The Bootstrapped Founder

In this episode, I interviewSimon Høiberg, an active software engineer, founder, and YouTuber. Simon shares his strategies for balancing his roles as a creator and maker, and discusses the importance of incorporating personal experience into his content. He also delves into the power of intrinsic motivation and joy in entrepreneurship, and how he gamifies his life to prioritize these elements. The conversation touches on topics such as productivity, mental health, team management, and burnout prevention.

Join me and Simon for an insightful conversation on entrepreneurship, content creation, and personal growth. Be inspired by Simon's passion for empowering entrepreneurs, and learn how you can incorporate joy and intrinsic motivation into your own entrepreneurial journey.

The blog post:
The podcast episode:
The video:

You'll find my weekly article on my blog:

My book Zero to Sold:
My book The Embedded Entrepreneur:
My course Find Your Following:

  • (00:00) - On not burning out
  • (04:53) - Coding mindset for entrepreneurs
  • (09:38) - How to pick the right social media management tool.
  • (14:14) - THe power of community
  • (21:18) - What does a good lifetime deal look like?
  • (24:53) - Allow customers to leave your product.
  • (31:58) - The funnel and the web.
  • (37:24) - Sharing your journey and success.
  • (42:07) - How long does it take to build a youtube channel?
  • (45:38) - A day in the life of an entrepreneur without burning out.
  • (50:52) - The importance of having an empty calendar.

Creators & Guests

Arvid Kahl
Empowering founders with kindness. Building in Public. Sold my SaaS FeedbackPanda for life-changing $ in 2019, now sharing my journey & what I learned.
Simon Høiberg
Bootstrapper 🛠️ Building: 📢 💧 🥝 Sharing my learnings: 🎥 ✉️

What is The Bootstrapped Founder?

Arvid Kahl talks about starting and bootstrapping businesses, how to build an audience, and how to build in public.

Arvid Kahl: Welcome to The
Bootstrapped Founder! Today, I'm

talking to Simon Hoiberg. He
shares his strategy for running

two businesses and a YouTube
channel without burning out.

We'll talk about business
validation, building reusable

processes to stay sane and
creating sustainable businesses

while maximizing your founder
productivity. Here's Simon.

You're building two businesses
and you're operating a huge

YouTube channel at the same
time. I think you're a writer,

you're a teacher, you're always
part of the conversation on

social media, at least in my
sphere. I see you that all the

time. For most people doing any
one of these things would be

enough. And you've been doing
this for what, five years now?

How do you do all of this
without burning out? How does

that work?

Simon Høiberg: That's a great
question. I get this a lot. I

think it's something that mainly
builds up over time since I

started. It's actually not more
than two years ago. I started

this whole thing on social
media. I quickly got into an

awareness about making my
efforts. Can you say compound

and I've been doing that by
focusing on sort of using

building blocks, that's the kind
of like the way I'm thinking

about it. So every time I build
something, every time I put

something out there, there needs
to be something more to it than

just the result that that thing
can give me right there and

right now. I always try to do
this with anything. So in the

beginning, my first two, three
YouTube videos as an example, it

took forever to build. Then I
started getting into the habit

of every time I finished a
YouTube video, so strip that

video apart and see is there
anything in this video I can

turn into a reusable building
block that I can use to make the

next video even faster? Or is
there anything in this video I

can turn into a process in a
checklist I can make that will

make the whole thing go faster?
Once you start doing this over

time, it's as if these building
blocks and this whole ecosystem,

it's sort of compounds and it
makes you way more productive,

then when people see me doing A
then B then C then D. They think

about themselves and how much
time it will take them to do A,

B and C and D. And it also did
for me in the beginning. But I

also didn't start out with A, B
and C and D all at the same

time. I built on top of what I
already had. And slowly let that

evolve. And now it's I always
think of it as like when I'm

working on one thing I'm working
on it all. And that way, if

we're putting one thing also
reflects on another and enables

me to do a whole lot of things
that appears as if it's a lot

that's getting like the output
is really big.

Arvid Kahl: That sounds like you
have a process for building

processes, you know. Like you
approach every activity as if it

were a process in the making. Is
that something you just came up

with? Or did you find
inspiration somewhere else for


Simon Høiberg: I think I have
inspiration for this from the

coding world. Being a software
developer for many years, this

is something that you were
taught early on that contribute

to open source. If you have
something you built, turn it

into an NPM packets or Gradle
packets or anything that you can

put online and let other people
use that as well. And if not,

use it for yourself. You have
that piece of code. You spent

time making that very elegantly
and make your future self happy

and make this easier for you.
And even in the software world,

I actually saw very few even
senior developers with many

years of experience, actually
doing this, actually stopping up

every time they built something
taking that little bit of extra

time to making it into a modular
solution that they can use for

their future self. And that's my
inspiration came from there. I

actually in the software world
got really good at that. And it

enabled me to produce software
really, really fast. I've been

working as a freelance
consultant for many years. And

this was obviously very
beneficial when I had new

clients. I would never take code
from another project with

another client that they'd been
paying me for. But there are

certain generic solutions and
software that you can generalize

and then use for something else.
And it enabled me to produce

results way faster for my
clients. And it's the same kind

of thinking that I took and put
into my entrepreneur life. And

it's funny because when it comes
to content, especially YouTube

and content in social media,
there's such a level of

creativity going into that so
that I think a lot of people

they don't really think about
how operational it actually can

be behind the scenes and how
much you can actually streamline

and make processes out of all of
this. And that's basically where

my inspiration came from.

Arvid Kahl: Interesting!
Interesting to see the coding

mindset translate into something
that is immediately useful for

an entrepreneur or a creator. I
very much agree. I think I have

the same mindset. And that makes
me approach my content creation

that the podcast and my very,
very, not yet mature YouTube

channel, you know, like makes
this more of an extra structured

approach instead of just hoping
for inspiration to strike,

right? If you approach this as a
process based thing, then you

try to figure out what steps can
I actually take reliably and

meaningfully every time? And
then that turns into a process.

You know what you just said? I
find that interesting because if

you say many senior developers
don't have that mindset, I

think, if I remember my work
experience for enterprise

businesses as a salaried
engineer, somebody who's paid to

be there, they didn't track for
things that are reusable, right?

Like they didn't measure my work
in terms of can this be used

again? They measured it, is this
useful now? Am I like fulfilling

the scope? Great. And if not,
then I did too much work on

this. It's not immediately
apparent in many ways that this

could be useful at a later
point. I think freelancers they

have that. They have the
opportunity to reuse these

components where salaried
engineers may not even

understand that this is
something that they might be

reusing at a later point. Some
might, obviously, it depends on

the position, right? What's your
opinion on that?

Simon Høiberg: I totally agree.
Now, I don't have a whole lot of

experience as an employed in the
software world. I've been a

freelancer most of my career as
a software developer, but I

totally agree. And it also makes
perfect sense that if you're a

company, and if you are
imploring, if your managers

aren't really rewarding you for
that effort of because it does

take a little bit of extra
effort like pushing something

now that's useful now is one
thing. But it does take a little

bit of extra effort to actually
polish that up and wrap it up in

something that can be used
later. And if you're not

rewarded for that, I totally get
that it's not something that the

worst incentive. It's not
something as a senior developer

that you would do. As a
freelancer, it's not like your

client is paying you for that
either. But it just pays off in

the fact that you will be
dealing with multiple clients at

a time or from month to month or
three month period to three

month period. Yes, so I agree. I
never thought about it,

actually. But I think it makes
perfect sense.

Arvid Kahl: I think for
entrepreneurs that come from a

software background, this
becomes very apparent that it's

very useful to build reusable
things like this. And

particularly, and you're a
serial entrepreneur too, right?

You build one thing and then you
build another thing. Let's say,

maybe talk about your software
as a service businesses because

I find that super interesting,
not only the kinds of businesses

you build because they are very
close to what I like to use

being a Twitter creator and
somebody who's writing uses

links and stuff. So both
FeedHive and LinkDrip are things

that I find very interesting
just as products. How did they

come to be? Because I have this
distinct feeling that LinkDrip

is a consequence of something
that you need it along the way.

Is that right? Like how did
these two businesses come into


Simon Høiberg: Yes and no. And
it's one of those, to start off

with, back when I started
building FeedHive, that's a

little bit more than two years
ago now. And this was actually

the same with LinkDrip. I had,
just prior to building FeedHive,

I tried to build another tool.
It was called Sigmetic. And it

was a tool you could use to
integrate with your GitHub

account and let software
engineers on teams track the

performance among their team
members. Horrible idea. I come

from a background in sales. And
I thought that this idea of

having these like big monitors
on the wall and sales

performance and everyone wanted
to kind of have this like

fireworks going every time
someone made a sale. I thought I

could transfer that directly
into the software world.

Horrible idea! Software
engineers don't work like that.

It was me being polluted from
having my thinking, kind of like

very influenced from another
industry that I had been in

before. But the essence here was
that back when I was doing

Sigmetic, I was trying to
innovate. That was my the core

feeling I had. I'm gonna go into
the SaaS market and I'm gonna

really try to innovate
something. And it went horribly,

failed epically. My second
attempt with FeedHive, it was

very deliberate that I wanted to
try to go in the complete

opposite direction and then say,
I'm gonna try to be going into a

market that is as well
established and pre validated as

I possibly can. And there are a
few things you can pick from

here, email marketing, social
media, marketing, project

management tools and I realized
that project management tools

they've been here for a long
time and yet, Monday pops up and

then come new like click up pops
up out of the blue. There's

still room for having an
alternative to some of the other

established tools that are out
there. And that was my approach

with FeedHive. So it was
actually very little about

trying to come up with a new
clever way to solve a pain point

that users have, rather than to
give users yet another

alternative. And it's dangerous.
It's a risky way to start. And

it's a risky foundation of
building a business. But my

thinking back then was that if
the market is truly huge enough,

there will be a tiny portion of
those many, many, many users out

there that have this pain and
need to have a solution for it,

that will prefer it exactly your
way with those tiny small

differences that you were told
to have. And that was really my

approach with FeedHive. It was
also the approach with LinkDrip.

I saw some of my competitors in
the social media management

among social media management
tools, also building link

shorteners and making more
sophisticated versions and build

them into their tools. And
rather than building another

system that could give like
build UTM parameters and add

upload thumbnails and have
custom audios and things like

that. I thought I would try to
engineer it a little bit more

and see is there interest in
having something that is going a

little bit further down the
street of Airtable and Zapier

and these kind of like
automation tools where you can

start customizing the behavior a
whole lot. And it seemed like

there was a lot of interest in
that. And that was the way I

went, but nothing inherently
neither innovative or a huge

problem that I had to solve for
myself. Back when I was starting

to do social media, there was
definitely some things that I

wanted from a social media
management tool that I thought

the market was missing. But it
wasn't quite frankly, that I

couldn't have just picked Buffer
or HootSuite or some of the many

others and just went with that,
by the end of the day.

Arvid Kahl: Interesting. So how
did you validate then that

people needed it if it wasn't
your specific need? But how did

you look into the market and
figure out if there was an

audience of potential customer
base for these products?

Simon Høiberg: Yes. And it's a
great, great question because

this is crucial. When you're
building something in a market

that's this well established,
it's not that you don't know

that there's a market. It's how
to actually fit in there and how

to stand next to some tools
that's been around for plus 10

years. I did this on Twitter. I
reached out to I had been

building my audience for about
six months at this time. And

they were in some closed chat
groups on Twitter. I reached out

to a bunch of them and asked,
why are you not scheduling your

tweets today? And a bunch of
them, they mentioned that there

were this tool and then there
were HootSuite and Buffer, they

were bad to use. They didn't
like them. They were old and

they didn't seem very
maintained. Then there were some

specific tools at the time hype
theory, which was like from a

software perspective, really,
really high standard. They have

like excellent UI UX, but it
wasn't quite what they were

looking for. And there was some
things that they wanted in a

different way. I remember back
then they mentioned they wanted

a queue. Like many of these
social media scheduling tools,

they have like this list of
queues, they wanted that in a

calendar view instead. So I
thought like, okay, there's like

this tiny little thing that I
can jump into the market. And

now when users are going to look
at these, like 15 social media

management tools and pick, I'm
going to be the one with the

calendar queue rather than a
list queue. And let's just let

that be it. That's that tiny
little preference things that's

going to win some, like a tiny
little portion of users over and

I started building with these
users that started mentioning

this. We made a Twitter group
chat group for just this. And in

two months or so, I built in
secret with these 30 so users

and it was literally fully
community driven. I was in there

talking to them daily asking
them questions daily, how should

this be? How would you like
this? And I was not trying to

guess in any way. I was really
trying to say, okay, these 30

people, they're going to be
representing a bigger group of

users, yet a small customer
segment in the bigger hole,

that's gonna be my future fee
type users. And that was my


Arvid Kahl: Yeah, that sounds
like a very, very specific group

of people that you like, zeroed
in from the beginning. Also

makes makes sense that you would
do this kind of behind closed

doors, like figuring out what
these specific people need,

instead of just pushing, you
know, questions into your

audience. Because I see a lot of
building in public founders ask

every single question about
their product into a very

diffuse audience and then get a
lot of different answers back.

So this sounds like a very
reliable approach. How did you

get into these groups into
these, you know, private

conversations? Because I guess
that's what everybody wants to

know. How do you get into these
private Facebook groups or

Twitter groups or these LinkedIn
things? Like what was your

approach for that?

Simon Høiberg: Well, it
actually, this actually started

six months or so earlier when I
started being active online. And

at the time I started building
FeedHive, I already had around

30,000 something followers on
Twitter. So this all started six

months earlier from me being
active online. And I think once

you start appearing and showing
up and once you start getting

some traction on your profile,
you're getting followers fast.

People really resonate with your
content. They engage with your

content a whole lot. These small
Twitter groups, they form

naturally. I actually didn't
start any of these myself until

the FeedHive specific one. But I
got invited into a bunch of

these where I saw other
influencers. I'm not sure how

much I liked the word, but you
know what I mean, like content

creators with a certain amount
of followers. They were already

in these groups. And I was
invited by these other people.

They saw that let's get Simon in
here. It seems like he's got

like a good amount of traction.
And he's saying some things that

resonate with the rest of these
people here. So it actually

happened quite naturally. I wish
I could say that I had to

strategy and I did this and that
and this and that. I actually

didn't, it did happen quite
naturally. So I think that what

comes before that is really
being active online and starting

to build your audience.

Arvid Kahl: I guess that that is
the strategy, right? Like

building this opportunity
surface by just showing up and

allowing people to invite you
into these groups.

Simon Høiberg: Absolutely

Arvid Kahl: I think that's
wonderful advice for anybody who

wants to build a community
driven or an audience driven

product or service or whatever
is to actually go into that

community, surround yourself
with those people and then give

them the opportunity to make a
connection with you, right? And

then take it from there. That is
really cool. One thing that I

found interesting about, let's
just talk about LinkDrip for a

bit because I just love the idea
of a link engagement tool. I

have an account and I logged
into it and it's a lot of

opportunity. I love this no code
approach that you're taking. I

think that is a wonderful idea
kind of marries the idea of just

pure links, like the technical
thing with the applicability of

many, many marketing strategies
and tools that come from the no

code field that just plug and
play. One thing that I saw in

your process of building this in
public and I generally love the

idea that you're doing this,
that you're not just building

these things in secret. Now
you're also building them in

public and sharing the whole
story and the journey. One thing

that I saw is that you're doing
early adopter lifetime access.

That is something that you did
with LinkDrip. Can you talk to

me about this a bit? What
considerations went into it? And

if you set any limits or
anything like that because

lifetime access, that is a lot,

Simon Høiberg: Yes, it is. And I
think that the whole idea behind

selling lifetime deals is it's a
bit controversial. There's a lot

of there are these sites like
AppSumo and Dealify and these

big marketplaces where you can
go and sell lifetime deals. And

to me, I think it is worth
underlining that it is something

you should do on a limited
basis. I don't think that it's a

way to build a long term
sustainable business, especially

if you have ongoing costs,
ongoing support, cost, ongoing

server costs and a lot of other
things. But that's one thing. I

actually think there's a bigger
problem with lifetime deals

right now. And that is that it
has a certain reputation, that

if you're selling lifetime
deals, you're in some sort of

financial trouble or you're just
scraping by. And I think this is

probably the most problematic
part of it. Because quite

frankly, when you look at the
numbers, like if you spin up an

Excel sheet and start grinding
numbers, you will notice that

servers and hosting, it became
really, really affordable. You

can engineer your server and
your cloud solution to pay

almost nothing. And when it
comes to support, you can

continue your solution in a way
that is fully self served. You

can do a lot of things to ensure
that even though it sounds like

lifetime, you're offering a
lifetime deal lifetime users

also churned. They also at some
point wants something different.

They leave your platform, they
don't stick around for an extra

lifetime. And it's in a lot of
cases, I believe you can strip

down the math of this and say
like this is even if I was never

selling a subscription, I was
just going to go full on

lifetime deal for the entirety
of this whole business. I still

think you would come up with a
financial model where that was

actually possible and doable.
However, I actually think the

biggest problem is the
reputation that it has right

now. Selling lifetime deals to
me, first of all, my best advice

would be make that Excel sheet
first of all to make sure that

your finances can actually
support this if you have for

some reason very high server
cost. I've seen some lifetime

deals do this with AI and with
open AI access and pay. And

that's a horrible idea because
it can really become very

expensive very fast. So that
will be the first thing to kind

of strip down the finances and
see if you can support this. But

I also really think that it's a
really important part of it is

communicating while you're
running this lifetime deal. You

need to somehow justify. With
LinkDrip, I was very clear that

this was an early access
lifetime deal that we were

selling and that this was a part
of validating if there was any

interest in the product that we
were doing. And that we haven't

built it yet at this point. We
had like a quick POC to verify

that the things that we were
advertising on the web page

could actually be technically
done and carried out. I think

that's the most important part
of doing a lifetime deal today.

I do think that it's a great
option. It can really, really

benefit you in a lot of ways.
There's a lot of money you can

get up front and is a great way
to validate that there's extra

interest. Nothing beats having
people pick up their credit card

and extra pay. But it does come
with some considerations. I

would never launch a lifetime
deal without very, very

carefully expressing and
communicating that this is a

limited time offer and that
we're doing it for good reason.

Otherwise, people start talking.
That's my experience, at least.

Arvid Kahl: Yeah. Mind you, like
a lot of the deals that I find

as soon as I see that there's no
limit to this, it's like, why

are they doing this, right?
Because my mind as an engineer,

I go to well, this will cost
them something in the future. So

do they expect me to not use the
product after that? Or will they

then try to convert me into
something, you know, you have

all these things? And I do
wonder for you like a lifetime

dea, that is such a hard thing
to even define. What does

lifetime mean to you? Because in
my experience, lifetime can mean

lifetime of the person using the
product, lifetime of the

business that is offering the
product, lifetime of the version

of the product in the business.
It can mean anything, right? So

what do you consider a lifetime
deal to look like?

Simon Høiberg: It's a great
question. To me, I think it's

simply boils down to them having
access to the product as long as

the product lives. I don't think
that anyone out there hopefully

believes that any product, any
SaaS product on the market is

somehow immune to fail, go
bankrupt, go down. So I think

most people are aligned with
that idea that it's a lifetime

deal that exists as long as the
product exists and that there's

not going to be, yeah, I don't
even know how that would work.

If you go bankrupt with your
company, you're going to somehow

make a version of that product
still run somewhere. I think

most people are aware that
that's just not feasible or even

technically possible.

Arvid Kahl: Yeah, that is an
interesting point, generally,

for any SaaS business, doesn't
even have to do with lifetime

deals. Just like if there is an
end of business somewhere, what

do you do, right? And maybe
that's something we should talk

about because maybe with
FeedHive, not so much that if

that is over, if that ever were
over for whatever reason, right?

People would probably find an
alternative to deal with their

scheduling needs. But with
LinkDrip, I find it it's very

interesting because links are
something that is hard to change

in some capacity, right? If the
moment they're printed in a

book, you have a problem. You
will need to make it happen. And

you will need to be able to
transition the data into another

format if people need to. Is
that something that you've

actively put into your business
model or your service offering

for LinkDrip?

Simon Høiberg: Absolutely,
absolutely. And that's a part of

the platform that people can
take their links and export it

in a format, either JSON or CSV.
It's not something we have fully

in place yet. But that's
definitely something that's

going to be available for all
our users. It is as you say,

it's such an essential deal a
part of the offer that we have

on LinkDrip besides to creating
QR codes. And it is something

that people do a lot than they
print a ton of QR codes and hang

them offline around the city and
in different places just to

figure out that the link is
somehow broken. And now they

might have printed 1000s of
these and it's a big pain. With

LinkDrip, you can change the
destination of the link and it

will in the second start
redirecting to a new place. And

you can even automate this to
add AB testing capability. So it

goes to two different places on
a dice roll. Or you can program

it to change after a certain
thing has happened, certain

amount of clicks or at a certain
time. All of these things, I

think, to make sure that printed
links stay alive in any way, you

need to offer something that is
flexible, like the product

itself, but you most certainly
also need to give people the

option to export the whole thing
and take it to any other link

shortening redirect service that
can do the same.

Simon Høiberg: Absolutely,
absolutely. And I think that's a

Arvid Kahl: You know what? I
love that. I love the fact that

crucial part. There are certain
technical challenges to

as founders as software founders
now at least you and me too, I

guess, and the things that I do,
we actively allow our customers

solutions like this. In certain
cases, exporting data and moving

to leave, which for many
customers is something that then

makes them decide to buy the
product because they know

there's a way out if I need to, right?

it to other either competitor or
into another service is one

thing with LinkDrip, there are
certain issues with the actual

domain name of the link, it says
are laid out to. We recommend if

you print links in any type, you
do it with a QR code because

they can actually be transferred
and moved. There are certain

issues with offering to, as you
say offering to the user to take

their database with them might
be a determining factor for some

people actually signing up for
the product. There is some sense

of safety in knowing that the
data that you produce in this

tool belongs to you. I totally

Arvid Kahl: Yeah, I would assume
that particularly if you try to

reach out to bigger companies,
to enterprise businesses that

have some kind of static links
that are printed off or put on a

DVD, you know, those kinds of
technologies, you need to have a

guarantee that this will be
usable if they change vendors.

So that might just really be a
service level agreement on that,

like you provide as long as you
can. And if you ever off board,

there's a way out. I find these
kinds of things, there are

specifics. I mean, not every
business will have to deal with

it. But I think for people who
are building businesses, this

stuff is interesting to
consider. Because it's a mindset

on how you approach your
customer, right? If you think

your customer is somebody that
you want to lock into your

business, that's the way that
some people do it, right? But if

you give the customer the option
to move away on their own

volition, now all of a sudden,
you have a very different

relationship with them. And I
think more and more as we build

our businesses in public like
you are doing and as you kind of

align your business identity
with your personal identity,

trust is such an integral part
of this whole thing, that you

can't just lock people into your
product anymore. That just

doesn't work, right? The balance
is off. I really liked that. I

want to talk to you about
building in public here because

just kind of came to my mind.
You're building, I guess, your

software product in public. And
you're creating YouTube videos

around them. This is happening
in a very competitive space,

right? Both social media
scheduling and link marketing. I

guess they're both very
competitive. How do you make

sure you're not oversharing when
you're building in public?

Simon Høiberg: It's actually a
great question. And I think this

is a matter of being a little
bit deliberate on a bunch of

levels with what it is that you
want to teach your audience. If

you are the kind of building in
public person that run one

particular thing. And you're
kind of like all in on one

business, you might even own a
brand that you're building in

public from or doing your whole
audience building from your

actual brand, I would be a
little bit more hesitant. I

think one of the things that
come from building a personal

brand as I do myself and having
a product offer of multiple

things is that you don't
necessarily need to worry too

much about compromising one
specific part of your business

or one specific product that
you're offering. I see

everything that I do online a
little bit as an ecosystem. I

tried to go away from the kind
of classical funnel thinking. I

see a lot of a building in
public people that still adopt

this idea of I'm going to go
online and post and everything

is a matter of moving people one
step down a very specific path

that I want them to take. And
that ends with them buying this

one specific thing that I'm
offering. And it's not that that

can't work. I think the way that
I'm doing it, I'm thinking about

it a little bit more like an
ecosystem. I try to invite

people in. If people they
discover me online, either on

YouTube or on Twitter or
everywhere, first of all,

there's going to be hours of
content that they can start

consuming. They can go on
YouTube and they can literally

binge watch a bunch of things
that I teach, the values that

I'm trying to advocate for and a
lot of other things that I have

to say. But I actually rarely
try to push people down a

specific part or try to kind of
think, lock people down in this

kind of funnel sort of thinking.
It's an ecosystem. It's a

playground, it's sort of like a
museum. They step into it and

they can find various things in
here. Like there's a bunch of it

that's free. And then there's
going to be some of the things

that are paid. But they will
stumble on my products in one

way or another whether that be
in FeedHive or LinkDrip or now

we just acquired another small
SaaS called Tiny QE. And I have

info products that I sell as
well. There's my YouTube

channel, which is free for the
consumer, but I still get paid

for that behind the scenes. So
there's a lot of ways that this

can work. And this is also what
I mean by when I work on one of

these things, I actually work on
this entire ecosystem. And I

like this idea. That's why I'm
not really that hesitant with

sharing certain things about
either FeedHive or LinkDrip that

other more all in type of
audience builders, they might be

a little bit more hesitant with
sharing something they find

either business critical or that
put them in a too vulnerable

position. I don't really mind if
something comes, puts FeedHive

or whether that being revenue
numbers with our amount of users

put it in a disappointing light.
Either those users aren't for me

or they will find another
product or something else in

this ecosystem that I'm building
that is more for them. And this

is also why in a classical kind
of marketing funnel, it's a big

problem when people drops off
and people will drop off. That's

like the whole idea about a
funnel. And people that drops

off a funnel, they're typically
wasted. You don't really do more

of them. You just try to aim
broad and then get as many

people down to the very bottom
of it as you possibly can. When

people drop off in my funnel,
there are other places they can

go. They can stumble upon other
products that's more for them.

And I think about this in this
way in everything that I do. I

don't really worry that
something I say will put any of

my products in a bad light. I
also don't try too hard to make

everything about that particular
thing. There will be other

things. And yeah, I hope that
sort of answered your questions,

just a little bit about like
maybe at a philosophical level

how I roll with everything I do

Arvid Kahl: I think the
comparison between the funnel

and what I can only kind of
visualize as a web, right?

That's the thing you're actually
do. You have a web with all

these different nodes and
they're all interconnected. I

think like, not only are we
wearing almost the same color t

shirt today, we also have the
same approach to business

because I feel I do the exact
same. I have my books. I have my

also, you know, tiny little
YouTube channel. I have my

podcast. I have my Twitter
presence. I have software

products as well and all of them
are connected in a way where

nothing is ever pushy. I never
tried to push anybody anywhere.

I want people to find my
universe where I am in, right? I

want them to find my solar
system with all the different

planets that surround me as the
sun. And then I want them to

trace back from wherever they
found me to where I am right

now. It's kind of I call this
like leaving evidence of

ambition and of just being
present and allowing people to

trace that back to where I am
right now. And then they can

find everything else. And I
think you're doing a great job

at the same thing. I found you
in many different locations,

right? I've seen you on YouTube,
I've seen you on Twitter, I see

your products and all of that
creates this whole universe of

Simon, Simon's universe. And I
kind of love that. I think that

that is an approach that as a
maker, as a creator today is so

much more involving and powering
in the community that you're in

than just trying to put people
through the funnel. I love your

explanation of people dropping
off the funnel because if they

drop off in the web, well, they
just go on another strand of the

web. They find you somewhere
else, right? And they might be

something even more useful
there. That is a great analogy.

I feel this. I love this. The
words. That's cool!

Simon Høiberg: I absolutely use
that and I love thinking about

Arvid Kahl: This is also why I
consider the personal brand that

this as a universe with planets
and a sort of web because that's

exactly what it is. And it also
comes back to the fact that as I

started talking about earlier
that I always think about making

things reusable, they should
somehow be giving something else

than the exact result that
they're giving right now. But

this is a way of making your
customer segments sort of

reusable. So you turn your
people the audience into a form

of building blocks as well that
if they don't fit in, in

specific place, they can be
reused in something else. They

don't just drop off the funnel
and then they're never good for

anything. And this is also why
not only am I not afraid of

being a little bit putting some
vulnerable numbers of my

businesses, but I also try to
talk about some things and

include my audience in something
that might not actually have a

benefit right now. It doesn't
really fit any where in my

ecosystem or in my universe as
it is today. But I'm also

thinking a little bit ahead. If
my businesses go down tomorrow,

there's going to be no LinkDrip
or FeedHive. Is there any way

that I can still include the
audience that I have built and

make them invite them into a new
branch of this universe that

then can offer them something
some value of some sort and then

make me wait list lkely to go
out of business just now? It's

at least easier to rise from a
situation like that.

you have as a creator, to be the
most valuable thing that you

have. Even though you may may
have a business, right? That is

making, I don't know, if you're
lucky millions a year, right? If

you get it to that size, that is
valuable in a financial sense.

But if the business falters, the
business is gone. But your

personal brand, that is just
going to grow over time. If you

break your business along the
way, which many people do, just

learning from that, it's gonna
increase your personal brand,

right? So that's a very valuable
asset to have.

Simon Høiberg: It is. And just
to add on top of that, it also

adds an element of feeling more
safe to fail. And I know that

there are many different schools
of thoughts, especially in the

Twitter verse with all some
indie makers and builders.

There's the kind of classical
all in kind of like Andrew

Gazdecki style, like go all in
and then there's the super small

bits, the best way to make
something feel failed to save is

just making it as small as
possible. So it's not really

that much time wasted, the
Daniel Vassallo kind of style of

small bets. I understand the
idea of both. Mine is a little

bit in the middle. Whenever I
tried to put out a bet, my way

of feeling safe to fail is that
that bet even if it fails, still

somehow contributes to the
ecosystem. So say LinkDrip

failed, I can still make content
from that that's still

contributes to my YouTube
channel. If I do a YouTube

video, something, it still
contributes to the product that

I do if I put out an info
product. The whole thing is kind

of intertwined. And here's where
the whip analogy was really

great again. Whenever I put out
something new, my first question

that I asked myself is, does
this fit into a web in any way?

Or is this just going to be
completely independent me trying

to shoot something out there and
then see if it works? Because it

needs to fit into the web. There
needs to be an element of it

doing some kind of cross
pollination between that and my

other products. That's, for me,
is the best way to not go all in

because I'm not that kind of
person. But also to still feel

safe to fail on a little bit
more than super tiny bits. It

allows you to bet a little more
and still feel somewhat safe.

Arvid Kahl: Yeah, there's always
something meaningful that might

come out of this even if the bet
itself doesn't work out. I love

this. And I think as a creator,
as somebody who's sharing that

journey, no matter what you do,
if you try and find some aspect

of it that relates to the other
things that you've been doing,

there's something in there,
right? And particularly for you

as a YouTuber, sharing the
lessons learned, also your

strategies and all that. I see
you use everything for that good

or bad because that is always
relatable, right? People fail a

lot. People succeed a little.
They both relate to a failure

and success. And you can
incorporate that into your

YouTube channel, which I want to
talk about because I'm a big

fan. I'm a subscriber, of
course, because you teach

various interesting things. And
I often wonder that particularly

as you are an active software
engineer, as active software

founder and a YouTuber with a
pretty sizable YouTube channel

and a high quality production. I
mean, I'm looking at your and

your fancy YouTube studio right
now, how do you balance being a

creator who talks about things
and being a maker who does the

things that the creator then
talks about? Do you have some

kind of balance that you
actively seek? Or does it just

happen as it happens?

Simon Høiberg: At this point,
it's fairly planned and

scheduled. And this is a matter
of, it's time consuming. YouTube

in itself can quickly become a
full time job, easily. If you go

down a path where everything
becomes too arbitrary, I would

say, there's always an element
of me trying to include

something in my YouTube videos
that is something first of all

that people can't find anywhere
else. So I try not to just take

information read on the internet
and give my version of that

because that can be valuable.
Sure. But it's super important

for me that this is something
that is inherently my

experience, something that
people just can't find anywhere

else. So it needs to be
experiences from my own journey

or at least what I'm trying to
teach should be heavily tied up

on experiences from my own
journey. And then I think

there's always, for my YouTube
channel, it is a marketing

channel. And that's not
something that I'm like I can

easily admit that it serves a
purpose of being a marketing

channel for my products and I do
actually create a quite

significant amount of leads for
both FeedHive, LinkDrip and Tiny

QE on my YouTube channel alone,
but by the end of the day not

really the purpose. It is always
when I start making content for

YouTube, it is to empower
entrepreneurs and people who are

intimidated by the whole idea of
SaaS. That's why the things that

I'm preaching on my YouTube
channels is so centered around.

You don't have to take VC money.
You don't have to go out and

seek investors. You can actually
roll a micro SaaS from your own

home. You can do this alongside
your work. You don't have to

quit your job. And I truly
believe that this is true, first

of all, and that's not to
neglect that it's still super

hard and super challenging. But
the purpose, the main purpose of

my YouTube channel is mostly to
empower people who want to try

to build their own SaaS, but
have no intentions or feel

extremely intimidated by the
idea of investors, big teams,

the whole Silicon Valley style
of model. It do happen to, it

creates leads as I go along
because my channel is growing

really fast on this model. And I
think compared to other channels

I have seen, again, a little bit
too much funneling to my tastes.

And it does prohibit their
growth when every single video

they come to this channel and
watch, somehow have this

ulterior purpose or motive
underlying that they need to go

and sign up somewhere or do
something. And when I do it like

this, because that the path of
doing entrepreneurship like we

do it here, it just it will feed
you with so many lessons

constantly. So for me, it's not
ever a problem coming up with

constant ideas or things that I
want to talk about. It basically

produces itself. Then on top of
that, there's the whole

production, the actual
production of it. And I have

quite rigorously nailed down and
add a pipeline inside my

companies for for doing this as
efficiently as I can. Otherwise,

it becomes very time consuming.
But I think the thing with

YouTube that a lot of people
struggle with is what should I

talk about and I let this be
listened driven 100%.

Arvid Kahl: Yeah, that's the one
of the biggest benefits of

building anything, both just
building it yourself and

building it in public. Like
there's always this kind of

dynamic of, well, this is
useful. I can teach this. I just

learned this. Now I can teach
it, right? That is just stuff

happens every single day, that
there's this never ending well

of interesting topics. I love
that. And I see you very

actively take these lessons and
immediately share them. And that

is something that I value as
somebody who follows your

journey because I'm invested in
your success. I want to see you

succeed. And I also want to see
how you deal with challenges

because you have something to
teach. So I think you're doing a

wonderful job with that. Just
wanna say that as a subscriber,

good job.

Simon Høiberg: I'm very happy to
hear that.

Arvid Kahl: Yeah. No, it's just
something that I love this.

Because you can see this in your
videos in particular, they're

very well edited. And they have
a very consistent style that is

teaching focused. It's not
conversion focused. You don't

want to convert people, at least
that's not the message that I

see, to do anything. You just
want to teach them. And if they

find anything that you do
interesting, they will go there

by themselves, right? They don't
need to be encouraged to buy or

anything like it. What I do
wonder as a creator myself in

the video space, how long do you
plan these things ahead? Like

how long does it take for you to
turn your idea your learning

into a video, particularly
knowing that you have a process?

So how long does it take you?

Simon Høiberg: Good question
because how it works right now

is mainly in bulk. So I script
and write for five videos at a

time, then I spent typically a
weekend and I shoot the whole

thing along with maybe 10-12
sort. So I just make a video,

shooting weekend out of it. And
then I shoot a lot of content.

And then I plan ahead and
schedule ahead almost three

months into the future. So going
from an idea to an actual video,

it's hard to pinpoint exactly
because I'm batching it like I

do here. And sometimes I also do
run into problems with certain

lessons that I have been
outdated. I have had to kill off

videos in my schedule that I
ended up spending a lot of time

producing because I learned
something new along the way. And

I realized that this is just not
updated knowledge. This is

actually poor advice. I don't
want to be the person extra

saying this now. And this can
happen sometimes within a three

month period because you learn
so rapidly. I think I spent on

average, around 10 hours a week
at this moment on my YouTube

channel alone and this includes
everything from thumbnail,

researching topics, writing the
scripts, filming editing, and at

this point, I do the whole thing
myself. I'm still a little bit

embarrassed to say but I still
do everything in this whole

production pipeline. But I think
around 10 hours a week, but

that's given that I'm batching
it and that I have now a huge

library of stock videos that I
can just drag in and they

somewhat fit. I have filmed
hundreds of small clips of me on

a computer, me with a mouse. I
have a ton of these thumbnails

starters that I can just click
and then it's a Photoshop

project. And I can start
building a thumbnail out of it,

tons of building blocks that
allow me to push these things

really fast. I wouldn't expect
someone else to only spend 10

hours a week on building YouTube
channel like mine, if they're

just starting out. I certainly
didn't. It took longer in the

beginning for sure.

Arvid Kahl: Yeah, you built it.
These 10 hours, they exist on

top of hundreds of hours of work
that went into it.

Simon Høiberg: Absolutely!

Arvid Kahl: I love this and your
stock videos, if we just do

stuff and hold things up or
whatever. I love these two

because they just give the
videos very nice character. And

there's one particular scene
that I really liked. I want to

talk about you about one
particular video you made. And

that's called A Day in the Life
of a Tech Entrepreneur Without

Burning Out. That was the title
of the video. And I really

enjoyed it because it kind of
intersects almost everything

that I am about, software

entrepreneurship in general and
mental health. And these are

important things. And I was
very, very happy to see that one

little stock video where you
were holding up one of my books.

It was just really adorable to
see my work reflected in it. But

it was a scene that where you
were like, well, I wanna take in

all this knowledge, but I don't
have time for it, right? I have

other things to do. And there
was this very dramatic scene

where as a founder, you were
just screaming out in horror

over error messages and business
problems. And I remember feeling

this myself when I ran a SaaS
company before I sold it. And I

wonder how you prevent these
moments from happening in your

own life right now because you
look busy. So how do you deal

with the mental challenges, the
pressure of all of this?

Simon Høiberg: That's a great
question. I think for me and it

might kind of it's often when I
say this, it comes out a little

bit techie or a little bit like
the corner, you know, but the

way I do everything is joy
driven. And that's also really

the message of that video that
you're mentioning here. I make

sure that passion and joy is on
top of everything else. And as

soon as you do that you have, in
my experience at least, you will

experience an almost unlimited
amount of strength to handle

these extremely difficult
situation and where you're

mentally being very challenged
with a lot of things. I hear a

lot of people talking about
discipline, as if that's the

key. That's what you need to
develop. That's motivation comes

and goes. Discipline is what
you're gonna fall back on. And

it's not that I'm going to sit
here and say that no discipline.

I agree that you should have
some discipline. But I try

personally to gamify my entire
life around joy. I think joy,

motivation, intrinsic motivation
for the things that you do is

the most powerful fuel that you
can put into you and it will

give you superpowers in terms of
handling certain obstacles that

are super hard. And I have
certain tricks that I do in my

life to enhance this sense of
joy. First of all, as you

mentioned right now I look busy.
And I think a lot of people get

this experience. And it's a long
time since I tried to count the

hours I work but it's up there.
Now in this video, I say 85

hours that's back then it's
probably not 85 hours. Today, I

just became a dad and we're
doing a bunch of family stuff,

but it's up there still.
However, one thing that you will

notice is that my calendar is
empty. While I have a huge to do

list of tasks that I need to fix
and things constantly rolling in

and it's never ending. If I
wanted to spend 100 hours of

this every week, I could. My
calendar itself is close to

empty. We have a podcast right
now. That one was scheduled full

disclosure. We didn't just kind
of like randomly pop in here. So

there's a few things every once
in a while that I do have

scheduled but one of the things
that really intrinsically

motivates me and brings me joy
is the fact that I can do things

in my own flow, pick the tasks
that I'm excited about that day

and do it in as I try to make my
task as little dependent on each

other as I possibly can. My
entire team, we were five

members of my team right now. We
have an excellent culture of

doing async written work. We
never have meetings. I don't

ever barge in and take a
specific hour out of my team

members time. And I found team
members that really love this

way of working as well. I hate
that. And I know they hate that,

it's way to interrupt the work
and in my experience, there's

never, I guess sometimes I never
ever say never. But there's

rarely things that are so
important that it can't be

written down and published in a
Slack channel. And then my team

will see it at some point of the
day and they will address it.

And to me, that's a way of
gamifying my life and setting it

up for joy and excitement. And
it really does allow me to

handle some really critical
situations, like sometimes you

do need to go into firefighting
mode. And then I don't have

anywhere else to be. There's
nothing scheduled, there's

nowhere that I have to kind of
like, I can drop everything, I

can put everything aside and I
can jump right on board on

something that's either critical
or I can allow myself to feel

tired and exhausted about a
certain thing and not continue

doing that by force but just
shifting to something else that

I'm more excited about at that
point. That's one of the ways

that I do that.

Arvid Kahl: I really like it,
like the empty calendar in

particular is something that I
very much relate to. Like our

conversation right now is the
only thing I have scheduled this

week. That was always my goal,
right? To have the calendar so

empty, that nobody else could
tell me what I can't do. You

know, because it's not really
about them telling me what they

want. That's just how you
interact with people, right?

They have their needs, you try
to help them and then you render

them with service and they pay
you. That's kind of how we live

our lives, right? But to not
have them control my time was

the biggest thing that I ever
wanted. And I'm fortunately at

this point that having this
amazing conversation with you,

that is the only thing where two
people are involved. So I'm

really, really happy about this.
And I think your mindset that I

hear right now is A, two things.
It's like nothing is so urgent

and important that it needs to
interrupt everything else. So

you have this very clear focus
on prioritizing things in a very

sane way. Because if everything
is urgent, then nothing is

urgent, right? If everything
needs to happen, then there is

no priority anymore. And I see
you having a very, very active

priority since there. And a
delayed communication being as

the central mode of a team is
also wonderful. I think now that

most people, even solopreneurs
that are growing their teams,

like the first employee or first
contractor, we mostly do this

remotely. We mostly do this on a
global level, right? I have two

people that helped me. One is in
Denmark. The other person's in

the Philippines. Obviously, I
won't ever be able to talk with

them at the same time because
I'm in Canada. So no, we're all

over the world, right? So this
needs to be, I've tried to

establish myself, like a
standard operating procedure,

like a process based
communication and very async,

back and forth emails. Nothing
is ever so urgent that I need to

call them. That was always the
plan. And that's how I set it

up. I'm happy to hear you're
handling this the same way.

Because in many ways, you are
somebody I look up to in terms

of being a creator because you
handle it in a wonderful way.

And you talk about the things
that I care about in a very

aligned way as well. And yeah,
that's kind of what I really,

really like about your approach
here. And this stopping whatever

you want on the thing that is
bothering you and going to

somewhere else is also a great
approach. I do wonder now that

your businesses are growing and
you have more and more people,

do you see this becoming harder,
like to kind of stop doing the

thing that bothers you? Because
maybe there is a dependency with

somebody else's work. Have you
found a way out of that?

Simon Høiberg: Yeah, sometimes
it does become harder. And it's

like playing down, it isn't
always possible. Sometimes you

do need to kind of fold and say
like, there's something that's

urgent or important enough or
there's certain I'm not gonna I

don't wanna put my team through
stressful situations. So

especially we have on FeedHive,
in particular, because it's

running. It's a social media
management tool. And we are

dependent on these third party
API's. It's our entire product

and they fail notoriously. It's
very annoying. And our users

aren't always aware that this is
just the name of the game. It

produces a lot of support
tickets. So we have a support

team on board and I don't always
want to sit to put them in a

stressful situation handling
some users that can be very,

very frustrated, let's just say
it like that and downright like

impolite and not very nice to
talk to. So there's some times

where it's not always possible.
And that's where I as the

business owner, jump in and make
sure that their work is nice and

pleasant and not because I think
as like it's not their business.

First of all, they're also not
entrepreneurs. They didn't sign

up for this. That kind of crisis
management and discomfort is

what I signed up for. So
sometimes of course I put my

calendar or whatever I'm doing
at that time aside and then I

just kind of do and solve
whatever problem I need right

there even though it can be a
little bit annoying sometimes. I

think the essence of it is that
I think people don't burn out

from working a lot. I think
people burning out from be

feeling forced to work on
something that is either not

clear to them how this would
benefit their lives or they're

forced to do it either by their
employer or by salary situations

or other. I think that's what
burning people out. And I have

tried my very best to make sure
that there are a minimum number

of situations where I have to
push myself to keep working on

something that I really, really
dislike. And every time these

situations happen, I do sit
down. I carefully reflect and I

tried to come up with processes
to prevent this from happening

in the future, both for myself
and for my employees that's

working with me.

Arvid Kahl: That closes the
loop. Here's another process to

make the life of your business,
your employees and yourself

better, easier and more
manageable. I love this. And I

love the kindness that I hear in
your voice right now. Because

you're talking about your
employees and trying to protect

them and making sure that they
get what they sign up for. You,

just an awesome guy. And I'm
really, really glad that we

Simon Høiberg: Thank you, Arvid!

Arvid Kahl: Had this
conversation today. That was

really nice. If people wanna
find out more about you and I

bet they do wanna find out more
about you, where do you want

them to go?

Simon Høiberg: I think YouTube
is probably the best place to

get like an in depth glimpse of
what I'm doing. Otherwise, I'm

very active on pretty much
everywhere: LinkedIn, Twitter,

Instagram, TikTok. You can find
me around the internet on most

social media platforms.

Arvid Kahl: Yeah, you are
everywhere, which is good. Well,

thanks so much, Simon for being
on the show today. That was

really, really kind of you to
share everything that you shared

today. That was wonderful. Thank

Simon Høiberg: Absolutely. Thank
you for being here. It was a


Arvid Kahl: And that's it for
today. Thank you for listening

to The Bootstrapped Founder. You
can find me on Twitter

@arvidkahl. You'll find my books
and my twitter course there as

well. If you wanna support me
and the show, please subscribe

to my YouTube channel, get the
podcast in your podcast player

of choice and leave a rating and
a review by going to

Any of this, will truly help the

show. So thank you so much for
listening and have a wonderful

day. Bye bye