A Magazine For Bootstrapped Founders

What to call a bootstrapped unicorn

There is a widespread term in the startup world to call a company with a billion-dollar valuation a unicorn. After reading an article recently about some VC backed company that has yet to make a profit but had this crazy valuation and this rather stupid moniker, I thought is there a similar term for a bootstrapped company?

After a brief google, I concluded there was not. The reason being is well; Bootstrappers don’t really care or need a term for a successful business as they are just happy that they are making money and not having to answer to anyone else.

So I thought, “lets come up with a term anyway…”

Let’s look at the word unicorn; it is a fantasy creature (the fact that people call startups with a billion plus valuation after a mythical creature is telling and maybe a tale for another time) that is typically rare and hard to find. With this in mind, I think there are far more successful bootstrapped businesses in the world so we should look for something like a unicorn in appearance but that is realistic and common.


I considered Donkeycorn


Here are my choices for what to label a successful bootstrapped business.

  1. A Horse
  2. A Brown Cow
  3. A Donkey

none of these is very jazzy, so I think they need work.

  1. A Golden Horse
  2. A Golden Cow
  3. A Golden Donkey

As you can see, I just added a prefix of golden to make it sound cool, but I could have used diamond or platinum.

I was going to put a way for people to vote on this but as only a handful of people will read it, and maybe one person would vote I thought fuck it I will pick one.

So here it is I have named something that didn’t need naming, and I am calling a successful bootstrapped business a Golden Donkey.

Feel free to use this term for your business if you ever feel like you need to explain how successful your bootstrapped business is.

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