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MAKE: Bootstrapper's Handbook

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  379 ratings  ·  54 reviews
learn to bootstrap profitable startups the indie way
ebook, 194 pages
Published March 12th 2018
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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Ahmad Abugosh
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great straightforward quick read for the person thinking of starting their own solo venture. The main idea behind the book is you need to come up with ideas, ship faster, validate your idea with as little money as possible, expect most ideas to fail, and when you do get some traction, look to turn it into a lifestyle business. Although you may benefit from the technical tools mentioned, what I found to be the most beneficial was how Pieter talked about the step step approach he took (in the fi ...more
Swann Polydor
May 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: i-call-bullshit
I am glad he mentioned Typeform which I had forgotten, so I integrated it into a small project. I was able to quickly test the potential of an idea.

Besides this, the book was written fast, nothing new under the sun: ship, ship, ship which is surely a good philosophy that works for Pieter (and should work for anyone who puts his ass on a chair on Friday nights instead of drinking beers at the bar) but content-wise it's meh.
Yuri Karabatov
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
Pieter is inspiring as always.
Johnahn Onelove
this is like his ted talk, but you pay him money for it.
Edvins Antonovs
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, business
Despite being a big Pieter's fan for years where I read, seen and listened to blog posts, videos and podcasts. I found a few interesting things for myself, but the majority of the book’s content you probably already know if you are somewhat familiar with him.

Example: Pieter's 1h talk at Dojo Bali Turning Side Projects into Profitable Startups ( covers 7 stages of creating a startup which were mentioned in the book too

💡 Idea
🛠 Build
🚀 Launch
🌱 Grow
💰 Monetize
Jul 21, 2019 rated it did not like it
The quality of this book is below a threshold for a book that is sold to people. Lots of typos, missing words or repeated paragraphs.

It seems the writer is solely driven to make money, any way he can. That he succeeds is good for him and could be seen as inspiring, but not to me. As a reader I don't feel respected of my time.

The ideas in this book are all over the place and could be way better described if the writer had spend some time editing or hiring an editor.
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fairly enjoyable read, but if you’re familiar with Pieter’s work and follow him on Twitter you will have absorbed most of the information already. Recommended for someone who wants to start their own solo software biz
Tom Rogers
I don't think it's fair to rate this book until I have put it into action.

What I will say is I really enjoyed it. Quick, actionable read.

I skimmed parts that I already knew but there are lots of great ideas in there which Pieter has proven to work.

I will be using this book in 2021 to launch my own startups quick.
Lindolfo Rodrigues
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle, 2019
Great book, if you have a dream to have an Indie Startup this guy shares he experience saying what worked what didn't and what is the possibilities.
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is a for a very specific audience with very specific interests and life situation.

Living as a nomad for a couple of years and being in the tech/online industry as a jack of all trades creator (marketing, design, coding...), this book is a great sum up of what you need to go through to actually have an accomplishment.

However, if your life doesn’t fit that picture, this book can be quite frustrating. It does not provide nicely rounded view. I would say, if you are not a tech person, yo
Kamil Powałowski
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
For me, Pieter Levels' book MAKE is a great example of how Startups should be created. Made with passion, not with VC money, with keeping cost on an as low level as possible. They should be series of many MVPs early published and quickly pivoted/validated.
MAKE is full of real-life examples, that shows how to start with a side project that solves our problems and turn them into a profitable company. It also gives us some idea, how NomadList was created.
For everyone, considering this book - watch
Nicolò Pretto
May 23, 2019 rated it did not like it
Book was meh overall, but had many grammatical errors that I just couldn't stand in a book with that price tag.

The content was ok-ish, it looked more like a series of blog post than a proper book to be honest.

Sometimes it looks like he writes some of his opinions as if they were facts.

You can definitely get something out of it, but 29$? how many proper books can you buy for that?

I'm in the process of trying to get a refund (after the 30 days have passed) and I couldn't find a functional email ad
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
great summary, although full of typos and grammar mistakes. there are links that don't even work (his older product placestowork still has a link, and the app is long dead).

Not sure why it's in a book format though, as he said he would continously update it - a book is a terrible format for that, as no one will re-read it, so missing out on that info.

Apart from this, I really liked it, easy to digest, there are a lot of practical tips. I also miss a community for this book. Would be great to t
Lucas Puskaric
Dec 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Well written and consistently updated! The most interesting way I've seen to distribute a book.

Content wise it is accessible to non-tech folks but has plenty for the tech oriented.

I think a lot of people try too hard and skip easy ways to automate their own existences. The chapter on automation seems so obvious, but nowadays with static hosting people don't often own their own servers to run scripts on. A few simple cronjobs could cache data to save the owner time, increase load times, reduce
Miguel David
Jun 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Make is a book that was written by a guy who doesn't believe in writing books. And he says so himself. Pieter Levels is a developer who became well known by the website Nomad List, a thing that became a business and that led to other businesses.
The book is nice, a light read, emphasizing the lean startup model, with most value add on the Launch part where he describes in detail how to approach websites like Product Hunt / Reddit and others.
Zain Fathoni
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In this book, Levels introduced radical principles of building startups against the 'popular' mindset of Silicon Valley startups in general. He explained them in a concise way so it's easy enough to grasp the concepts. I found those principles inspiring and want to implement them in building my own indie startups in the future. ...more
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Pieter's MAKE book is very honest, opinated way of bootstrapping online business. He has done the thing and write the book with easy to digest content unlike other self-pro-claimed consultantcy style business book. This book will remind you that you don't need to do complicated stuff to find business value. The key is to keep experiment with customers. ...more
Franklyn Gonzalez
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: must-reread
This is a book I have to come back to in the future. The first 100 pages are enough for me. As a new programmer and an experienced digital marketer, I can resonate with most of what Pieter is saying here.

It also means that you should take action under any idea within a month. That's a good measure, especially how helpful he puts it in how long it should take you.
Oriol Segarra
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Although a bit basic and plain on reading, the concepts, vision and way of starting business is like a punch on the face of all the b*llsh*t literature around startups. Is cutting all the junk from entrepreneurs gurus and VCs sharks and going to the point.

Make something people want to pay for and grow it.
Slav Ivanov
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book clearly lines out the process Levels has been following.
However, the process is very rigid and inapplicable to other business models, audience, etc.
Still, there are a few good nuggets of information here and there.
Dec 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Good but basic. If you haven't been exposed to these ideas it is an awesome introduction. If you know a bit about the maker space, and bootstrapping, there is nothing ground shaking. Just get shipping! ...more
Petras Janulevicius
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
It'a simple ebook on bootstrapping.

Simplicity is hard to achieve these days on topics such as bootstrapping, startups, digital nomads.

Found few extremely good tips like specific websites where to launch so the book is worth the reading.
Aug 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book hardly can be called a "Handbook", it's more like an overview of Pieter's framework for building web products with "homework" at the end of each chapter. Don't expect much, ideas are not novel, but still important: solve your problems, build a business, keep it simple and ship. ...more
Giacomo Debidda
Sep 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Short and simple, but you might skip it if you are familiar with the author (as many other reviewers wrote). The only chapter which I found quite valuable was the one about the author's experience on launching a product on Product Hunt, Hacker News and Reddit. ...more
Jan Malinowski
Jan 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
Pieter shows that in order to build a company you don't have to have millions of dollars. Every company has started small. I'd definitely recommend MAKE to everyone who's thinking of starting a company/a startup. ...more
Linas Ko
Jan 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People with simple / web app ideas, that have never launched before
The book gives a biographic outline of how Pieter Levels, the founder of Nomad List approaches making startups. Mostly focused on low-tech, low entry cost ideas, it gives a step-by-step guide on how to launch.
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Step by step very actionnable!
Mar 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Good insights into the SaaS world and follows its own advice. The book is definitely a MVP but I look forward to the coming improvements.
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Amazingly detailed history of what methods put the author is his position of prominence. His writings on what can put you there as well are just as detailed and impressive.
Dennis Cahillane
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Very actionable, nicely organized, light on pointless anecdotes so common in this genre.
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