Bootstrapped, Profitable, & Proud

The team at Basecamp had an awesome series a little while back called Bootstrapped, Profitable & Proud. It was a great read, and I always found it incredibly inspiring for me, as an entrepreneur. It was a number of features on startups & businesses that didn’t operate in the traditional VC funded way.

It’s been archived to its own home now that the Basecamp blog is on Medium, and whenever I mention it to folks, they’ve usually not heard of the series. I wanted to give it kind of a signal boost and show it to some new readers. It’s worth checking out, and I hope you’ll find it as motivating as I always have.

Here it is, in all its glory:

I also wanted to highlight a few of my favourites…


I had the good fortune to hang out and shoot some videos with Mitchell Harper not too long ago, and I totally forgot that his company was featured in the series. Worth a read.

Stand out quote:

“The biggest thing we’ve done marketing-wise is build a great product,” says Harper. “You can throw all the money you want at marketing but if your software sucks, then it’ll just be a waste.”


You want a guide to how to transition from a service based business to a product based business? Definitely read this one. It’s a great roadmap to accomplishing that.

Stand out quote:

“We’ve been making money from the very first minute we released our first themes, which means that we didn’t need to pay back loans or really invest in any infrastructure when we started out,” according to Pienaar. “We also had the benefit of being able to cover our own lifestyle costs in the initial phases via doing freelance work; so we bought ourselves a bit of time.”


Another home grown company, but these folks made it onto the BRW rich list here in Australia this year thanks to their company, and I think that’s awesome. Fucking great job Envato.

Stand out quote:

My personal goal? To build products and sites that are genuinely useful for people. So with our marketplaces I hope that we can build the best marketplaces for our authors to sell on. They won’t ever be the only marketplaces, but I want them to be the best for authors, so that means good rates, lots of community to be a part of, a friendly team to interact with and who listen to the community, features that help authors, and just generally a place you’d be proud to sell through.

Thanks to Basecamp for putting this series together back in the day, and I hope you enjoy reading them. They had a big impact on me.

You can download the free GROW 101 guide by Creatomic right here:

It’s a straightforward, no bullshit guide that will lay out the groundwork for how to grow and scale a business. It’s about real actions, not positive fucking thinking. Check it out, and let me know what you think.

Please support Creatomic by clicking that little heart!

I’m the founder of Creatomic.

I’m Jon Westenberg. I’m a serial failure, a law school drop out, and a passionate creative. I started my first company at 18, walking off the grill of a McDonald’s to create a music management company. Since then, I’ve worked with startups, spoken at events across the globe, won and lost a record deal and kept moving forward with one idea: life isn’t about staying up. It’s about getting up when you fall down. I founded Creatomic, a top blog and coaching company.

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