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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 fulfills this need.

Here is the list of Bootstrap Contributors, past and present.


  • Has been an Active Participant of the community for 3 months or more
  • Typical Participation: Leading a Subgroup

How Does it Work?

  1. Active Participant thinks up an idea or feels they can solve an expressed community need, with might include their product/service
  2. Active Participant gets in touch with the appropriate lead
  3. Together they discuss, negotiate and agree on the new initiative

Contributor --> Active Participant/Participant

There are many situations, often related to the increasing needs of their venture, where a Contributor will be unable to continue with the Commitment they made. This happens often and is part of the topsy-turvy reality of being a bootstrapper! When it does, the Contributor must pro-actively let Bootstrap know so that they can relieve themselves of the commitment and allow appropriate course corrections to be made.

All Contributions are recorded by name/time on the Contributors page and will be preserved by Bootstrap so Contributors can always refer to their involvement with Bootstrap.


  1. Blog about their initiatives on the Bootstrap Blog.
  2. Get feedback from the participants. This helps to serve the growth of the Contributor and the growth of the community by ascertaining their needs and how well those are met.
  3. Openly communicate amongst other Contributors and support one another as an advisory council for their initiatives.
  4. Set appropriate time frames for commitments
  5. Record the BootKarma transactions for their activities
  6. Manage commitments with responsibility and professionalism toward the Bootstrap Community.


We use the agreement templates created by Rick Friedman to structure Contributions appropriately. The bootstrapper contributes their knowledge and resources, but maintains ownership of their brand, product, etc. Bootstrap retains control over the Bootstrap Initiative and "Boot-service/product."

Decision Making Process


Bootstrap initiative teams with more than one contributor are neither consensus-driven nor autocratic. Consensus-driven teams move too slowly and don't allow for effective bootstrapping. On the other hand, the lead doesn't get to arbitrarily enforce their will either. Instead, we take an approach that combines the two. The "appropriate owner" of a particular aspect of a project makes the final call. The other contributors only act as advisors and sources of input. It is therefore important for the lead to acknowledge the appropriate owners at the beginning and as they need to be defined as the project unfolds.

Community Systems

  • Enterprise Teaming - commitments are negotiated and managed through the ET System (provided by bootstrapper Kevin Koym)
  • Boot Karma - earns Boot Karma for time put into creating an initiative. Time is negotiated with the lead who manages the initiative. Members who participate in an intiative are charged in BK; payments are made to Bootstrap Central.
  • Bootstrap Bootcamp - after 3 months of active Contribution, the Contributor can request free access to the online Bootstrap Bootcamp
  • Bootsrap Austin Blog Contributor
  • Boot Rap Podcast Contributor