Earlier today I heard the news that Diaspora have asked for $25 from their users in order to keep the project alive - this, after raising around $200k from crowdfunding website Kickstarter a little over a year ago. While this post isn’t a direct criticism of Diaspora and the way they have decided to execute their plan, it is a criticism of a whole class of entrepreneurs that go for money before they try to build things on their own. It’s a post mostly about something that defines true, raw, balls-to-the-wall entrepreneurship: bootstrapping.
Bootstrapping a business is tough - you’re building things out of nothing but hard work and your own time and money. It takes a special kind of entrepreneur (perhaps the real kind of entrepreneur) to go the bootstrap route. But here’s the funny thing about it, though: if you pull it off, you have (you are) proof that your idea works - at least to a certain extent. And if you then go look for funding, people are definitely more likely to pay attention.