The Top Challenges Of 2,000 Designers, Entrepreneurs And Product Managers

Fascinating infographic from Keynotopia on the challenges impacting designers, entrepreneurs and product managers [1]. One that jumped out at me regarding Bootstrapping:

Most entrepreneurs we surveyed said they prefer to take the time to bootstrap their business slowly and steadily, rather than raising money from investors and growing too fast too quickly. The biggest challenge is to generate revenue while bootstrapping: to acquire enough customers and have them pay for the product.

Huge challenge. There is a time and place for funding. The right investors can help accelerate a business in amazing ways. The wrong investors will sink the business before it starts. Investors have their own agendas and time frames. Some businesses, especially in the early days, don’t fit those kinds of timelines. Thus we get acquihires for businesses that, if they had grown more organically, could have been amazing businesses.


I have to admit that funding is inviting. The idea of working with really smart people, surrounding myself with a team of dedicated people trying to do amazing things, is really exciting. And sometimes it seems like every company is funded. But that’s not true. In fact the majority of business, technology or otherwise, are not funded by anyone but the founders and maybe a loan.

Those with funding dismiss those without by calling them “lifestyle” businesses, a derogatory term that implies we just aren’t serious. But that’s not true either. I work as hard as any funded company does.

I’m just not ready to take other people’s money.

[1] I’m a customer.

[2] Buy the company to get the employees.