The Local Shops of the Web

by Rachel Andrew

8 Reader Comments

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  1. This is a great article. The thing I like the most about bootstrapping is that you can easily start an endeavour on the side and slowly move people in as your operation grows. Maybe it doesn’t grow to a size that could support all founders (or even one) at first - no problem, you can keep at it (provided you’ve got a viable product / idea), and don’t crash & burn because funding ran out. Also, having to answer to a board of directors or some investor pressing for revenue would probably stress me out.
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  2. I couldn’t agree more. It’s the small businesses web bootstrapers that carry the integrity of the internet. When you make a living doing what you love and are passionate about it shows :-) Getting too large or focusing only on profits diminishes what makes you great! Be good at what you do and stay happy doing it. That’s the formula for success!
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  3. It’s good to know that there are more “local shops” out there like mine. I just started my tiny software business (on the side of my day job as a consultant) and launched my first product. Being a one woman shop, I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the amount of work that needs to be done outside of just coding. It’s work that I really enjoy doing though - writing, marketing, and networking. It’s good to know that there are people that support my business model and are succeeding at it. I look forward to when I can do this full time in the future. Thanks for the article and boost of confidence!
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  4. Absofruitly right, Rachael. If you do the numbers backwards, small business owners do not need to take over and sell to an entire Internet’s worth of people, just a high street’s worth. It could be eminently more achievable with an eCommerce store than one on that cobble stone market square, and maybe one day you can have that too as a result.
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  5. It is so good to see this.
    Thank you! We are in such a wonderful time as web creators, but it is so easy to get lured into the quest for giant user bases and impressive startup funding. We think these will make us happy, more secure, do better work. But as you say, they often lead to less time to make really great things, and perhaps, more stress. Certainly they change the kinds of choices you can make. We no longer listen to our inner creative voice, nor can we take the wisdom of the insightful user. We end up doing features based on mass analysis and justifiability to the people who hand out the money. It occurs to me, that in a way, when you are a small shop, you work for your customers. When you are a big shop, you work for your investors. There is, perchance a significant divergence between the needs of those two groups? As someone who frequently gets starry eyed over the industry promises, I needed to see this article.
    Thanks (again). I wish you well in your endeavour.
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  6. This is exactly the sort of business I am trying to create. I love connecting with people one-on-one and helping them clarify who they are and how they want to present their business. Almost all my business is from word-of-mouth recommendations, and it’s incredibly satisfying.
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  7. I absolutely agree.  My clients are all known to me, part of a close-knit community of artists and venues. My best marketing device is word of mouth, friends passing my name along to other friends. I get work that I love and care about, and they get a webinatrix who cares about whether they have what they need or not. Works for me. Works for them.
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  8. Thank you for writing such a fine article on community. I’m having a good pleasure reading it.
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