What is Bootstrapping?

Bootstrapping is an American idiom. There is a handle on the back of the boots that makes it easy to put on the boot. Bootstrapping means that the person grabs the handle on the back of the boot and pulls himself up. Normally a fulcrum is required in leverage systems. But the handle on the back of these boots has no fulcrum. It is physically impossible. But despite that, you can wear your own boot, even if there is no handle. You do the impossible. This is the bootstrapping philosophy. Doing what seems impossible on your own.

What is Bootstrapping

Bootstrapping is a movement often used by stand-alone product builders. You just don’t have to be alone. Small teams can also practice this move.

In other words, bootstrapping is the term people use to grow their initiatives by their own means. They grow without investment. One of the examples that can be given to this is Faladdin. It is an artificial intelligence-supported coffee fortune-telling application. Sertac Tasdelen, who started coffee fortune-telling and tarot service named Binnaz Abla before this initiative, participated in the Harvard Business School’s “Scaling Entrepreneurial Ventures” training as Faladdin in the following years as a single bootstrapping initiative and came first in the presentation competition. First place is not the critical part here. The important part is that he enlarges the enterprise with his own efforts and gains the right to receive training without investing in Harvard Business School. I mean, it’s not impossible!

American author and dot com business executive Seth Godin has divided bootstrapping into 4 categories.

1. Employee:

He/she is the person who brings and sells a bag of ice-cold water to the entrance of the park. The peculiarity of this bootstrapper is that it brings something you don’t have where you are. There is no access to cold water in the garden and he/she knows it. For this, it cold the waters. He/she works hard on this. Therefore, he/she may charge you a high fee for drinking cold water in that park.

A category of business that makes accessible what people currently cannot.

2. Coordinator:

People who do new things by putting things together are called. For example, someone who organizes a conference. Finds speakers. He/she finds the conference room. Finds the audience. It creates value by putting them all together.

It is the person who brings different values together with you.

3. Business Organizer:

He/she is the person who can do the whole organization. For example, a renovation will be done in your home. This person will talk to you and the people who will be doing the remodeling. He/she finds the people and arranges for the repair to be done.

They are people who organize work and labor.

4. Owning the Means of Production:

For example, you have a laser cutter and you allow your customer to use it for a certain fee. Actually, this point is about the topic of my blog. Micro SaaS!

Renting the means of production.

My master plan is category 4 as you can imagine. But on the other hand, I’m also working on the 3rd category secretly. πŸ™‚ Because I discovered the logic of agreement in the 3rd category. Especially when listening to Robert Kiyosaki‘s books. That part of my brain started to glow. This has the potential to make me hot money. I haven’t made any money yet, but that doesn’t mean I never will. 😏

Let’s go back to Seth Godin. Seth Godin is doing Q&A, and one person asks:

Are craftsmen and artists bootstrapping too? They’re making something of their own, too.

Seth replies:

You can produce a lot of things yourself today. For example, it used to be difficult to write a book. You had to deal with the bookstores. But right now, you can easily do it with Amazon Kindle. Although it may sound very tempting, what is invisible to the naked eye is the sale of the book. You also need your publisher to sell the book. They know how to sell books. If you are going to do the job of selling books yourself, then you become a bootstrapper. Because bootstrapping means you do everything yourself.

(Note: He may not have said that completely. I am interpreting it as far as I remember. πŸ™‚)

Advantages of Bootstrapping

  1. Working without anyone’s control.
  2. Working without any credit or debt.
  3. It teaches creative thinking.

Disadvantages of Bootstrapping

  1. You have to do everything. This is a lot you need to learn. It takes a lot of time and energy.
  2. It may be that he/she does not have time for his/her own life.
  3. Accounting processes should also be learned.

Lessons I Learned:

I am also an entrepreneur and I have made 600 startups so far. I’ve been doing it since primary school and I’ve learned a lot. Since I was connecting as a student, I involuntarily did bootstrap. I learned very important lessons during these processes. I am shortening it into 3 items below.

  • Learn money management.
  • Solve the sale first! Marketing and advertising!
  • Do not sacrifice your own life! Learn time management and energy management instead!

Learn Money Management!

You will inevitably have expenses when setting up a business. Domain, hosting, etc… You will have other expenses as well. Do not use the money in your own life in this process! Don’t spend the money you save! Don’t touch the money you put in the corner! You must keep the money.

Start your venture without spending any money! This place is so important! Produce content as an example of getting started without spending money. Tweet it. Write a blog. Then develop the product with the money you earn.

Don’t make products that don’t make money! I used to make 12 startups in 12 months. I was a university student at the time and had a house of my own. I was a tenant. I went bankrupt 5 months after starting the challenge. Because I just spent the money. If this article is shared 100 times, I will write an article where I share my 12 startup experiences in 12 months. πŸ™‚

The reason I went bankrupt was that I made products that didn’t make money. My first product was an application that allows you to have the dream you want. But I never thought about making money or even selling it. I just spent my pocket money. In fact, I took time off from my freelance work and focused on it here. But the result is a disappointment. It has been great learning for me.

I went bankrupt because I didn’t know about money. Because I don’t know the money. That’s why you have to learn to manage money.

Marketing and Advertising

Solve the sales part first. After all these years, I understand this very well.

Build an audience first, then make and sell products.

I am doing this right now. πŸ™‚ If you don’t figure out how to sell, everything will be empty. Make the most beautiful vehicles after you can’t sell them. It has no value. Sales, distribution, procurement, marketing, reselling, advertising, advertising fees…

Creativity is very important in bootstrapping. Growth hacking is very interesting to me when it comes to creativity. I will write additional articles on it. You need to focus on this critical thing about creativity. Let users advertise the product for you. I say think about it.

Perhaps most importantly:

Do not sacrifice your own life!

A somewhat counter-intuitive title. I’ve personally tried something like less sleep, and more work. It’s very difficult to do. My old partner Denizcan told me these words:

You don’t have a problem managing time. You have a problem with managing your energy!

When I start a job, I can continue uninterruptedly until it is finished. But if I start, I will. Before I start, I can waste my energy on unnecessary things. I haven’t figured out energy management yet. ‘:) But the day I solve it, I can share it with you as an article. These useless things include watching videos, finding ideas, listening to podcasts, or even listening to songs.

Because you can’t manage your own life well, you have to sacrifice other things to get the job done. Of course, your product matters. But the most important thing is what you do in the given time. Sacrificing your family, lover, friends, sleep, food or sports can have bad consequences for you.

In short, if you are a bootstrapper, try to implement an idea that will make money with a very good plan and strategy.

I will continue to write articles on Micro SaaS. If you want to be informed about the articles on my blog, you can subscribe my newsletter. There, I periodically share the articles I wrote, the content I created, the products I developed, and my achievements.

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