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Entrepreneurship, Second Edition by Andrew Zacharakis, William Bygrave

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6.4. Bootstrapping: Building the Team Based on Stage-of-Venture Life

Building your team requires resources, which are scarce in most nascent ventures. Co-founders must often live off their savings or their spouse's income during the early days, as it may be impossible to draw a salary. Recognizing that difficulty, you are likely to find that it is better to bootstrap your team build-out rather than putting everyone in place from day one.

It's common for founders of smaller companies to stay at their current jobs and work on the business part-time at night and on weekends. Many companies are able to successfully develop prototypes or raise the first round of outside investment while the founders are still at their current job (although you should not continue working for a firm that you'll directly compete with).

Be careful, though, not to commingle activities. When you're at your current job, your attention should be focused on those duties that help your employer succeed. You should not use your employer's resources, like computers and copiers, without explicit permission. You should not expropriate intellectual property from your current employer to use in your new venture. And you most certainly should not solicit your employer's customers while you are still taking a paycheck from that employer. If you handle your startup well, you will often find that your current employer is supportive, especially if the business isn't directly competing with your proposed venture. Thus, ...

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