“The odds of raising venture capital are equal to the odds of getting struck by lightning while standing on the bottom of a swimming pool on a sunny day.” – Bill Reichert, Garage Technology Ventures

Bill said that in 2004 and the odds have probably gotten longer since then.   The challenges of raising outside money coupled with lower initial capital requirements (at least for web companies) and new methods like the Lean Startup are one factor that has contributed to an explosion of bootstrapped companies.

37 Signals, makers of Basecamp, is a prime example and they’ve recently been profiling others.  They call the series “Bootstrapped, Profitable and Proud.”

The companies on the list are all product companies who have never taken VC investment, have revenues over US$1 million and are profitable.

If you are bootstrapping by choice or necessity there are some informative and inspirational stories here including:

  • Github, which provides source code management tools to more than a million projects. Customers include Facebook, Twitter, and the Ruby on Rails team
  • iTeleport, who sell a top-100 iPhone and iPad application that allows you to remotely view and control your Mac or PC over the internet

The complete list as well as a call for more companies to profile is here.

If you think bootstrapping might be the right approach for you the bootstrapping section of our Entrepreneur’s Toolkit is a good place to start.

Ryan Coleman

Ryan Coleman is co-founder and CTO of Clay Tablet Technologies. His blog, Found in Translation, can be found at http://fitrans.blogspot.com. His passion for Visual Thinking comes from recognizing that, next to translation, visuals are one of the most powerful ways to overcome language barriers of all kinds. See more…