Bootstrapping 101 - Mike Jones - Startonomics LA 2009
Bootstrapping 101 with your host Mike Jones
Michael Jones S
• Founded 3 Companies, Sold 3
• Raised $3M, Lost most of it for my S
• Sit on 3 Startup Boards, 3 Mature
Company Boards (30M+)
• Sold 3, Assisted 2, Bought 3
• Invested in 4 Startups
• CEO of Tsavo
• First Time Entrepreneurs?
• Second Time Entrepreneurs?
• Current Company Funded?
• Sole CEO
• How Democracy often fails in Capitalism
• Partners & Founders & Roles
• Key Staff
• Buy/Sell Agreements & General Legal Setup
• Aim for success, prepare for failure
• Demise of PBJ & Lack of Buy/Sell Agreement
• Exiting Founder in Userplane with Buy/Sell
Consulting your way to
• Consulting & Development
• Flickr, Blogger, Userplane &
Userplane, Early Years
• 3 Founders (Tech, Product, Business)
• Consulting Jobs to Pay Bills
• Clients: Studios, Red Bull, etc.
• Introduction of AmIHot & Development of
• 6 Months of Market/Sales Before Traction
Pros / Cons
Pay Bills Massive Distraction
Takes forever to launch
Learn new industries
Can leverage consulting Doing crappy websites,
engagement to build license draining your creativity and
of software (presell) burning your staff
Might be your only option : )
• Friends & Family
• Formalized Angel Group
• Strategic Investor (?)
Breakdown On Raise
<200k Friends & Family
Raising Friends & Family
• Chances are you will lose their money, will
you lose their friendship?
• Your responsibility to your seed investors.
• How much do they get?
• Lesson: Investing.com and Alan!
Always question where you and your team are
spending their time, don’t be ridiculously cheap
(Don’t build your own PC’s)
Staff How to pay?
Legal Firm Selection
Rent Shared Spaces
Legal Greg Gilman
Accounting David Chaskis
PR Edge Communications
Hosting Media Temple
• The Role of your Board
• Difference between Advisors and Directors
• Who goes on the board and why?
• All Founders, CEO? CTO?
• What is the board good for?
• How much do I give / pay to my board?
• How do I communicate to my Board?