Matt Wensing started bootstrapping Stormpulse with a co-founder in 2006, building on an app Wensing developed from a personal interest in tracking tropical cyclones. He has a thought provoking blog where posted this video on “Bootstrapping Survival Lessons”
The sound quality is not great and he has slow start but stick with it, it’s a very compelling presentation about the joys and challenges of bootstrapping a technology startup. His dawning realization that major corporations, CNN, and the White House situation room are using his service was very funny. Here are some notes I took from the presentation and Q&A session
“The goal of any startup should be to help the greatest number of people find the deepest resolution to a high stakes problem.”
Matt Wensing “Achieving a Profitable Product / Market Fit“
“A startup has to bring a product to market that punches through the status quo by being 10x better.”
Empower your customers.
Need to go panning for gold in your user base. Find the ones for whom your offering is critical to their business or their job. Understand the “forcing functions” at work that will trigger their purchase.
Q: How did South Florida help you build Stormpulse
A: Silicon Valley is like ROTC, you are in college and earning a salary.
South Florida is the marines. You are hacking your way through the jungles of Cambodia. You never have a problem with failing too late in South Florida
Q: How did you manage building a family and bootstrapping a startup?
A: I have no hobbies. I have business and family. It’s not your kids fault that you decided to build a company. Take responsibility and don’t take it out on your kids. Take it out on yourself.
Q: How did you get started bootstrapping?
A: My co-founder and I started by cashing out our retirement savings.
Q: what’s your success point?
A: I have been successful not having a day job. Success would be financial stability, all of what the corporate world offers you without having to work in it.