Guy Kawasaki is churning up the blogosphere lately with his insights. I have to give him props – he’s writing a bunch of very useful articles. This one (The Art of the Bootstrap) is no exception.
I would divide his suggestions up into N categories:
- Hoard your cash – start small and inexpensive. Hire inexpensive people, but only when you absolutely have to. Don’t buy expensive stuff unless you absolutely need it.
- Don’t wait until you’re totally ready (another riff on ‘The Perfect Is the Enemy of the Good’) – ship early, even if its not ready. Don’t hire the dream team until you’ve proven that the business will work. Don’t build out a massive infrastructure until you have massive demand.
- Be pragmatic – Be cautious in your forecasts. Do consulting work to help pay the bills. Focus on one thing, and try to outsource as much as possible of the rest (do you really need to be writing your own blogging software?). For example, with Bellygraph, I asked for design help, and Jonathan at Slightly Remarkable volunteered to help.
- Be honest – self deception is a killer in startups. It makes you blind to the weaknesses in your plans, it makes you overconfident, and it will almost certainly backfire on you. If you’re weak in certain areas, admit it and move on.
What other tricks do you have for boostrapping? Discuss on the Picobusiness Forum