Why bootstrapping Bard is a good idea
Bard, the storytelling platform for creatives, is bootstrapped.
For my non technical readers, what does that mean? To bootstrap a platform means to fund the platform through your own personal savings and revenue made from the platform itself. Bard is built in house, by me, along with all the marketing and outreach. One alternative would be to apply for an investment from venture capitalists (VC). Both of these approaches have their advantages and downfalls but we’re here to explain why it’s a good thing that we’re bootstrapping.
When you apply to get funding from VC’s you’re only going to receive funding if the VC thinks you’re going to make money and the expectation is that you’re going to make that money back and more. In other words, no matter how ethical or helpful you want to be with what you’re creating, making money becomes the bottom line most important objective. If things begin to go poorly for a business it may be in the VC’s best interest to make their money back through any means necessary rather than continuing to pursue the original intention the founders had. You may even drop as low as creating or selling NFT art on your platform, the unique and special but infinitely reproducible pictures on the internet. This isn’t to say that some VC’s don’t have good intentions. A lot of people with that kind of money are interested in making the world a better place but they didn’t get rich by not making money back on their investments. This also isn’t to say that VC funded platforms always leave their values behind in the pursuit of money, plenty don’t.
Bootstrapping on the other hand allows you to stick with your roots no matter what and it allows you to adapt quickly. If you, the reader, or the Bard community reaches out with ideas and requests we can decide to work on that starting today. If things get tough we can pick up other work to pay the bills. It’s certainly more difficult for bootstrapped platforms to conquer huge markets but it’s not difficult for them to solve real problems and to stick to the roots of why they started what they started. On top of that, there is plenty to be said about platforms that continue to put their users first. As long as we continue to make artists lives easier we are likely to thrive. With Bard we want to help artists create more engaging experiences with each other, help artists build communities, and create a platform that helps financially support artists. It’s our passion to create a place where creativity thrives, is experienced, and is appreciated and we are sticking to that.
The other benefit to bootstrapping Bard is that we don’t need to grow too quickly. With funding, the expectation is that you’re trying to make money ASAP and with a community centric platform like Bard, growing too fast is a death sentence. Communities aren’t built through brute force. They’re built through patience and compassion. The fabric that holds a community together is built through discussion, time, and trust and there is no way to fast track that. This is a great time for me to share how grateful I am for the community around Bard. Many of you have been around through thick and thin as we’ve worked to understand the creative industry and on building and improving Bard. Without you, the creators and supporters, Bard would be nothing.