It keeps you on your toes and forces you to make incredibly difficult decisions nearly every single day, most of which will never (and can’t) be understood outside of the context of the very team that is making them.
And because bootstrapping is so challenging and the reward(s) so small, especially in the beginning, the goal and motive must be so much larger than financial. In many ways the process is your business just as much as the product is; perhaps even more so.
If you structure your intents, the venture, and the business model that does not actually reward you as you proceed it doesn’t matter how much you love the product as pretty soon there won’t be any product to love.
In fact, some organizations have made the process the actual business model entirely. The product is an outcause of the way that they think, their perspective, and the value created by and through their wisdom. Some of the better known creative firms out there (e.g. IDEO, Behance, and a new favorite teehan+lax) do this daily.
Productize and commoditize the process and you have a good that has an infinite shelf-life. It’ll never tire, never become irrelevant or decontexualized, and always provides incredible value.
[Image via Pressware.]