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Bootstrapping Your Business: Start and Grow a Successful Company with Almost No Money Paperback – June 7, 2007
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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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"Would they buy a better mousetrap?"
"How would they use the mousetrap?"
"What features do they want in a mousetrap?"
"How much would they pay for the mousetrap?"
By spending a couple weeks doing market research before developing a product you have a much better idea exactly what customers want and what they would pay. If you don't find enough interest you've only lost a couple weeks, instead of months and thousands of dollars developing the mousetrap.
Bootstrapping Your Business: Start And Grow a Successful Company With Almost No Money by Greg Gianforte and Marcus Gibson is a quick read, packed with lots of good ideas.
I have been fascinated by out Paul Graham's thought that cheaper computers means startups are much cheaper. This trend continues to accelerate for example Google recently announced App Engine as a service to reduce operating costs for Web startups.
If you are interested in starting up your own business then check out Bootstrapping Your Business.
That small practice was literally the birth of RightNow. In 'Bootstrapping,' Greg and co-author Marcus Gibson start with that point and expand from there. The book's authors take a unique position - if your goal is to figure out how to raise money...this isn't the book. 'Bootstrapping' is about how to cobble together a go-live strategy _without_ having to raise money.
Because the software business won't resonate with everyone, the authors have examples from caterers, printers, dry-cleaners, organic grocers and other businesses to which the 'average' reader can relate. These are types of businesses you frequent in your everyday life.