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Chapter 14: Bootstrapping


Opening Quote  

Chapter 14 starts with a quote I found on Twitter:
Tweet about making money

I used this quote for the first time in a slide deck for a short motivational talk about "(not) getting external capital."


To enter the iBoot program in 2010 and to attract the right team members, I created a homemade video about iText.

We presented our case before a "Grand Jury" and this was how they evaluated our business plan (June 2010):
Report from the iBoot judges about iText in 2010

The iText Website in 2010

This was what the iText website looked like in 2010:
screenshot iText website 2010

Valuation History

In 2010, we received a first term sheet. We were offered $500K (distributed over 4 years) and a salary of $250K / year for four years.
Valuation History iText: 2010

In 2011, we hired an accounting firm to calculate the value of our companies. As owners, we believed the company was worth more than €3M, but the accounting firm valuated the company at €1.5M.
Valuation History iText: 2011

Book Quotes  

  • In June, we had to present our work in front of a panel of judges. The most important feedback we received was that iText needed funding if it wanted to grow faster. This wasn’t surprising given that the panel consisted almost entirely of investors.
  • It’s a common problem when different parties decide to develop a business together. Each party thinks that their own contribution is more important and therefore justifies more shares.
  • In 2011, we hired PKF, a global network of accountancy firms, to prepare a valuation report. According to PKF, 1T3XT BVBA was worth €1.5 million. That was much lower than we expected.


  • In the first paragraph of page 179, I wrote "in between two sessions" whereas "in between sessions" is sufficient (reported by Paul Jowett).

Soundtrack for this Chapter  

I listen to music, but my taste in music is questionable. I've selected a handful of songs for every chapters. Sometimes, there's a link to the chapter, sometimes I just like the song.

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