Bootstrapping stories by founders and startup teams are well-known. The rapid pace in technology change has certainly made it easier for founders to put their ideas in motion without needing a whole lot of capital. Let’s face it, everybody nowadays can put a website together, build up a mailer list and start validating their product. Obviously there’s still barriers to resources in the entrepreneurial process,
As Ali Mese points out, it is not easy to get a startup going. It takes much effort to establish something out of thin air and no hack can ever exempt one from hard work. That being said, we know that there’s various trends out there that are likely to influence the way founders bootstrap their way to startup success. Some of these include: basic income, nomadic lifestyle and new tech.
A minimum wage for all citizens of a country without any requirements? The idea that people are eligible for a basic income from the government in order to meet their most basic needs such as housing and food is a strong trend. Countries like Finland are already looking into the possibility of introducing a basic income for all their citizens as a means to guarantee a minimum living standard in the country. The Netherlands on the other hand is also working on a pilot project in Utrecht in order to look into the possibility of such a wage. If it’s successful, we may be looking at a future where various countries offer their citizens a basic income. This would mean that founders have a reliable source of minimum funding which they can use for working on their ideas. However, a future where work is not all that important as working hours are much less than what we know today and a basic income is available for all, it puts in question the need to work and put a startup together at all.
One of the biggest trends these days is the new way of working everyone is talking about. Talking to graduate students or looking at posts in a Facebook group will immediately give you the impression that many students are now considering working remotely while travelling abroad. Getting a job a big “inc” is not the goal anymore, nor is becoming a “gog in a wheel”. New generations are very much aware of the economic downtimes we are living in and freelancing and joining or founding a startup is slowly becoming their new goal. According to EY, many people working today will become independent contractors in a few years down the line. So how does this all influence bootstrapping?
Looking back a few decades ago, we can see a stark increase in entrepreneurial activity largely due to technological development. The entrepreneurial spirit has touched many all over the world and nowadays it’s even become a career of sorts for some. From serial entrepreneurs to angel investors and entrepreneurs in residence — the art of entrepreneurship and founding a startup is by far one of the most exciting things out there when it comes to work. The freedom to work when you want and not be tied down to working hours and schedules given to you by your boss is priceless for many people. Hence, if we have more people who are more familiar with the startup process, working remotely and freelancing — it may make it much easier to put an outstanding startup team together of highly skilled individuals in a range of fields.
Today coding is a big thing, however it’s possible that coding won’t be necessary at all 10 years from now. One could simply “input” the requirements and a software would spill out a website or app in no time.
Not only that, but many problems that founders have had in the past has now been solved. Whether its making pitch decks, finding skills for free or communicating more easily with Slack — new developments in technology continuously make things easier to do. Going back to website building, there are a ton of sites such as WordPress and Joomla out there these days where one can have a live site up in no time. There’s no reason to believe the same won’t be true for other things. In the next few decades, we are looking at a world of virtual reality, 3D printing, Bitcoin and automation to say the least. These technologies, if developed fully, are more than enough to considerably change our lifestyles and how we look at the economy at large.
We expect that founders will have an easier time bootstrapping their startup 10 or 20 years from now with access to what we call “skill-hacks” such as tech coding software, financial resources and time. Perhaps the founder who wants to start her startup won’t need to be bartending during the weekends to make ends meet. Instead, she can dedicate all her efforts in making it a reality, which could influence the success rate of startups, even making it drop from the infamous 95% failure rate to something more encouraging.