Thursday, May 21, 2009

What is Bootstrap? Some answers

Bootstrap members provided their answers to the QUESTion: what is bootstrap? at the May 11, 2009 meeting. This 20 minute BootRap Podcast provides highlights of the discussion. Two key points emerge: first, bootstrap members have some of the most incredible insights and wisdom to share with each other! Second, there is no ONE definition of bootstrap - we all come to it in our own way and in our own time. Bootstrap members featured in the conversation: Kim Brushaber, Jason Howell, Marcy Hoen, Kevin Koym.

Follow the conversation on twitter @bootstrapaustin and tweet your answers!

Thanks to SoundQuality for editing and Hearthis for hosting the BootRap.

Monday, May 04, 2009

What is bootstrap?

Ever since its inception, Bootstrap Austin has been engaged in this singular question and has encouraged its members to ask it of themselves. Indeed, a simple definition of a bootstrapper might be: one who asks the question: what is bootstrap?

Even while Bootstrap expresses particular answers to the question, as embodied by the Bootstrap Map, principles, actions, etc., these can only be the our "current answers" bound to change and evolve as they have over these 5+ years. Getting attached to a particular answer is where the danger lies. This is akin to a bootstrap company getting attached to its current business model. Founders emerge from the VoD with the answer to their question in the form of their model. Then, in the Growth stage, they socialize the company to learn, follow and live that answer. But this sows the seeds of destruction, for then you have everyone debating the meaning and implementation of the answer rather than living the question for themselves and letting new answers (innovation) emerge. This is where great companies, even bootstraps that have once succeeded, go to die.

And so it is with Bootstrap Austin. Over the years, we have gotten attached to some of our answers. No more. This marks a re-declaration of Bootstrap Austin's core mission in the form of its singular question.

On twitter this week, @bootstrapaustin has been asking the question and providing some of the current answers. Please follow and reply with yours! We will continue the discussion at our Monday, May 11 meeting from 6-9pm at Waterloo Ice House on 38th/Lamar. See you there!