Nick O'Neill

My ramblings on entrepreneurship and online publishing.
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The Silicon Valley Bootstrapper

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She wasn’t the average Silicon Valley entrepreneur. There was no list of accolades. There wasn’t a pie-in-the-sky pitch. Instead there was a business that has been operating for well over a year now. It is profitable.

She’s not in a rush to raise funding, although there’s no doubt that she feels the pressure to do so given all the people around her that are depositing major investments. The business started as a side project. It was a business intelligence tool. Not the world’s most sexy product. Techcrunch isn’t covering her product every day, if at all. Most people won’t ever hear of the company. That doesn’t matter though, people are paying.

Is she changing the world in a major way? Most Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, media, and investors will say “no.” However there’s a world outside of Silicon Valley. There’s a world where quitting one’s job to start a small business is insanity. There’s a world where doing so and succeeding makes you a leader. That world is mostly ignored from San Francisco to San Jose.

If you aren’t chasing a billion dollar dream in Silicon Valley, you may develop an inferiority complex. Yet the bootstrapper is just as crazy and clever. There’s a lot to be learned from the bootstrapper. Could the business eventually become a medium or large business? Sure. Did it start with a bunch of hype and funding? Not at all.

It started with a dream, followed on with execution, and it is mostly funded by paying customers. There’s plenty of them out there, you just won’t hear a lot about them in the venture-funded hype-fueled media.

Yet for some reason every time I personally speak with a bootstrapper, it’s a breath of fresh air. If we truly want the world to understand entrepreneurship, we need more bootstrapping stories. That’s where most on the jobs are actually created. That’s where a large percentage of the economic growth is happening.

So dream on Silicon Valley bootstrapper, you’re not alone. We need more of you!

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