Valley of Death
The Venture is in a fight for its survival and the way it will survive is to find customers - people or organizations who will pay for its product or service. Just as the founders co-created the Demo in the previous phase, so they now co-create the solution with the customer. This is a delicate dance as it will involve many changes to the Demo in order to become a viable product. In some cases, the initial Demo will be thrown away entirely. The Demo acts as a way to get the conversation going with the customer.
This is an incredibly challenging time, both for the bootstrapper and the venture. Her persistence is severely tested. This is the time when relying on fellow-bootstrappers is a very appropriate "right action" for the bootstrapper to take. Indeed, many of the needs of the venture can be met by other bootstrappers who have experienced similar challenges.
If possible, some Bootstrappers will find customers while still in the Ideation Phase.
Here again, there is a temptation to seek investor capital. However, the Bootstrapper knows that this will shift focus away from the critical dialog with the key dance partner, the customer.
Customer Journey - Innovator/Early Adopter customers
Death of the false ego, Road of Trials. The delusions of grandeur and false ego are getting eroded. Learn to receive
Evangelist Leads, Maven improves the product through customer input via Evangelist
- Selling The Wheel: Choosing The Best Way To Sell For You Your Company Your Customers by Jeff Cox and Howard Stevens
- Constraint Creates Innovation, by Bijoy Goswami (article in Business District Magazine)
- What Makes Entrepreneurs Entrepreneurial? (pdf), by Saras Saraswathy
- Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth DVD - George Lucas
- The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
- The Origin and Evolution of New Businesses by Amar V. Bhide
- The Bhagavad Gita by Eknath Easwaran
- Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
- The Luck Factor, THE by Richard Wiseman
- Go It Alone!: The Secret to Building a Successful Business on Your Own by Bruce Judson. For bootstrappers building internet-based businesses.
- The Bootstrapper's Bible: How to Start and Build a Business With a Great Idea and (Almost) No Money by Seth Godin
- The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations by Ori Brafman
- Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne
- Becoming a Category of One: How Extraordinary Companies Transcend Commodity and Defy Comparison by Joe Calloway
- What Customers Want: Using Outcome-Driven Innovation to Create Breakthrough Products and Services by Anthony Ulwick and Anthony Ulwick
- Bootstrap: Lessons Learned Building a Successful Company from Scratch by Kenneth Hess
- Innovation loves Constraint by Marissa Mayer, Google