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Bootstrapping your business

Haven’t had much time to post lately. We’ve been so focused on building up BetterWorks these last few weeks but Jason reminded me about this interview we did a few weeks back around Bootstrapping Your Business. I barely have time to have a life these days but wanted to share a few pearls of wisdom around bootstrapping – but with a twist. Generally you hear people tell you how to boot strap: use your credit cards, get friend & fools to invest; give talented folks equity & no salary; work out of your home; etc.

But I want to talk about WHY we as investors care about Boot Strapping. Or at least WHY I care. Bootstrapping is an indicator that you’re the type of self-sufficient, bold, confident, passionate entrepreneur that we want to invest in. It’s painful – it takes months & years of sacrifice and it will drain your energy. You’ll give up girlfriends (or boyfriends); you’ll give up evenings that could be spent with friends – you’ll toil away in your miserable little efficiency condo cranking out code or convincing people to use your early product. You’ll beg & borrow your way to success and MOST of you will eventually give up. Nothing wrong with that at all – if you can’t handle the sacrifice we don’t want to invest in you because you have to invest in yourself first. We want people who can make short term sacrifices for long term gains – we want leaders who are willing to sacrifice their personal comfort to bring a dream to life.

Simply put, boot strapping is just a really good indicator that you’ll be a good founder.

Lot’s more to say but I’m out of time and I’ll leave you with this video of our last discussion on bootstrapping

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. modifyinterior
    December 9, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Hello! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!…

  2. July 2, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    Great post Paige. This really resonates with me. About 6 months ago at ishBowl, we were thinking about raising money. A couple of our advisors had mentioned that we should keep building our business and not worry about fundraising. We ended up taking their advice and I couldn’t be happier about our decision.

    Originally, we were going to raise money to build the user base for our action sports video platform. After several conversations with people that I respect, we concluded that we didn’t NEED the money. It was a nice to have and not a need to have. This paradigm shift amongst our team has led to our business moving much further along and has made us appreciate the value of building a revenue stream versus building a user base that we can hopefully monetize.

    We have recently signed our first advertising deal with Nike. We are in partnership talks with CBS and GoPro. Also, we are streaming our action sports content directly into retailers from the brands that are sold in stores (Our first partner is the 35 store No Fear chain). All bootstrapped.

    Now when I look at raising money, it is through a completely different set of eyes. I would raise money to build our revenue streams, rather than to test our core hypothesis. I am glad that we got ourselves out of the “herd thinking” and elected to build our business rather than “raise money just because everybody else it doing it”.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Zack Parker

  1. February 24, 2011 at 1:51 am

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