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Howdy. I'm Matt, from Karani & Good Food


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. :smile:

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.


Welcome! I too recently realized ‘bootstrapper’ was a label. I knew it was a term, but didn’t realize anyone referred to themselves that way, just that a company was bootstrapped. So I recently stumbled on this great little subculture myself. Welcome to the party.

And Laravel FTW.



Thanks Jeremy! I appreciate it much.

And yes–Laravel and its community has singlehandedly brought me back to PHP.