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Best of Bootstrapping: Coalition Technologies Co-founders Bootstrap to $10M

Posted on Friday, Oct 30th 2020

Coalition Technologies is still largely a services company, but also has a few products. Co-founder Jordan Brannon shares the company’s well-managed journey.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your journey. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of background?

Jordan Brannon: I was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I grew up primarily in Washington state in a smaller community. It’s about an hour and a half south of Seattle. I have three brothers and we largely stuck to the northwest throughout my childhood.

I ended up going to the University of Washington in Seattle. I roomed with my brother who inspired much of my entrepreneurial journey. He was a finance major and always interested in testing something new, doing something new. He was always quite competitive. He was always eager to do something better.

I tended to think more in a traditional sense of looking for employment and working your way up based on merit. Today I still live in Washington although our company was founded in Los Angeles with my older brother Joel. I’ve since moved back to Washington.

I have three kids and we live not too far from where I grew up. That’s enabled by the fact that our company has been remote-first. We’re an e-commerce-focused digital marketing agency, web design and development agency, and a SaaS provider.

Sramana Mitra: I’d like to understand how you guys founded the company and how you moved through the different stages of the company. I can already guess that you’ve had several product and service phases. What year did you finish school?

Jordan Brannon: I graduated in 2008.

Sramana Mitra: Did you start the company right away?

Jordan Brannon: I spent about a year trying to do traditional work. At that time, Joel began to do some freelance work focused on e-commerce. He was the one who lured me in a few months later to found Coalition. He got me out of the mindset of continuing to do what I was doing in terms of my career path at that point.

Sramana Mitra: What year did you guys finally get going with Coalition?

Jordan Brannon: We founded the company in 2010. That was when we decided that we needed to do something more committed and long term.

Sramana Mitra: What was going to be the value that you would offer? What was the thought process at that time?

Jordan Brannon: The original idea came from the recognition that for small and mid-sized businesses, e-commerce was out of reach largely due to the difficulty of finding reliable service providers. In 2010, most of what was happening in e-commerce was dependent on professional services companies.

We came up with this idea of Coalition. We’d bring together a group of specialists who would be accessible to small and mid-sized businesses primarily in Los Angeles. We’d be able to provide the talent pool that they would need to get into e-commerce as a revenue channel.

Sramana Mitra: That included all kinds of talents?

Jordan Brannon: Correct. Joel’s background was programming and pay-per-click advertising. I had some experience in SEO, user experience, frontend design, and content marketing. We initially hired to bring in additional frontend developers and engineering talent to supplement what we were good at. We scaled based on our weaknesses. We looked for people who would be a good complement to what we were incapable of providing on our own. 

Our conversation continues here.

This segment is a part in the series : Best of Bootstrapping


. Bootstrapping to an Exit
. Why is Bootstrapping Important?
. How Can You Play this Low-Probability Game Intelligently?
. Do NOT Go to VCs as Beggars - Go as Kings
. Excess is NOT Required for Success
. Bootstrap First and Raise Money Later
. Some Bootstrapping to Exit Case Studies
. The Buy Side of Bootstrapping to an Exit
. Blitzscaling vs. Bootstrapping
. Bootstrapping to Unicorns
. Cinedigm Acquires Bootstrapped 1Mby1M Company Future Today for $60 Million
. Mailchimp Bootstraps to $600M Revenue
. Bootstrapping from Arizona to $10 Million
. Bootstrapped Basecamp Executes a No Nonsense Strategy
. How Under30Experiences Bootstrapped to $5 Million
. Bootstrapping with a Paycheck
. How Algo.ai CEO Amjad Hussain Bootstrapped using Services from Michigan
. Seed Investors Who Like Bootstrapped Businesses
. How iHeartRaves CEO Bootstrapped a Niche e-Commerce Company to $20 Million
. Bootstrapping with Services
. How The Intern Group CEO David Lloyd Bootstrapped to $13 Million
. How Passageways CEO Paroon Chadha Bootstrapped from Indiana
. How SmartBuyGlasses CEO David Menning Bootstrapped to $50 Million
. Death by Overfunding
. How RainmakerForce CEO Mack Sundaram Bootstrapped Decisively to $5 Million+
. How FormAssembly CEO Bootstrapped a Virtual Company with a Paycheck
. TimeSlips CEO Mitch Russo Bootstrapped to Exit with Sage
. The VC-Entrepreneur Compensation Disbalance
. BioConnect CEO Bootstraps with Sophisticated Strategic Maneuvering
. Tremend CEO Marius Hanganu Bootstraps from Romania
. Gesture CEO Jim Alvarez Bootstraps to $10 Million
. SproutLoud CEO Bootstraps to $30 Million from Florida
. Tuft & Needle CEO Bootstraps to Over $100 Million
. Co-founders Bootstrap Linguamatics to Over $10M from the UK
. Ownership Matters
. Vainu Co-founder Mikko Honkanen Bootstraps from Finland
. Entrepreneur Couple Bootstraps to $10M from Colorado
. Power2Motivate CEO Bootstraps to $80M from Canada
. Financial DNA CEO Bootstraps to $10M+ from Australia
. Big Barker CEO Bootstraps a Niche E-commerce Brand
. PrecisionLender CEO Bootstraps to Over $10M from North Carolina
. Master Bootstrappers with Over $1B in Exits
. Ultra Mobile Founder Bootstraps to Over $100 Million
. Bootstrapping a Two-Sided Marketplace to $10M
. Can You Bootstrap a Virtual Company to Over $5 Million?
. Capital Efficient Entrepreneurs Turn $1M into $80M
. Discussing the Journey Through Failure to Success
. From a Small Town to $12 Million
. Bootstrapping to Y Combinator and $10 Million Series A
. Bootstrapping a Marketplace to Over $10 Million
. Freightwise Bootstraps to $33 Million
. Bootstraps First to $5M ARR, Raises $10M Later
. Bootstraps in Europe, Raises Money and Goes Global in the US
. English Major Bootstraps a Tech Company
. Bootstraps with a Paycheck to $15M from Tennessee
. Queue-It Bootstraps from Denmark to the US
. Bootstrapping A Virtual Company To $25M
. ActiveCampaign CEO Bootstraps Using Services to $40M
. Alteryx Bootstrapped with Services to a Public Unicorn
. Inspyrus Bootstraps Using Services to an Awesome Business Model
. CEO Bootstraps Using Services to Millions from Russia
. Wiredrive CEO Bootstraps Using Services to $10M
. Scaling to Over $10M by Bootstrapping Using Services
. Bootstraps Using Services from Poland to a US SaaS Company
. ButcherBox CEO Bootstraps a Perishable Meat Business to Significant Scale
. Waveform CEO Bootstraps to $8M
. Bootstrapped Entrepreneurship from Estonia
. From Laid-off Engineer to Successful Startup CEO
. Imagine Easy Solutions CEO Bootstraps to Exit
. BannerBuzz CEO Bootstraps to $35M
. Bootstrapping a Virtual Company to Scale
. Bootstrapping Using Services from Wisconsin
. Best Tactic for B2B Startups
. Bootstrapping by Piggybacking from Romania
. Bootstrap First, Then Scale with VC Funds
. Bootstrap to +$10M First, Raise Money Later
. Madwire CEO Bootstrapped First, Raised Money Later to $120M
. Bootstrap Using Services First, Raise Money Later
. Wonderful Bootstrap with a Paycheck Story
. RushOrderTees CEO Bootstraps to $23M
. Bootstrapping with Freemium and Free Trials to $13M
. Bootstrapping, Pivoting, Gaining Liquidity, Scaling to $100M+
. Bootstrapping with Affiliate Marketing
. Bootstrap to Exit, Bootstrap Again, Then Raise VC Money
. Bootstrapping Using Services to $12M
. Bootstrapping an Ad Tech Company from Paris
. Bootstrapping a 100% Virtual Company from Ireland
. MiQ CEO Bootstraps with Services from London
. Bootstrapping to $8M During the Covid Crisis
. Bootstrapping a Marketplace from Brazil
. Bootstrapping Using Services from Sweden
. What Should Startups Do To Raise Seed Capital in 2021?
. EdTech Unicorn Bootstrapped First from Canada
. Coalition Technologies Co-founders Bootstrap to $10M
. Bootstrapping a Virtual Company to $10M from Atlanta
. Bootstrapping a SaaS Company with a Paycheck and Scaling
. Bootstrapping with Services to $20 Million
. Onit CEO Bootstraps First, Raises Money Later
. Pura Vida Founders Bootstrap to $130M
. Lawline CEO Bootstraps to $10M
. Bootstrapping a Technology Product Company from India
. Codesigned CEO Bootstraps Using Services
. Rukkus CEO Follows Bootstrap First, Raise Money Later Strategy
. Bootstrapping and Managing a Successful Pivot
. Ukrainian Entrepreneur Bootstraps to Global Scale
. Bootstrapping a Niche E-Commerce Venture
. Bootstrapping Planon to $100M from The Netherlands
. Co-founder Bootstrapped with a Paycheck from Indiana
. Bootstrapping an Education Company

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