Posted on Thursday, Aug 12th 2021
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Jory Lamb, CEO / Founder of VistaVu Solutions, started as an entrepreneur as a 23-year old in rural Canada. He shared his 18 year journey with me in 2014.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your story. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of background? Jory Lamb: I grew up in Saskatchewan, Canada. I was also born there. My dad was a schoolteacher and my mom ran local food stores called Red Roosters. We used to own three Red Roosters, which would be the equivalent of 7-11 stores in the late 70s to the mid 80s. I went on to the University of Saskatchewan and graduated with a business degree.
From there, I went to Calgary and worked the summer of my third term at Amoco Petroleum. I went on to work full-time for them as a business analyst for about two and a half years before I started, what is now, VistaVu Solutions. I was 23 years old at that time.
Sramana Mitra: What year was VistaVu founded? Jory Lamb: 1996. I was 23 then. Sramana Mitra: The Internet had just started to come into existence. What was your concept? What propelled you to start the company? What idea were you going after? Jory Lamb: That’s a great question. I appreciate that. As a small business owner, I always knew that I wanted to do something on my own. When I was in College of Commerce, which was a very agriculture-based school, I did a business plan for the delivery of information out to rural Canada. We looked at creating a repository of information that farmers could go to for accessing information. What we discovered through the research was we could build this thing, but at that time, there was only an 11% adoption rate of computers inside of farms. If you’re in Alberto or Saskatchewan, there are two driving industries—oil & gas and agriculture.
I was impatient to start something. I was young. I had no mortgage, no family, and no risk. I thought, “Now’s a good time as any.” I started with a company called Canadian Rural Computer Services. It was the early days of the Internet—NetScape 2.0. The web was coming on to the scene. We began by doing training sessions and getting farmers to utilize the Internet as a service for information.
Fast forward three to four years post my business plan, the Internet was becoming more pervasive. We were teaching them how to use the Internet to access some of the information we thought would be useful. Then the second thing we were doing was teaching them general computer use. How to do accounting and some basic bookkeeping using computers.
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 More »» . 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 . 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Master Bootstrappers with $1+ Billion in Exits . Bootstrapped Ultra Mobile to Over $100 Million . Bootstrapping a 2-Sided Marketplace to $10M . Bootstrapping a Virtual Company to Over $5M . Capital Efficient Entrepreneurs Turned $1M into $80M . The Journey Through Failure to Success . Bootstrapping TrendHim from a Small Town to $12M . Bootstrapped to Y Combinator and $10M Series A . Bootstrapped a Marketplace to Over $10M . Bootstrapping Freightwise to $33M . Bootstrapped First to $5M, Raised $10M Later . Bootstrapped in Europe, Raised Money and Went Global in the US . An English Major who Bootstrapped a Tech Company . Bootstrapped with Paycheck to $15M from Tennessee . Queue-It Bootstrapped from Denmark to the US . Bootstrapped a Virtual Company to $25M . Bootstrapped Using Services to $40M First . Bootstrapped Using Services to a Public Unicorn . Bootstrapped Using Services to an Awesome Business Model . Bootstrapped Wiredrive Using Services to $10M . 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