Skip to content

How to go from Zero to One making things on the Internet.

Louie Bacaj
Louie Bacaj
4 min read
How to go from Zero to One making things on the Internet.

A lot of the advice out there on going from 1 to 100.

Friends, Strangers, VCs, everyone wants to help when it's working. But how do you get something to work? How do you get to 1?

An underrated thing about 2021 is that we can learn how to do precisely this directly from the very best people in the world. And not from a book but learn it live, and with other people that have the same goals of getting to 1 from nothing.

Here are four people, and their courses, that helped me go from 0 to 1 this year, with writing online, Twitter, and entrepreneurship.

1. David Perell

David Perell known on the internet as the writing guy. Thanks to David's teaching, I got my weekly newsletter from Zero editions to 32 editions this year. I now have over 200 subscribers in the newsletter as well, but that matters less than all I've learned from starting and keeping one going in the first place.

Newsletters encompass everything great about writing online in a quick small package. But it's hard to know this if you never even sent one out.

Newsletters force you to consume good stuff because you don't want to send out junk to your subscribers, so they improve your content diet and inputs. You end up reading better articles, listening to better podcasts, and better books.

Then the serendipity and conversations when something you sent out resonates with someone on the other side is an amazing feeling that leads to even more ideas. Newsletters help you refine ideas and get better ideas.

They also grow slowly, so a newsletter is a perfect way to start if you are nervous about being very public. It goes out only to a small crowd at first; they grow with you. Likely, you'll only have friends and family on it for the first few issues. I haven't found a single downside to starting one; even the commitment is tiny if using David's "Burnt Ends" strategy.

In short, I got to 1 writing online this year thanks to accidentally running into David Perell and his course Write of Passage. There are more essays on my site this year than the last ten years combined.

Write of Passage can only be described as the Harvard of Cohort Based Courses. But without the gatekeeping and grade requirements.

In February, I took his course, Write of Passage; I was near-zero writing online. Now, I am further than 1, maybe even at 10, and well on the way to 100.

The course and the caliber of people that take it are incredible. The people I met on the course have helped me and pushed me to grow a significant amount this year.

2. Sahil Lavingia

@shl tweets great wisdom, he founded Gumroad, but he also wrote a book, The Minimalist Entrepreneur. As part of that book, he teaches a course (titled the same as the book The Minimalist Entrepreneur - TME).

My brother @abacaj and I learned to get our first few users for our SaaS side project in that course.

During Sahil's course, we built a product that lets you record your screen and draw on it, We got thousands of free users and some paid; the product still gets downloads, even though we are on to bigger things.

We learned to go from 0 to something in that course with our SaaS side project.

While we are placing many other bets and trying to build many other things, Sahil's teachings are invaluable to the early stages of entrepreneurship.

Sahil taught us things like "if you cant help one person, there is no way you can help many." and other things such as "start then learn" have stuck with me through everything I build from now on.

3. Dickie Bush and Nicholas Cole

Dickie and Cole are online writers that created a community and course called Ship30For30. It started as a challenge of writing 30 essays in 30 days and publishing them daily on Twitter. It evolved into a whole community of people trying to become more consistent online writers.

Because everyone in Ship30 publishes their essays on Twitter, you learn to engage the community daily on there, and through that, you also make friends. That community I still engage with regularly and cheer on and keeps me going.

I wrote 60+ short essays as part of ship30, but the real value was going from zero to one on Twitter.

4. Daniel Vassallo

Daniel has inspired many of us to quit our jobs in big tech with his radical transparency and teachings.

When I quit my cushy job in September, I can say for sure he influenced me.

He left a cushy job to fend for himself; he now teaches how to do that in his course A Portfolio of Small Bets. But before he started teaching this live course, he wrote a book on AWS and how to get started on Twitter, both of which did very well and made his transition from big tech to a free man much smoother.

Thanks to Daniel and his course on Small Bets, I am in the process of finishing off a book that will be out in the next month. I am tweaking my other bets, too, how we've priced TapeX, bringing back some of the SaaS projects that failed in the past.

From Daniel, I learned that with time on my side and enough concurrent bets, I might even be able to take things at zero back up to 1.

Daniel has the very best outlook on the randomness and luck in the world and how to best take advantage of that.

"it's important to find the first small wins — almost at all costs. Because that's how you start making the unpredictable a bit more predictable. The payoffs might still be highly varied, but the odds of success start become a lot more favorable." -Daniel Vassallo

This article initially started out as a Twitter thread so if you enjoyed this and want to see me hopefully take some of these to 100, and learn with me in that process, follow me on Twitter → @LBacaj I will be tweeting it all as I learn it and do it.

BlogEntrepreneurshipCompoundingGetting Started