“Nobody makes a video game about the quartermaster division, but armies win and lose on logistics and supply, and politics and diplomacy, and the work people do on the homefront.”
Mike O’Malley in “History-ness and Video Games“
The first stage of a bootstrapped startup is a “come as you are” party. The founders are living off of their savings and are driven by passion. They are developing a product or service offering and if they are prudent they are working simultaneously to understand who their customer will be.
But at some point you have to see revenue and start to map a path to profitability. You have to stop relying on spouses, significant others, or relatives to pay the electric bill and put food on the table and offer them a plan to meet the opportunity cost of your involvement.
You have to put a price on your services or your product and start selling.
The party ends when you are “open for business.”
In “Finding a Co-Founder: 3 Months is a Long Time” I suggest that you need to get to revenue within three months or risk losing your team.