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Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. His business interests include a diverse range of industries from manufacturing to property to technology. As a technology commentator he has a broad presence both in the traditional media and extensively online. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

More about Ben here.

4 responses to “On Bootstrapping. And Big Bucks. And Organic Growth”

  1. norman evans

    I think the general debate about taking VC money or not has become unnecessarily polarised. It may be the right strategy for Xero, and not the right one for KashFlow, but we’ll probably never really know. We do know that big, successful companies can be built with or without VC funding, and that the extra speed allowed by VC funding is not always an advantage. We do know that having a VC on board may bring extra credibility but whether a particular company needs that credibility will depend on their particular circumstances. We do know that bootstrapping and VC funding are both proven paths to success (and to failure). In short, only a detailed analysis of a particular company’s position will tell us whether VC funding is the right way to go… and even then the Board is likely to be divided on the issue!

  2. dahowlett

    @ben – Duane’s statement about being in profit isn’t quite right. Check the records at Companies House. The question about sustainability is lot more nuanced than the brute force measure of profit. That’s why I started with the Zappos and Zoho stories.

    As for the market? Limitless is an odd word to choose. All markets are limited, it’s what you do, how you approach and what succeeds that matters.

    FWIW I don’t say Duane’s approach is wrong. But I do question whether KF will be left behind. The odds on funding working out in favor of the company taking it are greater than for those that don’t. Unless they get very lucky.

  3. Ben Kepes

    @Dennis – limitless was a misnomer. What I meant was..

    If n = # of customers to break even, and m = total viable market that is convertible, then your contention only works if m = n+1. Further if y = the time until the money runs out then delta m must be greater than y

    In Kashflow’s position, and given Duane’s contention that they’re profitable, the addressable market and time till the money’s gone issues can both be ignored.

  4. Duane Jackson


    Companies house shows:

    2007: £32k loss
    2008: £9.7k profit

    Accounts for 2009 not yet filed but will show ~30k profit

    2010 will show a bigger profit.

    On a year by year basis, we’ve been profitable since ’08

    On a cumulative basis, we’re also in profit.

    So how is my statement not quite right?