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This blog is about the lives of a few entrepreneurs who are aiming to establish the next trend in social networking and the concept that will make it happen. Since our venture is all about connecting people together, we want to be involved and connected to you and we want you to be involved and connected to us. We'll be sharing with you: who we are, how we got started, how we’re doing and where we’re going...we're taking you along for the ride!!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Our Danger in Bootstrapping

I’m a former Marine…so, I am very familiar with the term bootstrapping—the Marine Corps is the smallest of all the U.S. military services and renowned for having a small budget that requires some serious creativity, innovation and bootstrapping. The Marine way of life depends on it ; it’s actually a big part of why Marines are the best trained, the toughest, most motivated and least delusional about what it means to serve.

However, what I’m talking about today is business and financial bootstrapping for a start-up business.
Bootstrapping can be defined as “a collection of methods used to minimize the amount of outside debt and equity financing needed from banks and investors” (Ebben and Johnsen)

I can’t continue to talk about raising funds and capital without answering the one question a lot of people I meet have been asking “Why not bootstrap your venture and start small and slow?” My best and only answer to that is: The Competition. We either start with a bang or we won’t be around to see the second act.

Why Go Solo is going to become part of the social networking and online community realm, which I realize, for the most part is already overpopulated—however, we have a few twists in what we are doing and features that are not part of any one current site or community at this time (to my knowledge). Our problem is this: when we launch, if we don’t make a splash, those sites and other organizations that are not tapping into what we will be providing, can easily steal our thunder and utilize their already massive following to bury us in the ground. Not a pretty picture and a pretty major threat.

That is not to say we are not utilizing some aspects of bootstrapping…I am writing this blog, am I not, and it is on
Blogger, which is free! I’m definitely already expanding energy, time and sweat and we are all prepared to hit the pavement when the time comes to promote, market and sale what we will be offering.

Another major way we are looking into bootstrapping is by taking key equity partners. The right partnership saves time, up front expenses and adds to the pool of knowledge and interested parties who want the business to be a huge success. I sent our business plan this morning, to the owner of a company that would be a perfect equity partner for us and the answer to our current headache.

I’m always looking for ways to save, to be more efficient and to be innovative because that is what makes, breaks and grows a company. There are a few blogs on bootstrapping that are worth taking a look at:
The Bootstrapping Blog, Blog, and The Art of Boostrapping which is part of the How to Change the World Blog by Guy Kawasaki. I'm sure there are many other great blogs and sites on this topic, so feel free to add them in your comments.

We have reached our max of current bootstrapping options and ability to continue to have significant momentum until we are injected with some funding. We have made contact with the Director of Investments at the
Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) and are hoping we qualify for the CIT GAP Fund. The GAP fund is designed to assist companies like us get over the hump of getting enough funding to prove the concept and receive Series A funding. In our case, the funding would allow us to establish a beta site. The beta site would not be for a full launch (for the reason stated above) but rather, to properly prove our concept to Series A type investors.

The story continues...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for mentioning our website in your post. Great article by the way.

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