Monday, November 16, 2009

Ideation, You or QUEST(ion)??!!

Hi everyone,

We used to think there were only 3 stages to the bootstrap process - Ideation, Valley of Death (VoD) and Growth. It turns out there are more! - two preceding Ideation (you and Quest(ion)) and one following Growth (Rebootstrap). You can see these illustrated on the Bootstrap Map (

You might think you're in Ideation, but you're actually in a different stage. The Bootstrap Austin Community only addresses Ideation/VoD/Growth (blue shaded region on the map) and you will need to seek other resources for the preceding stages. Additionally, you might actually be in Ideation (or later) but have not addressed the key issues associated with you & Quest(ion). The Bootstrap Map serves as a checklist to help you determine where you are so you can take your "right actions."

Looking forward to the discussion!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

2010 Microsoft BizSpark Accelerator at SXSW: Entry Deadline Is December 4

Take advantage of the opportunity to showcase your emerging technology product and/or service in front of industry leaders by participating in the 2010 Microsoft BizSpark Accelerator at SXSW.

Accelerator takes place on March 15-16 as a part of the SXSW Interactive Festival, during which you can improve your product launch, attract venture capitalists, polish your elevator pitch, receive media exposure, build brand awareness, network, socialize and experience all that SXSW Interactive has to offer.

The deadline to register is December 4, less than one month away, so visit today to learn more about this great event.

Please contact Chris Valentine at with any questions you have.

Friday, November 06, 2009

VoD Subgroup Meeting Monday 11/9

This month's Valley of Death Subgroup meeting will be held at Waterloo Ice House on 38th St, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.

The Bootstrap principle for the month of November is "Scale the Model" (twitter: #scalemodel) which is part of the Growth Phase but is an integral part of the VoD stage as well.

Clint Greenleaf of Greenleaf Book Group will be our Guest Speaker. Greenleaf Book Group was founded in by Clint in 1997 and he is the author of "Attention to Detail: A Gentleman's Guide to Professional Appearance and Conduct." His company is a publisher and distributor dedicated to the development of independent authors and the growth of small presses, representing over 700 titles.

The company is thriving in an industry where U.S. publishers have seen sales shrink in four out of the last five years. Greenleaf's revenue was up 37% to $8.1 million in 2008 and looks likely to top $9 million this year.

Although we aren't sure if Clint will be one of the "Best Dressed" at the meeting, we are sure you will appreciate his wit and honesty on the trial, tribulations and joy of bootstrapping and growing a successful company from its humble beginnings to being one of the fastest-growing companies in America.

You can learn more about Clint's company at
Please RSVP to the Facebook invitation.
Contact laurieloew at gmail with any questions about the meeting.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The Rhythm of Rest

The turning of the wheel of the year is a gentle reminder to reflect on the rhythms inherent in life. If we are observant, everywhere we see a natural balance between work and rest. We see this rhythm in the flow of the seasons, the wax and wane of the moon, the turning of day and night, and even in the simplicity of the breath.

Rest is a crucial element in the busyness of business, especially during the holiday season. If we do not build in time for rest, creativity and productivity suffer. Many of us feel guilty if we take a break to relax or even take time off when we are ill. Rest is essential to wellness and helps us gain perspective. Thankfully, it's an unavoidable aspect of the process of life.

No matter the phase of business development, schedule time to rest. One effective way to rest is to unplug from technology for a full day by taking a secular sabbath. Turn off the TV, phone, and computer. Spend time connecting with nature. Visit with friends. Go for a walk or curl up with a good book. The sabbath can be a spiritual practice, but it doesn't need to be in order to be nourishing.

Another simple way to connect to the work-rest cycle is to use your breath. The 5-5-5 breath is a powerful stress reducer. Bringing your breath to 4 cycles per minute will flip a switch in your autonomic nervous system and engage the relaxation response.

To begin, sit in a comfortable position, lengthen your spine and relax your shoulders. Take a few long deep breaths. When you are ready, switch to the following pattern: spend 5 seconds taking a long slow inhale, suspend your breath for 5 seconds, and exhale 5 seconds. Start by practicing for 3 minutes.

Breath suspension is a very gentle action, without pressure or tension. If it is uncomfortable to suspend your breath, make the exhalation twice as long as the inhalation and you'll get the same relaxing outcome. You may choose to practice this exercise lying down.

We continue the Inner Journey this month as we take a look at personal values and how these values create your company's values and the company culture.

Join us with our special guest speaker, Ed Garner, Vice President of Custom Solutions at Enspire Learning, Inc. He will share with us how Enspire created their renowned company culture and how the leaders contributed to that.

Date: November 11
Time: 7-9pm
Location: Tech Ranch
2311 W. Rundberg Lane, Suite 200
Austin, TX

Please RSVP for the event at:

The Inner Journey subgroup will be taking a rest during the December. We'll be back in January!