In business, we say the customer comes first. The reality today is that stakeholders come first. Most large companies answer to investors: The bank. Their board. The customer has become the user, a number on the wall.

But there is an exception: The independent, self-funded business. The company built on little more than a vision.

This business might not be the first result in your Google search. It's not the company sponsoring your favorite podcast. Rather, it is the recommendation shared between friends. It is the CEO prepping for a pitch one moment and doing customer support the next. This is the growing business that, not long ago, was one person’s pipe dream. Of all the ways to start a company – applying for a business loan, crowdfunding, seeking venture capital – this was not the safe bet. Bootstrapping your business puts your future at risk. You and your team work, sometimes one month to the next, on the faith that this will one day pay off. Sometimes, it doesn’t.

To launch a self-funded business is a success on its own. To stay in business? That's a point of pride.

By supporting an independent business, you support a company that answers to its customers. Your request won't go into an automated workflow. Your feedback will likely turn into a feature. The numbers are important to a self-funded business, but so are the names.

We support independent companies to make business personal. Because we want to see our community thrive. Because we want diversity and innovation. Because we believe in an idea. We support bootstrapped businesses because they are human, like the rest of us.

And as an independent business, we wear our story with pride and support others doing the same.

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