We are not in a ‘let’s do it cheap’ business

Cheap & Cheerful
Image by ~νєℓνєT-∆-Tωєяρ~ via Flickr

Are you proud of using open-source software to leverage super smart and savvy community of developers, or do you live by ‘We don’t pay for nothing’ rule? It’s a fine line, but more and more I see startup teams falling into the second category. Leanstartup’s popularity, lack of financing and the growing appraisal of bootstrapping your business drove many teams to the ‘we will use it only if it’s free’ camp. Don’t get me wrong – watching your burn rate while you still don’t have your business figured out is all fine. But writing your own url shortener while you can easily integrate some 3rd party provider with analytics, API and all the bells and whistles you may ever need is another matter. Itamar Lesuisse of travel startup Kukunu once told me – ‘If I can save one day of my time because I don’t have to install and manage the (project management) software, I’m more than happy to pay $25 a month for the service’. All the services you will probably need for your startup will not cost you more than $100 or $200 a month, and together they will probably save you a week of your time. Startups are all about speed and time is your most scarce resource – remember about it the next time you’re analyzing whether the $15 you’re about to pay for the CRM is really worth it.

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Posted in Attitude
2 comments on “We are not in a ‘let’s do it cheap’ business
  1. Jan Rychter says:

    Very true. I am a co-founder of a bootstrapped startup (search-as-a-service for ecommerce) and while we watch every penny we spend, we do pay for a number of services — FogBugz for bug tracking and CRM, Github for code hosting and code review, and others. I always get raised eyebrows when I mention this in conversations.

    Sure, we could get a free bugtracker and host the code ourselves, but why do so, if by spending $200 a month we can significantly decrease the friction and save time?

  2. How are you accessing the Redbox APIs? We’re interested in gaining access to them also.

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