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  • Topic: The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Startup company, Bootstrapping
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  • Published : October 26, 2011
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Bootstrapping or booting refers to a group of metaphors that share a common meaning: a self-sustaining process that proceeds without external help. The term is often attributed to Rudolf Erich Raspe's story The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen, where the main character pulls himself out of a swamp by his hair (specifically, his pigtail), but the Baron does not, in fact, pull himself out by his bootstraps. Instead, the phrase appears to have originated in the early 19th century United States (particularly in the sense "pull oneself over a fence by one's bootstraps"), in the sense of being an absurdly impossible feat.[1][2][3] Tall boots may have a tab, loop or handle at the top known as a bootstrap, allowing one to use fingers or a tool to provide greater force in pulling the boots on. The saying "to pull oneself up by one's bootstraps"[3] was already in use during the 19th century as an example of an impossible task. Bootstrap as a metaphor, meaning to better oneself by one's own unaided efforts, was in use in 1922.[4] This metaphor spawned additional metaphors for a series of self-sustaining processes that proceed without external help.[5]

Bootstrapping in business means starting a business without external help or capital. Such startups fund the development of their company through internal cash flow and are cautious with their expenses.[11][12] Generally at the start of a venture, a small amount of money will be set aside for the bootstrap[13] process. * See Startup company, a startup company can grow by reinvesting profits in its own growth, if its bootstrapping costs are low and return on investment is high. * See Bootstrapping (finance), the method to create the spot rate curve. * See Operation Bootstrap ("Operación Manos a la Obra"), ambitious projects which industrialized Puerto Rico in the mid-20th century.

1. Building a business out of very little or virtually nothing. Boot strappers rely usually on personal income and savings,...
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