Bootstrapping in Public

by Tommy Leung on February 26th, 2020

The last time I wrote anything here was in 2018. ๐Ÿ˜…

I've moved this blog from Jekyll to Gridsome and I read some of the old posts I had...

I didn't like them but I'm keeping them anyway.

There is content that I wished I had kept back when this blog was on WordPress so I won't purposely delete old posts.

Sometimes you read what you wrote years ago and think, "lol, what a dumbass".

I guess that's called personal growth? ๐Ÿค”

My writing going forward is going to be more conversational and less preachy because nobody likes that. Especially me. I hate people telling me what to do.

So what have I been doing since 2018?

Bootstrapping in Private

I've been bootstrapping companies. Calling them companies is generous.

They are companies in the legal sense only. They don't hire anyone or produce any meaningful revenue. ๐Ÿ˜ญ

I've been doing this for 3 years. Some--like my mother--would ask how I've managed to survive without a paycheck for so long.

First, I'm a decent investor. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ Financial education has always been important to me so I've learned a few things over the years.

But the most important thing is that I don't spend much money.

Second, I subscribe to the Will Smith mentality of persistence. If you and I get on a treadmill, 2 things are going to happen: either you get off first or I'm gonna die.

Extreme? Totally but that mindset emanates from my very core.

Building a company is a fascinating experience and you truly can't understand it until you are in it.

Everything I've been doing has been in private. All the successes and failures--at this point mostly failures.

But I'm about to switch that up.

Bootstrapping in Public

I recently read an article by Swyx about Learning in Public and it resonated.

I've also been reading Show Your Work by Austin Kleon, the author of Steal Like an Artist, and that probably primed me for the idea of Learn in Public.

Being transparent and sharing information are things that I believe in deeply so this ain't no big leap.

The big leap is getting over the fear. Mostly fear of showing all the mistakes in public. ๐Ÿ˜ญ

But what can you do? The obstacle is the way.

Going forward I plan to share my bootstrapping journey.

So let's start right now!

I joined 30x500 after coming across content from Amy Hoy that made a lot of sense.

Her new #GrowthStacking blog is also one of the reasons I'm deciding to share more work in public.

30x500 has taught me a bunch of new skills and concepts that I am applying to my companies this year.

I think I've spent enough time building products that nobody wants to buy regardless of how cool they are from a product/technical standpoint. ๐Ÿคจ

Which means I am now spending the majority of my time helping people with their game development problems.

On Ourcade you'll find helpful content for the Phaser HTML5 game framework and at SmartGameDev you'll find the same for Unity.

For Captivate Games I have vague ideas and no real strategy so stay tuned.

One thing I've started doing is writing down ideas throughout the day. We all get them but nearly all of them are lost to the ether.

This is an idea from James Altucher except I could never stick to it because his system was to sit down and think of 10 ideas at once--at least that's how it came across to me.

I could never do this consistently so it never stuck. This time I combined the Idea Machine concept with tips from Atomic Habits by James Clear.

Instead of writing down 10 ideas in one sitting my goal for each day was to write down just 1 idea and I could do it at any time.

There has not been a single day where I had only 1 idea--usually, there's well over 10.

Needless to say, this works much better.


My near term goals for Ourcade and SmartGameDev is to create great content that helps people.

One thing I learned from creating 3 prototypes for Ourcade in 2019 is that everything would have been easier if there was an audience. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Right now audience building is focused on emails and Twitter. Ourcade is ahead of SmartGameDev in both regards.

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