The tech industry tends to glorify venture funding, associating investor commitments as an illustration of success. Of course, venture funding is a means to an end and many talented makers choose not to raise capital for their startup. Name some of your favorite products and companies built by bootstrappers.
- @levelsio has been defining bootstrapping for all these years and it's great to see him grow through the years without any external investments inspiring any maker that they can make great things just from their laptop and an internet connection; just look at this tweet :DI totally agree. I use NomadList all the time and he's always improving it. I can see him starting to crack into the general travel market next which is obviously a significantly larger opportunity that just Nomads. Although, I love any product that really hones down on its niche.
- It's a bootstrapped company with huge success, and not only that, they are also awesome at giving back to the community, they gave us Ruby on Rails, Stimulus, Pow, etc. (check the whole list here https://basecamp.com/about/open-...). They created awesome books like Rework, Remote and Getting Real. And of course, the product is awesome, we replaced Slack with Basecamp 3 and we are very very happy with it!
- ProdPad helps you (as product person) create roadmaps, that are understandable for everyone. And thus it makes conversations between customers product people and dev teams a lot more effective.Focusing on your product and not timelines, ProdPad is admittedly the best product managment software out there. Continuous development, heavily based on product manager feedback, with the founding team comprised of world leading product management experts. All that topped by a dedicated and passionate core team whose work shines throughout the product.First and foremost, I find this to be a really clean and clear tool for marshalling your backlog, inputs and ideas for your product, and shaping your priorities and roadmap. Great aesthetic, very thoughtful design, and well-articulated "opinionated" workflows. Also worthy of note is the customer success and support team - they're top notch. Very helpful, super knowledgeable, and always constructive!
- Canny is such a great product for collecting and managing user feedback. Users can post and vote on features and bugs. This allows us to properly prioritize what we want to work on. This, in tandem with the Roadmap feature -- which allows our users to see what we're working, what we have planned, and what we've completed -- creates a sense of agency and involvement for our users, they feel that they're partly building the product with us. Additionally, and this is something not really advertised by the Canny founders, is that Canny can be used to create a community on your website. With their embedding and single-sign on feature it looks like a part of our websites. A few days ago, at Repl.it, we decided to prototype a Hackernews-like community where people post program's they built, vote, and discuss. We built it in less than an hour and in no time we had hundreds of posts, comments, and upvotes. Check it out https://repl.it/ibuiltthis As for the subject here, the bootstrapping of the company, it's been such a pleasure watching Canny, the company, work to find product/market fit from the moment of creation. The founders faced incredible skepticism at first, people compared it to existing products and didn't see the point in what their building. But slowly and surely they started getting customers and I believe they have, at least, the kernel of product/market fit. The founders are ex-facebookers with impressive backgrounds, they could've raised money if they put their mind into it. But from the start they wanted to do things differently, they wanted autonomy, they wanted to travel, and they wanted to be profitable as soon as possible. Finally, they're blogging about everything that they're learning about building a bootstrapped SaaS business. There isn't a month that goes by without seeing one of their posts on the front page of hackernews -- which means it's resonating with other founders (or aspiring ones).
- Bubble lets anyone (even without a tech background) create web and mobile applications without code. It's easy to learn and yet powerful enough so you can create pretty much anything - marketplace platforms, social networks, e-commerce websites and much more. We have been using Bubble to create awesome products and templates without code for nearly 2 years and the platform is simply amazing. The team keeps adding new features and constantly improves the platform. The ecosystem around bubble started to grow even faster when they opened the plugin builder to the public. Can't recommend this product enough.Next generation programming language, period. For everyone that needs to jumpstart their idea fast and simple - this is a tool that will make it possible. You will be surprised with the possibilities on what can be done without code.