Simon from

Hey all, long time bootstrapper…first time posting on this lovely website.

I’ve been running bootstrapped businesses for about 9 years. Started off with a good old fashioned service company, a Microsoft .Net dev house called Atlas Code. We were coding in .Net before it was cool :smile:

I realised (slowly and painfully) that residual income was the way forward and launched an enterprise product called - a static fund data management tool for banks. We’ve got a few big customers on there, which is awesome but enterprise sales are a drag. Long lead time, lots of meetings, you know the drill…

While all of this was going on I was struggling to manage my team which was growing. I missed an appraisal for a key member of staff and he quit. We were also having other HR issues as we grew, so I built a little HR app to track things like holiday, staff details and files, appraisals and so on. Pretty soon we were reliant on it so we decided to put out there as and it’s been a wild ride. To call the learning curve steep would be an understatement but it’s crazy fun and I’m now an analytics devouring monster.

So Atlas is now run by a managing director that I brought in six months ago, and my full time focus is Fundipedia and Staff Squared.

Look forward to getting to know you all. Oh and nice to see some familiar faces too from the likes of HN and Reddit.

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Hi @staffsquared

Thanks for sharing. I have a question for the 9 years, how did you keep yourself motivated?


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Hey Bryan,

So staying healthy is important, exercise, eat right, don’t over do the hours if you can and all that stuff. Burnout happens (it happened once to me) and it’s not pretty, so don’t do that :smile:

Other than that, I’m essentially involved in 4 businesses, each with their own unique challenges both in terms of the market they sell to and the problems they address, so the old saying “no two days the same here” really does apply. The fourth business I didn’t mention above is a home cinema/automation business…totally different to everything else!

I’ve also been a director for the Federation of Small Businesses, and that was an interesting change as working for a very large company was a huge eye opener and a completely different approach to, well, everything. I guess the best analogy there is to say small and large business are as different as being the driver of an F1 car and being the captain of a barge.

So variety is the spice of life, and for me, also the way that I stay interested in what I’m doing. It also doesn’t hurt that I have a grand plan that sees me “retired” at a relatively young age, so I’m laser focussed on that. The overall goal helps when the day to day stuff is either hard or monotonous for any reason.

Hope that helps


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Hi Simon,

I love the animations on your site! Very different to the normal HR software sites’s barrage of stock photos of a racially diverse group having a meeting all smiling!


@duncanm thanks :slight_smile: We are pretty unique here so I wanted that to play through on to our site.