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Bootstrapping Pros & Cons: Imgur’s Experience

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In a bootstrapped company, the entrepreneurial decision-making process is decidedly different because the company must balance the need to make money while growing the business. This session will examine the pros and cons of bootstrapping, as described through the experiences of the Founder and the COO of Imgur, a fast growing image sharing web site. They will walk you through their startup journey and analyze key decisions that have been made along the way. From product pivots and scaling their infrastructure to keeping users first while evolving their business model, they will provide a refreshingly honest discussion of the challenges they face as a bootstrapped company.



Alan Schaaf Founder & CEO Imgur LLC

Alan Schaaf is the founder and CEO of He created the site in early 2009 while he was a computer science student and was the sole developer for three years. During that time he independently scaled it to 1.5 billion page views and 30 billion image views per month. He makes one of the biggest image sharing sites in the world extremely fast and reliable for millions of users around the world, so that they can continue to share the lulz one meme at a time.

Matt Strader Partner & COO Imgur LLC

Matt Strader is a Partner and COO at, an Alexa Top 100 site serving more than 1 billion images to the Internet every day. Previously, he co-founded a web development firm and worked as an Executive-In-Residence at a Pre-Seed fund. Matt currently focuses on business development, operations, company strategy, and frequent browsing of cat GIFs.