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Why I prefer bootstrapping over raising money

I’ve built a few companies over the years, all of them bootstrapped. Why? I like my freedom. I would be very unhappy if I have to answer to anyone on how or why I run my company the way I do.

We all have different reasons for being founders. For me, these two motivate me:

  1. I like to have fun building things I am passionate and good at.
  2. I like the freedom it brings to my life, so I can spend more time with my family and doing whatever I want.

Bootstrapping

Boostrapping means you are working with no loans, no VC money. Just whatever cash you have on hand. It also means you owe nothing to no one.

Bootstrapping is hard work yes, but it also forces you to get to profitability fast. You gotta pay the bills and quit that day job asap don’t you?

You are also forced to find product-market fit fast. If an idea is not working out you either pivot or chase a different one. No in between, there is no endless cash to burn in the bank.

Bootsrapping is both hard, but also fun an very rewarding. And you know you are building a company or product that will sustain itself, because you were forced to find a market, sell and become profitable.

Raising money

I’m not an expert at raising money (in fact I’ve never raised a cent), so this is not about how to do that. Just why it is not for me.

Raising cash means you now owe money. You owe investors reports, meetings, your time, your life. A constant barrage of meetings, giving up your peace of mind.

It’s giving up the fun of building a company in exchange for new bosses.

There’s a use case for everything of course, I can think of many scenarios or industries where you absolutely need a huge amount of cash to build a company or product.

But for us, calm founders who want to live a calm, happy life, bootstrapping is the way to go.

Have you ever boostrapped a company? How did it go?

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