Before I dive into this post I want to make a few things clear:
- I am not referring to freelancers or folks in the service business. Frankly, if you are not bootstrapping (at least in the beginning) you are a moron. Grade A Idiot, as my dad used to say. (Not really, I just wish my dad would use cool lines like that, so I could tweet them and get a god damn show. Seriously, what is this world coming to?)
- I am not being “shocking” or “Dave McClure-ian” by using words like: bullshit, fucking, moron or venture capital.
- I am also not speaking specifically about the choice of taking (or not taking) investment in building a business.
What I am talking about is the fucking bullshit beliefs that seem to permeate the Bootstrapping world.
There is no special badge on Foursquare if you have bootstrapped your startup to success. There is no slight you are afforded because you bootstrapped. Venture capital is not evil. You are not good. You havent “beaten the odds.” You arent better, or worse, than other entrepreneurs.
The concept of bootstrapping is solid. To be clear, a bootstrapped business is one that is completely self-funded either by its founders or by the revenue it generates (usually a mix of both) and the expectation is that the growth of the company is usually slower than if the same business had received investment.
Im assuming that because entrepreneurs that have bootstrapped their businesses believe that have undertaken a Herculean effort, their success is somehow more valuable than the entrepreneur that took investment.
“Its all about the exit.” bootstrappers say. ” I would rather than 100% of a small exit, than 10% of a large exit.”
To that, I say, “cool. But, please shut the fuck up about it.”
I know that bootstrapping is hard. I know that there is even an art to it. Ive bootstrapped a business. I built a company on credit cards and had a successful exit. I get the awesome-ness of bootstrapping.
What I dont get is the attitude that mooching is awesome (Im sorry, I mean “free-sourcing”). I dont understand why exploiting young talent (oops, I meant “outsourcing to less experienced freelancers”) rocks. I am mystified how the concept of micromanaged control (damn, I mean “freedom from a board”) somehow ensures success.
Go be that entrepreneur that finances their own success, drives towards profitability quickly, and focuses on lean startup principles to accelerate your business.
Be proud of your ability to build a business with no outside help. Just dont be That Guy. Because those guys are not bootstrappers, they are dicks.
- Bootstrapped, profitable & proud (marsdd.com)
- The Art of Bootstrapping: Funding Startups the hard Way – Part 1 (wolpers.posterous.com)
- Here’s How I Bootstrapped My Company To 25 Employees In 3 Countries In 4 Years (businessinsider.com)
- Five reasons to consider venture capital (jondale.com)
- Optimize for Happiness (Followup to my Startup School talk) (tom.preston-werner.com)
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