Re: How to save money running a startup

Having been reading the debate regarding Jason Calacanis’ post how to save money running a startup I feel I should step up the mark and take on my usual roll as devil’s advocate.

The first point I would note is that many of the critical responses to Jason are just plain harsh. They seem more like attacks than criticisms.

More overly, though, I agree with a lot of what Jason has to say. The fact is, you do need the people in a startup to work really hard. Whether this is a case of hiring the right people in the first place or getting rid of them when they don’t work hard seems to be irrelevant. Have you seen the failure rates of startups?

Other criticisms seem to be just in denial about the world. Stilgherrian writes that Jason is basically suggesting we should “hold meetings at lunchtime so people never get a mental break from work.” Let’s not pretend most companies don’t do this because most of them do in some form. Work at any office job and chances are you will end up eating lunch at your desk because the company wants you to so you will be thinking about your work all lunch time. It happens at The D too, get this, managers on a night (because there is only one of them) can’t clock out and go off and have a break because there has to be a first aider on shift. So they have to eat their break food in the office. Point is, its nothing new for people to be encouraged to be work focused on their breaks.

I would also dispute the point that the workaholic lifestyle can’t be maintained. I am fully aware there are many arguments to say I don’t work as much as it would seem (uni holidays are long, some work doesn’t really count as work, etc) but I generally do something like a 50-60 hour week and I work every day. Even if you don’t count that, I was working every day over summer doing a real job if you don’t wish to count a full-time degree and again that was doing 50-60+ hour weeks and going weeks on end without a day off. I’m still here, I haven’t exploded yet. Why? Because I love a lot of what I do.

Allen Stern ( seems a bit more supportive but some of the comments seem a little naive to me. Dual screens are like cell phones and dishwashers. You get along fine without them until you actually try them, then you can never go back. Well worth it. Flexible hours is also incredibly important. We geeks, as a people, are not known for our 9-5 lifestyles.



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This entry was posted on Sunday, March 9th, 2008 at 2:20 am and is filed under Thoughts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.