Mesh '09: Bootstrapping Your Web Startup

by Varun Mathur | Startups

Mesh '09 was a great place to learn about bootstrapping your startup. MeshU featured a presentation by Carl Mercier, who successfully sold his bootstrapped startup recently (Defensio). Here are his slides:


A panel discussion featuring Mic Berman (Embarkonit), Keith McSpurren (Cover It Live) and Carol Leaman (PostRank) was held on the final day of Mesh as well. Keith made some interesting points:

Bad breath is better than no breath at all. Do something. Ideas are cheap, it's all about execution. First version of CIL/Altcaster: absolute piece of crap.

I don't think these things (mesh) are where you have to go. In CIL's case, spend virtually no time on conferences.

1st startup (mid '98, internet relatively new): started executing on things he thought was pretty cool. 2nd startup (CIL): saw a gap in the market and executed on it.

Always paranoid of people stealing his great ideas. Not a lot of defense mechanisms. Rush to market because they are coming for you, establish a beachhead. Stop thinking like you're not going to talk to someone because they might steal your idea.

Get out there, fail quickly. It's not important early on to get any of that advice. Just go do it if you have the skills to do it. Deal with the problems later.

Carol had this advice for entrepreneurs who think they have a good product but the market is a year or two away from where they are:

Don't delude yourself into thinking it will finally appear for you if it's not coming. You have to be practical. If paying the bills means you have to do consulting on the side, then you need to it. In most cases, you have to follow the market (you can't make the market).

PostRank Inc.
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Based in Waterloo, Ontario, PostRank is a world-class technology company that monitors and collects social engagement events with online content in real-time across the web. PostRank gathers where and when stories generate comments, bookmarks, tweets, and other forms of interaction from a host of social hubs. Publishers and people interested in their content can then use PostRank analysis to... more

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Since its release in late 2007, CoveritLive has been used by thousands of writers to engage millions of readers around the world. It has been well received by traditional bloggers as well as those in mainstream media. Our users are finding millions of usage occasions from niche events like chess tournaments in Germany or local elections in London, to marquee events like the NFL draft and... more

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Varun Mathur

Varun Mathur

Varun Mathur is the Techvibes Community Manager in Toronto, focused on covering local tech startups, news and events. He is also a Co-founder and Product Manager at Zytran, a Toronto-based web startup which developed and launched - a personal news aggregator (Alertle's version 1.0 got widespread global coverage, with reviews written about it in various tech blogs and in over a dozen... more

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