Bootstrapping Tech Founders

bootstrapping tech companiesI’m proud of the fact that CB Insights is a real company with millions in revenue and which will be 20-25 people by the end of this year and which we’ve bootstrapped.  The stories of how to build businesses like this especially in tech often don’t get much attention and there are not many resources out there as a result (or at least well-known resources).  And so I’ve been trying to build a list of tech entrepreneurs who are bootstrappers and who offer useful advice that fellow entrepreneurs and bootstrappers might benefit from.

I have found many of these folks over time and stumbled into many of these folks via Patrick McKenzie’s tweets about MicroConf – a conference exclusively for self-funded startups.  On a separate note, it looks like it might be an event worth checking out (I’ve never been so can’t say for sure).

But here is a list of bootstrappers I’ve come across with relevant links to their blog/blog posts which I’ve found interesting.  Some of these folks have businesses that help others bootstrap.  I’ve not used any and am not recommending anyone’s services, software, etc.  I’ve only added folks who I’ve found to offer valuable content and insights about building a business in this fashion.

I hope to update this over time and welcome suggestions.

  1. Jason Freed – How to get good at making money
  2. Patrick McKenzie – Teaching as marketing
  3. Jason Cohen – Bootstrapped rule of thumb: MRR/25
  4. Amy Hoy – How do you create a product people want to buy?
  5. Rob Walling – The Inside Story of a Small Startup Acquisition
  6. Mike Taber – Losers Have Goals, Winners Have Systems
  7. Noah Kagan – How to get your first 100 email subscribers
  8. Andrew Warner – Don’t think Andrew has a blog but you can see what he does, his approach and history here.
  9. Robert Graham – Pre-launch marketing (doesn’t post frequently any more it seems – fyi)
  10. Ruben Gamez – 10 ways to atttract more clients with content marketing
  11. Brecht Palombo – Testing for startups 101.  Although the blog doesn’t have many updates, Brecht also runs the Bootstrapped with Kids podcast which is about 1x per week.  Here’s one on Structuring your Sales Letter (Thx for the comment Brecht)
  12. Giacomo “Peldi” Guilizzoni – Getting press for your startup (doesn’t post frequently on startup subjects but Balsamiq is a relatively well-known company among designers/front-end devs)
  13. David Cummings – Buy equity in your startup or loan it money? – David bootstrapped and built Pardot which was acquired by ExactTarget for $100 million.
  14. The Drifty Blog – You don’t get our “Boostrapped” business (doesn’t post frequently any more it seems – fyi)
  15. Christoph Engelhardt – A wrapup of MicroConf 2014
  16. Nathan Barry – founder of ConvertKit and author of several information products & books

Rob Walling and Mike Taber also co-host the podcast “Startups for the Rest of Us


Some of the above came via recommendations from others including:

#9 to 11 are courtesy of itengelhardt (Hacker News)

#13 courtesy of JSeymourATL (Hacker News)

#14 courtesy of Krrishd (Hacker News)

Startups for the Rest of Us was mentioned by imp (Hacker News)

5 Thoughts on “Bootstrapping Tech Founders

  1. Oh, man “doesn’t post frequently anymore it seems”… guess I’ve go to get back on the stick (so to speak). I do podcast once a week about business over here >

  2. Pingback: Selling SaaS Like an Info Product

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