There is No Shame in Failing to Bootstrap Your Business

4+ years ago I quit a job I loved.
My focus changed to building software for digital marketers.
Two brilliant developers signed on to help.
Our goal was to bootstrap our business using money I had saved up.
We sold $0 of software for 2 years.
But we were learning how to better serve our market everyday.
After one failed attempt, we built a product that got some traction.
The problem. We were out of money.
I stopped everything that wasn’t related to nding
I pitched our business to anyone who would listen.
It wasn’t fun.
Everyone said ‘no thanks’ for months.
I was 30 days away from begging my old boss for my job back.
Then someone said ‘yes’ and we secured a seed round from incredible
We had a dream to bootstrap. We failed.
But we had put in the years to learn the reality of what it would take.
We raised less than $400k in July 2015 and haven’t needed money
from investors since.
We fuel growth with customer revenues now.
Getting people to use free software is hard.
Getting people to pay for software is harder.
There is no shame in failing to bootstrap the whole way through.
If you believe your vision is a product that enough people will buy, do
whatever you can to survive until you prove yourself wrong.

Source : CEO of Shape (


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