In April 2012 I pondered the need for somewhere for people like us, people who are running businesses online but are not chasing investment or a buy out, in my post A Community for the Bootstrappers. I didn’t take those thoughts further as I didn’t want to become list-mother to a barely populated community, and I wasn’t sure how many other people were thinking along the same lines.
Over a year on and I am a great fan of the bootstrapped.fm podcast, presented by Ian Landsman and Andrey Butov. Ian and Andrey both run product businesses – at Perch we use both of Ian’s products, HelpSpot and Snappy for different parts of our customer support process. In a recent episode they were discussing the old Business of Software forums, forums that sounded exactly like the sort of community I had wished for. I then saw on Twitter an exchange between Ian, Andrey and Mike Jones of Western Cape Labs. I’ve known Mike for years – he was a friend of Drew’s before I met Drew. I chipped in to offer my help as a moderator and over the course of a couple of days the Bootstrapped Discuss forum was created.
All of this was just over a week ago, and the forum now has almost 200 members. There are some great threads already – we’re discussing how to work or freelance alongside developing your ideas, how to come up with product ideas, how to reach new markets and so much more. I’m really excited about this, and happy that it seems to be a thing lots of people see value in. I’m already learning and enjoying passing on the things I know about. If you have or are thinking about launching a self-funded product, then I hope you will join, post your introduction, and benefit from being part of a friendly group of likeminded people.