Megan Casey StartupDay 2011 Speech


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What is Bootstrapping Really?

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  • WHO AM I?I've done a terrible job of being generally 'known' online -- I don't tweet much, I don't run a personal blog, I haven't published a book, I've never raised venture capital and I turned down the chance to guest post on TechCrunch.
  • What I do do is I started and run Squidoo with Seth Godin 6 years ago.Suqidoo and I figured getting into a whose more famous pissing contest with him was going to lose. Up until a few months ago he was known as the popular bald one and I was the cuter one with hair, but then I cut my hair and now my husband calls me Luke Skywalker.
  • long slog.
  • Before Squidoo I used to acquire ideas and package them for distribution (also known as book publishing).
  • What I do do is talk to people like you in my free time. I speak around the country about startup stories and tactics, I advise startups and sit on a few boards.
  • I’m also just like you right now. Starting new thing.
  • I thought this talk was on Bootstrapping?! Let’s update that idea. It scares me when early entrepreneurs kick around bootstrapping. "Don't have any money? Just bootstrap it." what does that even mean! that's not an answer! for most of us, an answer that says: Take on huge personal debt, don't pay yourself or your cofounders for many moons, and in fact you might need to go slow and work another job to supplement your company…" That's not for most of us.
  • I don't believe in 'a self-sustaining process that proceeds without external help.' In fact, to pull yourself up by your bootstrapswas already in use during the 19th century as an example of AN IMPOSSIBLE TASK. Since then it has come to mean: take no funding and go it alone. There are good things about the idea of bootstrapping, for sure. Just like there are good things about Batman.
  • Don’t go it alone. If I can coin a stupid phrase: Groupstrapping. Pull yourself up by your group. By the people you've surrounded yourself with, the fans you've earned, the people cheering you. If you try to go it alone, you're missing out on a lot of things.
  • But I think the spirit of bootstrapping that is absolutely right is this: guts. It takes guts, personal commitment, yes sometimes a lot of loneliness and a lot of fear to start a company.At 3am, if it's your company, chnces are you're the only one laying in bed next to your snoring spouse deciding whether you want to murder him or her in their sleep or get out of bed and do some work.So the question I really want to talk about is: How in the HELL do you actually start. If this is a conference for pre-entrepreneurs, I think this is the question you're all asking. You get to make your own world.
  • Let's assume you've had a glimmer of an idea.Let's assume you've chewed on it a bit, maybe talked it over with your dog, maybe researched it a little, maybe dare to mention it to a few friends.'Okay, that's where we'll start.This is an EXCITING time. This is kind the OS of a startup. How to get to an Operating Startup.
  • Start a blog. Own your topic. Start a newsletter. Talk to people. Have coffee. Research your industry. Build your reputation for whatever your idea is. Oh, he’s the comic book guy. Oh, he’s the SEO guy. Oh, she’s the dog lady.
  • TEAM: People you love. Team doesn't mean employees. Team means who is on your side. Build your team now. teamcoworkerssupportersusers[you]
  • I think the sexiest word in the world is: BUILD. there's something magical to me about creating something out of nothing. the word build means you're actually doing something. it's not talking, it's not thinking, it's doing.Build means:building community or fans who believe in you and your idea building the thing, whatever it is.building By starting now, you can start building the things that don't cost you much money yet.
  • Simple storySimple productSimple roadmap
  • 5. Don't make promises to yourself that you can't keep. Here’s why.
  • Megan Casey StartupDay 2011 Speech

    1. 1. Megan Casey<br />Cofounder<br />
    2. 2.
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    4. 4.
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    7. 7. Bootstrapping?<br />
    8. 8.
    9. 9.
    10. 10. How<br />to<br />get<br />started<br />
    11. 11. YOUright now<br />
    12. 12. START<br />
    13. 13. SIMPLESimple StorySimple ProductSimple Roadmap<br />
    14. 14. BUILD!communitymomentumconfidenceproofdatathe thing<br />
    15. 15. TEAM<br />
    16. 16. PROMISESpromises<br />
    17. 17.
    18. 18. HOW DO I STOP? <br />In order to start<br />