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Bootstrapping Your Business: Start and Grow a Successful Company with Almost No Money Paperback – June 7, 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Greg Gianforte is a highly successful entrepreneur and bootstrapper who has built one of the fasting-growing companies in America, the Bozeman, Montana-based RightNowTechnologies. Gianforte’s entrepreneurial career started in high school, when he wrote software for assembling mailing lists on a Radio Shack computer. “A lot less work than mowing lawns,” he says. He graduated from Stevens Institute of Technology with dual degrees in electrical engineering and computer science and joined Bell Laboratories as Member of Technical Staff. Then in 1986 Gianforte gave into an entrepreneurial itch and started Brightwork, an innovative network management company based in Tinton Falls, New Jersey. With starting capital of just a few thousand dollars, Gianforte got his first real experience of bootstrapping. He proved so adept at building a company with little cash that eight years later computer security company McAfee Associates bought Brightwork for $10 million. In 1995 Gianforte relocated to Montana and spent three years refining his ideas on bootstrapping while he advised other entrepreneurs on starting their businesses. In 1997 he put those ideas to the ultimate test when he started RightNow. A leading customer service software company, RightNow has 1200 clients today, including British Airways, Medicare, and Proctor & Gamble, and annual sales of $60 million. Gianforte has been profiled in Inc, Entrepreneur, and Forbes.com. Gianforte regularly counsels other entrepreneurs, and he is an experienced public speaker who gives frequent presentations on bootstrapping and entrepreneurship.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 239 pages
  • Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (June 7, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1419669559
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419669552
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #929,542 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
After reading a few of the other reviews for this book, I had to leave my own. First of all in response to the complaint about this book not being about "online businesses", this book is about starting a company without any outside investors, no angels, using only your own cash and whatever loan you could squeeze from the bank (otherwise known as "bootstrapping"). This book was not marketed as a book about online businesses so I don't understand where such an expectation could come from. I mean, just read the title. However, many of the examples in the book involve people who have online businesses and I found those examples to be interesting and illustrative of the points that were made in the book.

We come from a background of very little business experience, but a lot of experience with technology. A lot of our business education has been through trial and error. If I had read this book earlier I would have avoided a lot of those errors.

I haven't read Inc a lot or a lot of other business books so I don't know if the information in this book was recycled from those, but that is irrelevant to me. I only care if this book is a good one and in my opinion, it is.

All the other books I have bought on starting and growing a tech business spent too many pages on how to get venture capital, how to find investors, how to please investors, how to solve problems with investors, etc. We have none of those problems. This was the first book that adressed the exact problems that we have had - about 10 problems that have caused us a lot of headache - that we would have avoided if we had read this book earlier. The book offered solutions that I had not thought of but wish I had.
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Format: Paperback
The first time I read this book was about six years ago and reading it was extremely validating. My only regret is that I hadn't read it sooner, because it literally maps out exactly what you should do when starting a business. I've built, ran, or been involved in sales of or IPO of half dozen companies and bootstrapped my latest business, raised angel, raised VC, and then reverted to bootstrapping (came to my senses). After years "in the trenches" I decided to re-read this book as a refresher and I can honestly say as someone who's "been there, done that" it still rings true today.

I had been in business my entire life (family business, then others) and then started my own profitable, work from home, business but yearned to do something more. I stepped out from my comfort zone and had an idea from my enterprise consulting days on a product that would be needed by every business with a website in the future. Instead of calling around to refine the idea, I spent the money from my original profitable business investing in R&D and prototyping and working insane hours for over five months and through the holidays before I ever called a potential customer. I had some remedial demonstrations and then started identifying and pursuing potential customers. My contacts at some very large companies loved the idea but I learned the painful truth outlined in Greg's book - although they loved the idea, I couldn't get anyone to buy it. My discussions ultimately led to a consulting arrangement which brought in some much-needed cash, but I couldn't get the product sold and had to shelve it. Had I read Greg's book and tested my idea first before my investment, things may have been much different, and I could have lasted longer to get through the sales learning curve.
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1 Comment 33 of 34 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
I picked up this book after hearing Greg speak at a Startup Weekend in Missoula, MT. His book outlines the real life experience and process of starting a business from the ground up without financial backing from VCs or seed funds. My take away was how to create a company that can sustain growth, scale when it needs too, & keep your people engaged. This is a must read for those who think they want to start a business and have a desire to maintain control of the company's direction. Being in the middle of a bootstrapped business myself I was able to take this to heart and implement it on Monday. It provides info on how to sell, stay sane in a startup, and keep moving forward.
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By Sadie on February 24, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book has helped me make several very important business decisions with sales, hiring, interview questions, marketing, press, and cash flow. It is well written and easy to understand. This book has helped me to learn how to make the decisions that make my business more profitable. I highly recommend it to any entrepreneur that is starting a business and does not want to get into debt. Recently I decided it was time to hire my first sales representative. I have 15 years of experience in H.R. and office management but I did not know how to find the right sales person. I went back and re-read the book. The first time I read it I picked up several things that I put to use right away but some of the information did not apply at the time. When I read the book again I obtained twice the tools from the second read. I knew exactly what I was looking for, how to interview them and when the person was hired and started to work how to let them know what I expected. This experience was very POWERFUL! I refer to the book often and each time I do I pick up new tools that have made my business what it is today.
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