Bootstrappers Unite!

“A situation in which an entrepreneur starts a company with little capital. An individual is said to be bootstrapping when he or she attempts to found and build a company from personal finances or from the operating revenues of the new company.”
    – “Bootstrapping” by Investopedia

I just got back from another session with The Online Bootstrappers Meetup Group in Vancouver. What I really like about this group is that everyone seems to be on the same wave-length. I’ve been to a few different meetups and it’s rare to see.

Last week we took a look at August’s site called, which is aimed at non-English speakers who wish to take the required TOEFL exam to obtain a visa for an English speaking country. August is selling an eBook, but is also provided practice speaking exams and has some other interesting ideas to expand into this area.

This week we focused on Ray’s site called Ray hopes to connect cooking passionate consumers with food suppliers using a blend of cooking recipes, shopping list management and his own A.I. algorithmic special sauce behind the scenes. We all gave the site a test drive and everyone threw in their 2 cents opinion on what was good or bad, and the direction the site should go. The great, or not great, thing is how everyone has such different opinions when they see a new website for the first time. Some great ideas were thrown around for Ray to consider. I think the most useful thing here, and what Ray was probably looking for, is the “what do you see”. I know from my own experience, that when you spend a lot of time engrossed in developing something you tend to get bogged down in the details and it becomes hard see your creation with fresh eyes. It’s hard to be confused by your creation. Constant feedback from people that have never seen it before is really important.

I should also note that merchants can sign up to Pasobella to sell organic food directly to local consumers through this system. Another win for the local producers of Vancouver!

The nine guys that came to the meetup all have different experiences and are working on different things. It’s interesting to see the contrasting approaches to building a business, whether it’s getting something built and out the door and then iterating, or researching thoroughly before hitting the keyboard. All seem like the right approach for the given project. The common theme is that we are all trying to create something from nothing, which is the adventure I’m on and something you’ll hear more of in this blog.

The next meetup for this group is a presentation by the Compass Engine Co-founders speaking at Ceilis Pub. See you there?