Bootstrapping

Bootstrapping is the process of getting better at getting better. Things that bootstrap exhibit exponential improvement.

Doug Engelbart coined the term bootstrapping to describe the strategy at his Augmentation Research Center, of focusing on building tools for thinking powerfully, and building tools for making tools.


On paper, there are clear advantages to building tools to build better tools. One practical drawback is that bootstrapping has high up-front time-costs. Rather than focusing on finding a product-market fit, you're going one level deeper, one level deeper, one level deeper, to build the tool that builds the tool that builds the product.

This approach can work well in a research lab setting, where the runway is longer and the goals are not commercial profit.

Dilemma: can this approach work in a commercial setting?


References: Bootstrapping on dougenglebart.com


Also: learn to learn, build to think, access to tools.