I’m a proud bootstrapper and have been for the last 10 years or so. I’ve ran a few successful companies without ever being offered and without seeking venture capital. I believe that you can build highly successful companies via bootstrapping and that by no means is VC a prerequisite for success. Many young entrepreneurs come up with ideas for startups and immediately start thinking about life in Silicon Valley and pitching to VC’s. It doesn’t have to be that way. Bootstrapping is a perfectly viable, and acceptable, alternative to VC, and there are several reasons I believe so.
You Don’t Need The Money
It doesn’t take a fortune to start a new company; it’s getting cheaper each year. All you really need to validate your startup idea is a good domain name, a working website, and some social media kung-fu. Web design costs less than it ever has and you can always get a hacker friend to partner with you and handle the development side. You don’t need $100k to get off the ground… it’s probably closer to $1k. Plus, working within a bootstrapper’s budget will make you a more fiscally responsible company, which can only help in the long run.
I Don’t Want to Give Up Control Or Ownership
Losing board seats to a VC is not something I’m interested in. I’m sure that they can be helpful and provide terrific advice on certain issues, but I’d rather focus on my existing circle of friends and entrepreneurs for advice. They are likely to be just as helpful without requiring a % of the company.
Silicon Valley Isn’t For Me
I’ve been asked countless times why I don’t live in Silicon Valley if I’m in the startup industry. I don’t have anything against San Francisco or Silicon Valley, it’s just not where I want to live. I want to have the freedom to live anywhere I please, without being compelled to spend time in SF. I like the sunny beaches of Florida – it’s just a personal preference.
Like I said earlier, I’ve never looked into venture capital. So I’m sure I have many misconceptions about the process of applying for VC and it’s benefits. I’ve been reading a lot lately about the pros and cons of VC vs bootstrapping (mostly written by VC’s) and I’m still standing firm on my position. What are your thoughts? Do you think VC is a good idea? Comments are always appreciated!