I want to figure out if what I've noticed about AngelList is correct or not. So, I have a startup, for which profile is created and populated. It's bootstrapped, and doesn't have any investors yet. There are also no big name founders (prior exit, investment, etc) behind it.
Am I wrong in saying that this start-up has nothing to gain being on AngelList at this point? Meaning, nobody is going to really follow it nor reach out with more interest, until at least one of two prior mentioned things happen first.
Your assumption is indeed wrong. Big name founders & tons of funding doesn't mean anything (remember Color Labs?). You can make news when you sign X customers or when your sales reach Y dollars. You can also promote your company in the local entrepreneurial community and ask people to follow.
However, the main thing that matters is how good your product is. If you're building something trivial with mediocre value nobody is going to care no matter what.
If you think you're going to raise money, it definitely couldn't hurt and would probably help to keep your profile up on AngelList.
That said, having a profile on AngelList isn't a substitute for raising money the old-fashioned way. I haven't raised using it, but my understanding is that the best value out of AngelList is when you're organizing follow-on money, rather than getting your lead investor.