James Pistell is making 1,300 USD MRR by Helping Junior Military Leaders with Graphical Mapping Tool

In this post, we are interviewing James Pistell, who currently runs MGRS Mapper, which he is bootstrapping at 1,300 USD per month. MGRS Mapper is an operational graphical planning tool for junior military leaders. Lots of value in this one, so keep reading.


[Xtartups Interviewer] What does your product or service do?

Operational graphical planning tool for junior military leaders.

[Xtartups Interviewer] What's your product's elevator pitch?

“You know I made an app that can automatically make those symbols right? Why are you copy/pasting graphics from a PowerPoint?”

[Xtartups Interviewer] Tell us a bit about your team.

What team? Haha, it’s only me.

[Xtartups Interviewer] What motivated you to work on this product?

Because military symbols were only given to us on a PowerPoint slide deck. No one ever made an app that could generate these symbols and combine them with an online mapping system.

[Xtartups Interviewer] Tell us where you are in this product/company's journey?

Currently selling these symbols as NFTs to raise money so I can hire a better developer.

[Xtartups Interviewer] What has been your biggest learning moment in this journey?

Coding is hard.

[Xtartups Interviewer] What has been your biggest validation for creating this product and taking it to the market?

Getting retweeted by the department of defense 🤣

[Xtartups Interviewer] How did you find your first 10 customers?

I’m not sure. I just launched and within 2 days I had 10 customers.

[Xtartups Interviewer] If you weren't working on this product, which other product/idea would you be pursuing?


[Xtartups Interviewer] Who is your favorite bootstrapped founder? And why?

I have no idea. Following other founders isn’t something interesting to me.

[Xtartups Interviewer] What book or podcast has helped you in this journey?

I never needed inspiration from a book or podcast. This was an idea that I had in my head and I worked on it alone for 18 months. People that need encouragement from a podcast are weird.

[Xtartups Interviewer] What do you wish you knew when you started working on this idea?

Nothing. If I knew about all the trials and tribulations I would go through I never would have started. This was the hardest thing I ever had to do.

[Xtartups Interviewer] For someone who is thinking of starting a bootstrapped business, what would be the one thing they should watch out for?

I have no idea. This question is weird.

[Xtartups Interviewer] Are you hiring for any positions? If yes, how can people reach out to you?

Nope. I only make 1200 a month on this project! That’s why I’m going to sell NFTs and then hire some people, haha.