Bootstrapping

Do More With Less

One thing I think we do really well is get more done with less.  Less time.  Less experience.  Less money. Less room for error.  What we have “less” of has changed over time. Sometimes it even changes from project to project.  What hasn’t changed is our ability to consistently make the most of what we have.  It’s one of the reasons that we have steadily grown as a company over 5+ years. It’s hard to know exactly why or how we’re able to do more… Continue reading

7/23/12

Now With a “Real” Office

Back in ’09 I wrote The Bootstrapped Office. At that time we had the simplest, most basic work spaces at our warehouse and at home. As should be the case, there were a million things more important than the aesthetics of our office: Thing is, our customers will never see our work area. So when things go good for us we invest in better technology, employees, new product lines, new marketing initiatives, and a little bit in ourselves. Those things matter in our business. The… Continue reading

11/15/11

Obscurity is Your Friend

Last month during the Facebook privacy backlash, Jason Fried from 37Signals wrote a great post about Diaspora, the “open source” Facebook that raised $200,000 on Kickstarter before even beginning their project.  They received publicity from mainstream media outlets like the NY Times and the fund raising took off. His argument, one that I agree with, is that Diaspora is taking the wrong approach: Diaspora has all the wrong things at the wrong time. Competition that kills isn’t pre-announced — it catches an unsuspecting incumbent by… Continue reading

6/23/10

This is Why I’ll Probably Never Pursue VC Funding

From Rand Fishkin’s post about his long, expensive, and ultimately unsuccessful journey trying to raise VC money for his company SEOmoz (emphasis is mine): I tell this story about our VC experience to a lot of people – it seems to be a subject that attracts great curiosity and I, of course, love to share. Most of the time, folks follow up by asking “are you disappointed?” and my answer has been the same since October. I’m not disappointed we didn’t get funded. In fact,… Continue reading

1/11/10

snailmailr is Brilliant!

I recently discovered snailmailr, a nifty website that lets you send real mail (i.e. “snail mail”) online for only 99 cents per letter, postage included.  As you can see from the picture, the interface is dead simple.  You can write your letter with their online editor or you can attach a Word Document, PDF, Powerpoint Slide, etc.  They use laser color printers, 100% recycled paper, and even purchase carbon offsets for their paper use.  And it works internationally.  You can opt to pay 10 cents… Continue reading

11/25/09

Put a Site Up This Weekend, Generate Revenue Next Week

After I posted about my Broncos tickets arriving, reader Jakob quickly notified me to cover up the bar codes on the two tickets I showed in the image.  I emailed him to thank him and we got into a pretty interesting conversation about a business he just started.  The business is a real estate photo service in San Diego called Rancho Photos.  He’s a full time engineering grad student in San Diego, so he’s able to do this while still meeting quite a few other… Continue reading

8/6/09

The Bootstrapped Office

My favorite Lifehacker posts are their “featured workspaces.” If you haven’t seen it, people submit their unique work areas and they pick the best of the best to display on the blog. The ones they pick are usually some combination of simplicity, elegance, creativity, and affordability. If you have a few minutes, take a look at all of the recently featured workspaces. Being that we’re a bootstrapped company, our work areas are more focused on simplicity and affordability and not so much elegance and creativity…. Continue reading

7/18/09

Funding Your First Business

Hypothetically, let’s go back in time and say I’m about to graduate from college.  I know that in my heart I want to be an entrepreneur, but I’m concerned about how to fund a new company and have enough money to live. What do I do? It’s a common position for potential business owners to be in.  I think a lot of very talented people that would start successful businesses get scared away by the financial uncertainty of starting their own business. My advice –… Continue reading

7/4/09