There's bootstrapping, and then there's bootstrapping. When Kishore Seendripu decided to start MaxLinear in 2003, he invited seven people he had worked with at previous employers to join him in Carlsbad, California. The catch was that anyone who wanted to be a founder would have to agree to work for free until the company had developed a working prototype of a radio frequency integrated circuit that would enable broadband video content to be displayed on devices such as digital televisions, mobile phones, and navigational displays in cars. All seven signed up. Two years later, the company had its prototype and its first customer, consumer electronics giant Panasonic. Five years after that, in March of this year, MaxLinear went public, raising $82.9 million.