Reflection: 10 Lessons Learned in 22 Years of Successful Bootstrapping

by Tim Berry

(I posted this about two years ago on Small Business Trends. I’m reposting it here today because this is a good time of year for this kind of reflection. And maybe also for not writing a new post. Tim ) Last week a group of students interviewed me, as part of a class project, looking for... Read More »

Is All Good Business Inherently Social Enterprise?

by Tim Berry

I liked the phrase social entrepreneurship instantly when I first heard it. It’s doing well by doing good, I assumed, building businesses that help people. A business doesn’t have to not make a profit to do good, so the idea of social entrepreneurship makes sense. Teach kids to read, help people stay healthy, clean the... Read More »

Are You Planning to Sell Boxes or Hours?

by Tim Berry

All of these are just “in general” points. There will always be exceptions. But still, it’s good to understand the huge difference between service businesses and product business. Selling hours has advantages, but selling boxes does too. And there are huge differences, things I think you need to understand. My wife and I spent several... Read More »

True Story of Business Disaster With a Compensation Plan Lesson

by Tim Berry

This is a true story. Names aren’t included for obvious reasons. Don’t ask. Once upon a time a product-obsessed software entrepreneur who didn’t like sales hired a sales-oriented entrepreneur who liked selling software. It seemed like a match made in heaven, as they say. Both of them could focus on what they liked doing. The... Read More »

The Paradox of Location vs. Technology

by Tim Berry

Did you see this piece over the weekend? In Start-Ups Follow Twitter, and Become Neighbors the New York Times presents several San Francisco companies (including klout.com, my personal favorite) that purposely located offices near Twitter for good business reasons. Steve King called it The Real Magic Comes from Being in the Same Place in his... Read More »

True Story: Do Entrepreneurs Like Risk?

by Tim Berry

The answer to that question is: no. Not any more than the next person. They just like their business better. They took risks because they saw the goal. It was the dark side of building the company. They had to. But when it comes to savings and investment, no. Well, actually, the most correct answer... Read More »

Business Plan Contests Leave Out Bootstrappers

by Tim Berry

I consider myself something of an expert on business plan competitions. I ran one myself for several years, I’ve judged several dozen including several of the most prestigious, my company sponsors more than a dozen a year, I’ve had students in my undergrad business classes competing in them, I’m an investor member of an angel... Read More »

10 Lessons Learned in 22 Years of Bootstrapping

by Tim Berry

(I posted this yesterday on Small Business Trends. I’m reposting here because this is my main blog, and it belongs here too. Tim ) Last week a group of students interviewed me, as part of a class project, looking for secrets and keys to success. They were asking me because after 22 years of bootstrapping,... Read More »

Mark Cuban’s Real-World Stimulus Plan

by Tim Berry

Billionaire Mark Cuban announced his own stimulus plan earlier this week. It's sheer genius. Here's how he describes it in his blog post, The Mark Cuban stimulus plan: Rather than trying to be a Venture Capitalist, I was looking for... Read More »

Biggest Startup Business Obstacle, Counterpoint: Biggest Boost

by Tim Berry

I posted my biggest obstacle here Saturday: When I started my business in 1983, needing the money was my biggest obstacle. I had a good job, which I left on purpose; and mine was the only income. And we had... Read More »