Strategic Bootstrapping


This book is about helping entrepreneurs sift through the ‘noise’ regarding bootstrapping to craft an informed strategy for successfully navigating the beginning period of a firm’s existence. The book is a theory-driven, evidence-based look at bootstrapping, defined as: ‘highly creative ways of acquiring the use of resources without borrowing money or raising equity financing from traditional sources’ (Freear, Sohl, & Wetzel , 1995). In this era of lean startups, effectuation, and bricolage; bootstrapping is oft romanticized, but seldom analyzed. The evidence, while admittedly still in infancy, is compelling: bootstrapping is a non-ideal state.. So, practically speaking, an entrepreneur should avoid bootstrapping; however, realistically, most entrepreneurs will need to engage in some form of bootstrapping. The argument then, importantly, shifts to: how should one bootstrap? This book on ‘strategic bootstrapping’ outlines methods for bootstrapping with the goal of ceasing bootstrapping activities. This includes a highlighting of the useful aspects of bootstrapping, effectuation, and bricolage. It will attempt to provide the cold-hard facts on bootstrapping; it will outline how to minimize time in bootstrapping mode; and it will report–from research–best practices in bootstrapping. Without this more strategic stance on bootstrapping, an entrepreneur will likely never exit this bootstrapped configuration.


About the Author(s)

Matthew W. Rutherford

Dr. Rutherford is associate professor and Johnny Pope chair in entrepreneurship at Oklahoma State University. Previously, Dr. Rutherford was associate professor of management at Virginia Commonwealth …

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Pub Date

January 20, 2015





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