From BootstrapWiki
Revision as of 12:51, 24 March 2007 by Jonmc12 (talk | contribs) (Goals of the Community)
Jump to: navigation, search

The Bootstrap Community

Core Beliefs , (from Bijoy – not just bootstrapping, about trust, community, growth, etc)

Bootstrapping and the Bootstrap Stages

The Bootstrap Network introduces an innovative framework for building a venture for long-term success. While bootstrapping itself is timeless, the Bootstrap Community is about breaks principles of Bootstrapping down to simple stages:

  • Ideation –
  • Valley of Death –
  • Growth –

(from Bijoy)

Goals of the Community

The primary goal of the Bootstrap community is to create an environment that helps each participant advance through the stages of their own venture.

Boot Community Goals.PNG

Simply stated Bootstrap Austin aims to help each venture:

  1. Gain the 'right' knowledge
  2. And make the 'right' connections
  3. So that each venture can leverage their unique skills and resources
  4. In order to, Take the right action at the right time

It is this simple goal that drives the interaction between participants of the Bootstrap Community, and the organization as a whole. Building a business is about expending resources in order to take a venture to the next level. Each entrepreneur is on a person quest to use their own unique set of skills and resources to evolve their business in the most efficient and sustainable way possible. The Bootstrap Community is here to present knowledge of entrepreneurship and facilitate empowering relationships that allow each entrepreneur to take the right action at the right time.

As the Bootstrap Community itself matures, the community becomes a repository for information about building a venture. It is a vast library where, amongst its member, archives and supporting tools, any entrepreneur can be pointed to information that is relevant to their current situation in their venture. And, even better than this, when the groups information library is missing something, or perhaps lacks the latest and greatest information - each and every member is empowered to be able to contribute.

Community Structure

The bootstrap community is one of member contribution. The community has been structured to facilitate the improvement of the organization by making it easy for others to contribute – while at the same time advancing their own venture goals.

Boot Community Roles.PNG

The illustration shown of community participation within the bootstrap community is considered over time. That is to say, it is kind of a snapshot of what participatory roles might look like at any given time or over any given period of time.

The community assumes that participants will migrate between community roles as it is appropriate for the entrepreneur, for their venture, and for the community. This is important to note, because contributing to the Bootstrap Community does not need to be limited to playing a particular role over a defined period of time. Rather, it is about the participant participating/contributing in a certain role, and then taking on contributions that are appropriate from that position.

Participants can become Active Participants; Active Participants can become Contributors; Contributors can become Collaborators; and vis versa for each case.

In a sense the evolution of contribution for a member is a combination of the participant understanding their own needs, understanding the needs of the community, and being able to contribute based on where the set of these needs is common and relevant to what the participant has to offer. Other way to state this is that both the participant and the community should benefit from each and every contribution in some way.

Here is a breakdown of this for each role:

  • Participant - Observes community in order to understand the community, learn casually, and identify resources that may be helpful in his/her particular venture.
  • Active Participant - After understanding the community and realizing some level of benefit, the Active Participant interacts with other Participants of the community in order to advance his/her own venture, and also to help other community participants advance their venture.

Examples: Participation in a sub-group like Bootstrap Ideation; active exchange of messages on the Yahoo Group; leverages the BootKarma system to trade services with another participant.

  • Contributor - After understanding the needs of many participants, the Contributor is able to generalize the need that several participants require in order to advance their venture to the next stage. The Contributor then offers some contribution to the Community that is in line with their skills, interests, or passion.
  • Collaborator - After acting as a contributor or active participant, a Collaborator is able to generalize the need of a set of Community Participants, and then offer a product or service to the group in conjunction with the organization. The Collaborator is able to use this set of participants as a 'test customer' for the first version of their product or service, and then has the option to commercialize this product to a broader market.

In whole, the interaction between these various community roles creates a growing, thriving environment for all involved. The Contributors and collaborators create an environment that becomes increasingly relevant to the Participants - all while advancing their own goals. The Active Participants benefit from both the interaction with other Participants, and also the services provided by Contributors and Collaborators. Everyone benefits, and ventures of each participant evolve.

(insert short description of structure involving administrative and change of organization)

Resources and Tools

Within Community:

  • Bootstrap Wiki
  • Yahoo Group Archives
  • Bootstrap Blog

Suggested Reading:

  • Books..
  • Websites..


Community Roles

Definition of Roles

Participant - Participants are members of the bootstrap community that take on a limited level of involvement. A participant, while a bootstrapper, usually does not consider the Bootstrap Community to be one of the top 3 organizations that they participate in. The goal of the typical participant is casual learning, and keeping their eyes open for beneficial activities throughout the group.


  • Must be a bootstrapper

Typical Participation:

  • Observation of Yahoo Group;
  • Observation of Social Networking Community;
  • Casual Learning

Community Systems:

  • Boostrap Social Network;
  • Yahoo Groups

Active Participant - Active participants are bootstrappers who regularly participate in one or many activities within the Bootstrap Community.


  • Active commitment to help him/herself through venture phases;
  • Commitment to interact with others towards the same goal of venture development.

Typical Participation:

  • Monthly Meetings;
  • Participation in one or more Subgroup;
  • Contributes to Yahoo Group;
  • Posts Completed Profile on Bootstrap Social Network.

Community Systems:

  • Bootstrap Social Network;
  • Yahoo Groups;
  • Complimentary Currency (in Development)

Contributor - A contributor is a Bootstrapper who has come to understand the organization, has identified a generalized need of some subset of Bootstrappers, and is willing to contribute to the organization in order to provide some resource that fulfill this need.


  • Has been an Active Participant of the community for 3 months or more;
  • Has completed the registration process for Contribution and, if necessary, new initiative creation.

Typical Participation:

  • Creation and/or management of a subgroup formed by Industry, by Venture Stage, or by Topic.

Community Systems:

  • Bootstrap Social Network;
  • Yahoo Groups;
  • Complimentary Currency (in Development)

Collaborator - A collaborator is a Bootstrapper who has not only generalized a need of the community – but feels they have created a resource to fulfill this need as a product or service. Collaborators use the members of the Bootstrap Community to get product validation, feedback and even customers. Both the community and the Collaborator benefit from this arrangement, and if successful can lead to the a larger market release of the product as a new venture.


  • Has been an Active Participant of the community for 3 months or more;
  • Has completed the registration process for Collaboration;

Typical Participation:

  • Release and Rollout of Alpha/Beta product/service within community;
  • Integration of Product/Service in one or more Bootstrap Initiative;
  • Feedback activity with members of Bootstrap Community

Community Systems:

  • Bootstrap Social Network;
  • Yahoo Groups;
  • Complimentary Currency (in Development)


Becoming a participant within the group is predicated on the desire to contribute mutually to those in the organization.


  • No Solicitation
  • No attacking of community members
  • No complaining about stuff – if its broken then contribute to fix it

Opportunities: The Bootstrap Community is a constantly changing place that holds many different types of activities for its members. The most current list of initiatives can be found here – Bootstrap Wiki

  • Learning:
    • Models – Bootstrapping, MRE/5D framework
    • Skills – Breakout sessions, topic specific subgroups
    • Knowledge – Sharing knowledge, subgroups, archives
  • Connection – Meeting others within the group:
    • Meetings
    • Bootstrap Connector
    • Leveraging Bootstrap Social Network
  • Contribution and Collaboration

(insert process to become an Active Participant)


(insert process to become a contributor)


(insert process to become a contributor)

Administration and Change

(This section to detail the process of tracking participation with the group – updates on roles, initiatives, etc)

(This section will also address, briefly, a mechanism for change in the organization specific to structure and community participation/contribution)

Community Checklist

(this will be a stand-alone page which has easy to reference checklists for fulfilling the preocesses required to join community, actively participate, become a contributor, or collaborator)

Joining the Community

Becoming an Active Participant

Becoming a Contributor

Becoming a Collaborator

This initiative has come out of the Bootstrap Open Source Initiative.