The two serial entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley, Jason Calacanis and Mike Arrington have shared a few wonderful tips on how to save money as well as increase productivity for startups.
Though I don’t necessarily agree with all of the points made (for e.g. buy mac computers), but nevertheless, here is a summary of few very very relevant stuffs:
- Don’t buy a phone system. No one will use it – instead reimburse mobile bills (saves tax)
- Don’t buy everyone Microsoft Office–it’s too much money. Put Office on three or four common computers and use Google Apps.
- Don’t waste money on recruiters. Use our job board 🙂
- Buy cheap tables and expensive chairs.
- Fire people who don’t love their work.
- Buy your hardest working folks computers for home (better still, give them a laptop).
- Buy everyone lunch four days a week and establish a no-meetings policy. Going out for food or ording in takes at least 20-60 minutes more than walking up to the buffet and eating. If you do meetings over lunch you also save that time. So, 30 minutes a day across say four days a week is two hours a week… which is 100 hours a year. You get the idea.
- Outsource accounting and HR—such a no brainer
- Get an expensive, automatic espresso machine at the office.
- Allow folks to work off hours (as well as from home). Commuting sucks and is a waste of time for everyone.
Well, most of the Indian startups that I know run on Google Apps and rely heavily on freebies, i.e. –
- OSS (LAMP), CMS tools (Joomla/Drupal) for development.
- Skype for communication.
- Meeting with vendors/prospective partners at CCDs (Cafe Coffee Day) instead of posh restaurants.
Few points I’d like to make:
- Start a blog – an active one and try to get close to the community. If you do a good job, you will never need a PR firm.
- Use events like Barcamps to meet prospective customers/employees, and of course to (shamelessly) promote your product (in a subtle manner)
- Never ever hire a HR person or advertise in any newspaper (for e.g. ToI Ascent etc).
Few debatable topics:
- Incubation center?
- Outsourcing the dev part to third-party?
What else would you like to add?