She turned $70K into a company worth over $30 BILLION and broke every rule along the way.

Thread time about one my favorite bootstrapped GIANTS 👇👇👇
1) In 1979, Judith Faulkner (by herself) founded Human Services Computing, Inc which became Epic in Madison, Wisconsin with a $70K investment.

She was a computer science and passionate about healthcare. But it took several years before success...
2) After 4+ years of development, she created the first electronic medical records system.

Ahead of its time, Epic took another 2 years before the company hit $1M in rev.

Judy was known for high standards, determination and a "yes if" culture. But growth wasn't huge, yet..
3) in 1990, the business took off. With the PC revolution, every doctor and hospital started using computers and the EMR and Billing were the "hit" product.

Judy resisted buyout offers, competitive threats (e.g., MSFT, Oracle) while building a unique culture in the midwest.
4) Epic hasn't done any major acquisitions, ever. They invest >32% of their revenue in R&D and are completely founder/employee owned.

What has this led to?
5) Today, Epic has over $3.2BN in revenue and is super profitable (as it always has been.) It's powers over 250 M electronic medical records and >54% of US EMR's are held in Epic's software. KLAS #1 ranked software

Epic's team is 10K+ mostly in a large HQ in Verona, Wisconsin.
6) Epic's culture has been described as "idealistic" - stay private to focus only on patients + doctors, developers first, have lots of fun.

Its campus includes castles, harry potter fantasy land and a train station. Epic's dresscode? "wear clothes if you will see other people."
7) Judith Faulkner actively runs the company which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2019.

Forbes estimates her net worth at $6BN.
I love this story because it reminds me there are no "rules" for the "right" way to build. She was a single founder, female (in the 80s!), an engineer, in the midwest, in healthcare and she outlasted nearly everyone... incredible.
If you enjoyed reading about this bootstrapped GIANT, follow me @jspujji and RT this thread to inspire other entrepreneurs.

To see the metrics I view as most important for bootstrapping, tap here:

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More from @jspujji

29 Apr
A lot is written about metrics for a VC funded entrepreneur: burn rate, mos of runway, time to next funding, etc. I have bootstrapped multiple cos to 8 figures in revenue + invested/see into several more. What metrics matter for the bootstrapped entrepreneur? A thread…
Below are my "top 5" metrics + examples + tactics for an early stage company with little to no funding Note: these metrics can be used by VC backed entrepreneurs trying to stretch a dollar/be resourceful with cash. Let the countdown begin...
#5 - Debt capacity against assets/sales - one of the most important things we did early @ampush was we borrowed (factored) against our receivables. Back then, it was still pretty old school/sharky but today there are myriad of options like @getclearco, @AssembledBrands & settle
Read 24 tweets
29 Apr
If you are a CMO or marketer complaining about rising CPMs, you are outing yourself as a bad marketer. Short 🧵
FB and other platform CPMs are set by the marketplace bidding on impressions (what other companies are willing to pay). If your CPA is growing at the same/faster rate as market CPMs, it means your marketing is not improving relative to other marketers.
Consistently and rapidly testing TO find better creative, better LPs, better offers, etc is the only way to improve your yield per impression. And then your CPA should DECREASE even as CPMs INCREASE.
Read 4 tweets
27 Apr
Do yourself and spend 5 mins watching this TED talk by my friend @RicElias. The 3 things he learned while his plane crashed never get old... 👇🏽…
1. What would you get done that you’re waiting on because you think you’ll be here forever?
2. How would you change your (most important) relationships and the negative energy within them?
Read 5 tweets
8 Apr
This thread is for first time entrepreneurs who are struggling. It is 11 years ago.. 6 mos after leaving Goldman Sachs to bootstrap, work 100+ hour weeks, we launched @ampush. After 3 days and $10k spent in ads, we had generated <$500 in revenue. In short, we had failed...👇
First, what was the biz? We found potential students for online universities by buying search ads that went to our "matching engine." If we paid $1 per click and 5% of clicks matched, our cost would be $20 and the schools would pay $40. We would print $, right? wrong!
Our conversion rate was closer to 0.1%. We were F****d. But how could that be? Our financial model said we'd print $, we built keyword scrapping tools, we had a unique bidding framework from "wall street", our matching engine was built with super slick javascript...
Read 14 tweets
1 Apr
In this podcast: What is the biggest mistake in customer acquisition... I have seen inside the mktg orgs of 250+ startups over the last 10 years. It has nothing to do with FB ad creatives, GOOG keywords or LP optimization.

It’s misunderstanding your "Revenue Event" 🧵
Here's the concept: every biz has a “revenue event,” the moment the cash register rings. E.g., For Zynga, it’s when virtual gold is purchased, for DSC, it’s when you enter your CC, for Rocket Mortgage, it’s the CLOSING of a loan, for a SaaS company, it's when the bill is paid
I believe all customer acquisition (and arguably the entirety of the business) starts by identifying and deeply understanding this revenue event. Everything prior to the revenue event is your marketing, everything after the revenue event is retention.
Read 16 tweets

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