Should StartUps Bootstrap Products With Services?

Sramana Mitra

To bootstrap or not to bootstrap? It has always been a difficult choice to make for a Startup.

  • If not getting external help (funding), then bootstrapping is the only way to sustain itself
  • But then, it could get distracted if it tries to bootstrap a product with a service

Sramana Mitra, founder of 1M/1M, believes that bootstrapping is a tried and true method. She backs it up with numerous case studies:

  • RailsFactory, a consulting and app development company, has recently built a product has recently built a product on the basis 100 services that it offered earlier
  • Mansa Systems, a SaaS-based IT company, publishes a number of apps to be used in conjunction with Salesforce.com through Salesforce’s AppExchange app marketplace. Mansa Systems remains entirely self-funded via the company’s service business, and there are currently no plans to use outside funding.
  • AgilOne,  currently provides cloud-based predictive customer analytics. Initially, the company relied entirely on services to get close to customers, understand and address their problems, and in the process generate revenues

All of these companies that Sramana Mitra mentioned, bootstraped to profitability via services. “Not only is this a viable method of getting your startup off the ground, it’s a proven method of reaching profitability, as well”, says Sramana.

Adapted From: Bootstrapping Products with Services

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