I built with my teenage boys How I hired all 4 of my kids (aged 13-20) this summer Flipping tables This past summer, I wanted to work on projects with my three teenage sons. One idea we...
2 months ago • 2 min read
Working on new startup

How I would build a new startup if I had to do it all over

I've been brainstorming how I would build a new indie startup if I had to do it again in 2023. Here are 5 principles I’d use. 1. Build a product that people are already searching for. It's way easier to build something for a customer who is already in motion, searching for a solution. For Transistor, one of the big benefits of the podcast hosting category is that every day, thousands of people wake up and type in "How to start a podcast" into Google. They have a desire, and they're acting on...
3 months ago • 3 min read

What I learned about you

Thanks to everyone who replied to last week's email. I believe I got 63 responses, and while I couldn't respond to every email, I read all of them. When I asked, "What's your primary interest in this newsletter?" many of the responses landed in these buckets: I want to bootstrap my own startup" Many of you are here because you want to build (or are building) your own indie business. Many of you are interested in SaaS specifically. Two quotes: My primary interest in the newsletter is learning...
5 months ago • 1 min read

Where are you at?

One of the challenges of running this email list (which I started in 2008!) is knowing where everyone's at in their journey and what they're looking for from my emails. I sense that many people signed up for help with their bootstrapper journey. But I know other folks are here for thoughts about building a good life, starting calm companies, business ethics, remote work, creating a better society, and introspecting the tech industry.​ If you could hit reply, I'd love to know your answer to...
5 months ago • 1 min read
tim and justin

Are you too cheap?

I spoke to Tim Leland about how he recently went full-time on his side project (you can listen to our whole conversation here). At one point, he admitted that his product (a URL shortener) was priced lower than his competitors: I know people say it isn't always the best thing to be the cheapest, but that's one of the ways I try to stand out: to be more affordable. In the indie hacking community, these pricing memes get circulated frequently: "Charge more," "Don't compete on price," etc. But...
6 months ago • 2 min read

So much going on

June is a busy month: my wife just started a new job, school is winding down for all my kids, my eldest son is graduating grade 12, my daughter is visiting us from college... and today is my birthday! (1980 baby) 🥳 Here are a few things I've been thinking about: The opportunity cost of bootstrapping Even if you're not investing a lot of money in your business, bootstrapping is a financial risk. You're gambling some of the best years of your career to make a bet that might not work out. I...
6 months ago • 1 min read
Bootstrap with kids?

Another perspective: can parents bootstrap?

That last email (and this blog post and this tweet thread) elicited a lot of responses. It tuns out, many of you are parents thinking about bootstrapping (or are already in the process)! One of the people who reached out was Aaron Francis. He's the father of two-year-old twins, a full-time employee, and he's bootstrapping Hello Query on the side (with co-founder Colleen). We recorded our conversation as a podcast episode. You can listen to it here: Transistor web player​🍎 Apple Podcasts​🟢...
7 months ago • 1 min read
Share this page
Built with ConvertKit