Defined in simple terms, bootstrapping is the initiation of a self-sustaining process. This means that the process is able to go on without calling for or requiring any external input.
Bootstrapping has many areas of application that range from statistics, computer technology, and business among a host of other areas. However, the focus shall be partly in business and mainly in computer technology.
Bootstrapping is a concept that an entrepreneur should have applied before setting up a business with very little capital and going ahead to sustain the business using personal resources and the revenues generated from the new business. Prior knowledge and application of bootstrapping are necessary for an entrepreneur because although he may think that personal financing is beneficial because he can make all the decisions of the business without consulting a second party, its weakness lies in the fact that the entrepreneur is forced to bear all the risks pertaining to the business by himself.
The application of bootstrapping in computer technology includes: Booting, compilers, installers, discrete event simulation among a host of other applications. When booting a computer, the process is usually characterized by a transition of stages. This usually involves a simple program loading and executing a larger program that is usually more complicated. The ability for a small program to execute a larger more complicated program therefore brings about the aspect of bootstrapping. This means that the computer is able to improve itself through the means of its own efforts. Bootstrapping is also an important tool in computer technology in the development of compilers. Here, compilers make use of the existing language to come up with new programming languages serving another perfect example of the bootstrapping notion. Installation of new computer programs requires one to first update the installer. The process first calls for setting up of a bootstrapper file which serves the task of updating the installer and subsequently commencing the major installation. The discrete event simulation commands the operations of a particular system to follow a certain chronological order of events. To help with this task, a certain technique referred to as bootstrapping the simulation model is usually applied. Under this technique, certain data points are bootstrapped so that they schedule certain pending events. These pending events schedule other additional events and the process continues.
Bootstrapping is applied heavily in many other areas such as biology where it tries to explain the differentiation of the biological cells, has its applications in law, linguistics and in numerous other areas.