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Bootstrapped Giants

Jesse Pujji

Bootstrapped to an 8 figure exit @ampush. Now building a $1B+ bootstrapped venture studio @GatewayX and sharing everything I learn along the way.

Featured Post

How to replace yourself as CEO…

A couple of weeks ago, I shared the story of how I wrote a GrowthAssistant thread on Twitter that went viral and led to 400+ leads in 24 hours. The thread took me < 30 mins to write and BOOM. But here’s what happened next: Adriane had hundreds of people to call and after that, scores of new assistants to recruit… from a foreign country. At that point, we made maybe 15-20 placements TOTAL. From that point on, we started making 25+ placements PER MONTH. How? One challenge I've had as a...

3 days ago • 4 min read

From 2011 to 2015, Ampush was the best at customer acquisition on Facebook. We viewed ourselves as almost quant traders of Facebook Ads. In fact, we used to call our marketing associates “media traders!” We looked at FB Ads like math problems. What were the budgets? How do we bid effectively? And we won, a lot. We used these systems to scale up Uber across 600 cities globally, launched the largest mobile game in history (Clash Royale), and grew Dollar Shave Club to 3M subscribers. Then in...

5 days ago • 5 min read

A few weeks ago, I told you I was turning this newsletter into a business. Today, I am BEYOND thrilled to introduce you to Bootstrapped Giant’s new CEO, Andrew Warner, and our plan for growing this business. It’s taken me 3 years to figure out what I needed, and then almost a year to convince him to take this role. Here is the story: When I sold a stake in Ampush, I felt pride that I’d bootstrapped my company to $30 million / year. My friends in the Bay Area thought bootstrapped companies...

10 days ago • 3 min read

A few weeks ago, I asked you all to email me questions and issues that I can help with. Two questions kept coming up: How do I get my business out of its plateau so it can grow again? How do I get out of the day-to-day operations of my company? Believe it or not, these questions are interrelated. Your business isn’t growing… because you suck at delegating. And you suck at delegating because you’re either micromanaging or worse, abdicating. This email started as a project in Notion. Notion is...

17 days ago • 5 min read

In 2020, I left San Francisco and moved back to my hometown of St. Louis. My friends felt like I moved to the middle of nowhere and suggested I get on social media to stay in touch. My first reaction was “YUCK.” But then a friend said, “Jesse, you have a gift for storytelling and explaining things that will really help a lot of people. Imagine if you could inspire and help tons of entrepreneurs, especially around bootstrapping.” That resonated and I had the time, so I said: WHY NOT? My friend...

24 days ago • 6 min read

In the last few weeks, we made the tough decision to pivot Unbloat, our e-commerce brand, from a growth focus to “profit max.” That has meant parting ways with all our agency partners, pulling most of the team off (luckily we placed them with other GX companies), and most brutally: looking back at the last two years and realizing we were wrong. Today’s email started as a card in Notion. After I wrote the email, the card was assigned to my editor. When he finished, he assigned it to my...

about 1 month ago • 5 min read

A few days ago, I took a day trip to Charlotte. I spent 25+ hours prepping for my time there. On the day of the trip, I woke up at 5 am, flew at 7 am, and was home by 11 pm. It was a long day. I made it longer when I unintentionally woke my 4-month-old when I got home. I had a long, tiring day. Why did I do it? Feeling guilty about not responding to emails faster? I got you. Superhuman is how my team flies through email. Readers of my newsletter try it free, here. Simple: Friendship. Ric...

about 1 month ago • 5 min read

In early 2012, I was sitting with a VC. My first business, Ampush, had done $2M in revenue in 2010 and then $19M in revenue in 2011 while generating >$4M in EBITDA. At 27 years old, I was already living my dream - running a fast-growing, profitable company with customers, a unique learning culture, and long-term ambitions. One challenge for bootstrappers is competing for talent w/ large cos that offer better benefits. I use Rippling PEO to even the playing field by offering: — Medical,...

about 2 months ago • 4 min read

A Bootstrapped B2B business hasn't really started until it has its first customer. Until then, the business is just an idea or a product. That first paying customer is everything. A few weeks ago, I introduced you to MMM, Meetings are the only Metric that Matters. "Ok Jesse," I hear you thinking. "I am getting a few meetings. How do I RUN the perfect meeting, one that’s bound to lead to that special moment: my first paying customer."Here’s how I do it: How do my companies handle...

about 2 months ago • 5 min read

I'm disorganized. I run a mile a minute. I'm terrible at documentation. But I understand the importance of having an organized company. That's why I work closely with our COO, Shonak “Nak” Patel. I'm turning this email over to him so he can show you how our companies run on Notion (a Bootstrapped Giants partner). If you're not using Notion and want to follow along, you can get 6-months, plus unlimited AI for free. Apply here to get the free package ($6,000 in savings). When asked for a...

about 2 months ago • 4 min read
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