How to save money running a startup (17 really good tips)

How to save money running a startup (17 really good tips)

The Jason Calacanis / CEO Mahalo.com
Mar. 2008

[ UPDATE: This post caused some big debate over at TechCrunch. I respond here with the blog post titled "can you work at a startup and have a life?" I updated #11 to make my point a little less harsh, more true to my true feelings ]

The
HowTo team at Mahalo has been an amazing surprise effort. We didn’t
plan on making howto articles, but when we built various how to search
pages we realized that many howto articles were, well, lacking. So, we
started building select ones where we thought we could help. This one
on how to save money is very good.

I’ve got a bunch of tips on how to do this for business. Among them:

  1. Buy Macintosh computers, save money on an IT department
  2. Buy
    second monitors for everyone, they will save at least 30 minutes a day,
    which is 100 hours a year… which is at least $2,000 a year…. which
    is $6,000 over three years. A second monitor cost $300-500 depending on
    which one you get. That means you’re getting 10-20x return on your
    investment… and you’ve got a happy team member.
  3. 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.
  4. Buy cheap tables and expensive chairs.
    Tables are a complete rip off. We buy stainless steel restaurant tables
    that are $100 and $600 Areon chairs. Total cost per workstation? $700.
    Compare that to buying a $500-$1,500 cube/designer workstation. The
    chair is the only thing that matters… invest in it.
  5. Don’t
    buy a phone system. No one will use it. No one at Mahalo has a desk
    phone except the admin folks. Everyone else is on IRC, chat, and their
    cell phone. Everyone has a cell phone, folks would rather get calls on
    it, and 99% of communication is NOT on the phone. Savings? At least
    $500 a year per person… 50 people over three years? $75-100k

Continue at Jason Calacanis blog

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