Bootstrapping is a word we usually associate with the start-up, a stage of development companies generally seek to leave behind, the sooner the better. One of the phenomena of the '90s, however, is the growing number of established companies that are choosing boot-strapping as the preferred way of doing business. What lies behind the trend, I believe, is the fundamental human instinct to conserve resources that are scarce. In this decade, growth capital is scarce and will probably remain so. What winning companies have in abundance, on the other hand, is know-how and a willingness of people at the top to get their hands dirty -- the two essential components of bootstrapping. This month's cover story, "Do-It-Yourself Marketing" [ [Article link]] explores one manifestation of the trend, but savvy businesses will make a mission of applying bootstrap thinking in every area of their operations, from recruiting and compensation, to product development and delivery.