Hey! I’m Matt Stauffer. I’m a developer and a consultant, and I’ve sort of accidentally become a bootstrap founder.
The short story: I work full-time as a consultant/developer, and in my spare time I run Karani, a CRM for fundraisers. I wrote the primary codebase and made the initial designs for Karani, but I’ve decided, at the moment, to hire people part time to continue work on it, and I just oversee/direct and write some code here and there on nights and weekends.
Longer story: I worked in non-technical positions for a non-profit for years; while I was there I started Staffhacker (now defunct), a Lifehacker-ish blog about tech & productivity for campus ministers. In writing that blog I realized how badly we needed a CRM for fundraisers, so I bootstrapped a little app that eventually became Karani.
I had never heard the phrase bootstrap, or realized that I was a startup founder, until I attended LessConf in March of this year (I wrote about it a bit). I’ve never read HackerNews or considered myself an entrepreneur–I just saw a need, knew I could program, and have figured (ish) everything else out as I’ve gone–payroll, taking payments, security, etc. So a lot of the stuff y’all talk about here is pretty new for me.
Today, I’m a partner at Good Food Productions, a Chicago-based web consultancy. I run Karani in my nights and weekends; I have a part time developer, part time user advocate, and a part time designer working for Karani. With both Karani and my day job I code primarily in PHP (Laravel these days), MySQL, and various front-end tech, and Rails every once in a while.