Lessons in Bootstrapping from Top Entrepreneurs

Patrick Avery

In a world battered by economic crisis, author Sramana Mitra believes entrepreneurship is the only sustainable path forward. And core to the success of these ventures is the art of bootstrapping, a self-sustaining process that proceeds without external help.


Mitra has allowed IT Business Edge to post an excerpt of her new book "Bootstrapping: Weapon of Mass Reconstruction" in the Knowledge Network. The book excerpt posted is an interview with RightNow CEO Greg Gianforte. He, too, champions entrepreneurship as a solution to the world's economic issues. Mitra's entire book showcases a dozen entrepreneurs and their lessons from the bootstrapping trenches.


Bootstrapping is how most entrepreneurs in the country start businesses, Gianforte says.


"There are hundreds of thousands of businesses started in the US every year and fewer than 1% raise money from venture capitalists or professional sources. That kind of begs the question: What did the other 99% do? I think they bootstrapped.


"Bootstrapping is a discovery process. Rather than building an ark, waiting for animals to come, and hoping the tide rises-you take an incremental approach and discover a legitimate, real-world value proposition. That means you only have to build a product that customers will actually buy. I also like bootstrapping because it forces you to start the sales and learning process sooner. The only activity in an early stage bootstrapping company is selling."


See the rest of Gianforte's interview in the Knowledge Network book excerpt.

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