Coding on an empty stomach was a phrase coined by Idd Salim, a developer who left this world. What he was alluding to is what many Kenyan developers (alongside most of African developers) of doing several things because there is no one of their projects can pay bills.
Paint a scenario: You are a developer, have a very great product idea that could easily become a regional startup, but you don’t have resources, so you end up working on it part time, never really devote your all to it. During the day you’ll probably develop websites and other consulting projects for clients. These pay bills. You are coding on an empty stomach.
The other way of coding on an empty stomach is having a startup that has like three awesome products, great potential. But none of them really has users, or looks like they will make it. because you have spread out thin. You are not doing any one of them well.
I think even if you have little resources, it’s good to do something when you can see it through. If you need to buy domains and social media usernames to reserve the names, then do that. But I think it’s wise to wait till you can make an impact in something.
We have a disadvantage as Africans in that raising funding is a proper uphill task as TMS Ruge noted below.
Bootstrapping will only get worse if you have no resources and don’t have time as well to run your startup.