The journey of building a bootstrapped marketplace from the ground up.

From egg to chicken

I have been building MentorCruise for the past two years. Getting a marketplace off the ground with minimal, personal budget isn’t exactly the most realistic and easiest thing in the world, but I was young and naive, so did it

I want to document my process going forward, and think back to the things that made it possible in the first place. MentorCruise isn’t yet where I want it to be. There are around 5,000 users, around 220 mentors available and I’m doing around $800 in MRR. While every SaaS would have deemed this a failure after two years, this is quite decent for a marketplace.

Marketplaces are so hard to build, because you have to build two user bases for the same product. That complicates your marketing, your messaging, your pricing, your platform, the technical details and puts all power in the hands of your suppliers.

However, it’s no coincidence that some of the biggest, most successful businesses launched in the last two decades are marketplaces: They come with network effects that allow you to create access to sparse resources and pull in more demand with every supplier you add. That’s exciting!

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