There are so many great new ideas for web and mobile businesses out there that are locally-oriented. More and more every day.
Many of them I suspect will have problems finding venture backing, because in focusing on a truly local problem or audience, they don’t have the built-in capacity to scale enough – and scale quickly enough – to be of interest to investors.
It’s a real problem for local innovation on the web – lots of it is worthwhile and valuable but falls beneath the threshold for investment, with its focus on fast growth and huge exits.
Maybe the solution for these innovations, and their innovators, is to come out of the gate with an early, intense focus on revenue generation. Forget the idea of landing investment initially, and instead be dedicated bootstrappers from the get go. Plan to get to some sort of revenue quickly enough that they can sustain themselves without an A round, or even an angel round.
And then maybe two years down the road, when they’ve become legitimate, revenue-generating companies, they will find backing to take their idea to the next level.
Or maybe they wont need investment at that point, because they’re already self-sustaining and on their way to profitability.
Whatever the outcome, the local web seems very ripe for bootstrapping. I’m ready to see a whole new breed of local startups that focus entirely on this, and skip investment altogether.
If I had time to start yet another group, or mailing list, or meetup, I would start one called Bootstrappers Local, all about getting local web ideas working and self-sustaining without relying on institutional investment.