Jason Calacanis provided 17 ways to really save money as a startup company. Read the article on his blog at Calacanis.com or get the shortened version below:

  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
  6. Rent out your extra space. Many folks have extra space in their office. If you rent 5-10 desks for $500 each you can cut your burn $2,500 to $5,000 a month, or $30-60,000 a year. That’s big money.
  7. Outsource accounting and HR—such a no brainer.
  8. Don’t buy everyone Microsoft Office–it’s too much money. Put Office on three or four common computers and use Google Docs.
  9. Use Google hosted email. $50 or free per user…. how can you beat that?!?! Why screw with an exchange server!?!?
  10. Buy your hardest working folks computers for home. If you have folks who are willing to work an extra hour a day a week you should get them a computer for home. Once you get to three hours of work a week from home you’re at 150 hours a year and that’s a no brainer. Invest in equipment *if* the person is a workaholic.
  11. Fire people who are not workaholics. don’t love their work… come on folks, this is startup life, it’s not a game. don’t work at a startup if you’re not into it–go work at the post office or stabucks if you’re not into it you want balance in your life. For realz.
  12. Jura espresso machineGet an expensive, automatic espresso machine at the office. Going to starbucks twice a day cost $4 each time, but more importantly it costs 20 minutes. Buy a $3-5,000 Jura industrial, get the good beans, and supply the coffee room with soy, low fat, etc. 50 people making one trip a day is 20 hours of wasted time for the company, and $150 in coffee costs for the employees. Makes no sense.
  13. Stock the fridge with sodas—same drill as above.
  14. Allow folks to work off hours. Commuting sucks and is a waste of time for everyone. Let folks start at 6am or 11am and you’ll cut their commute in half (at least in LA).
  15. Go to each of your vendors every 6-9 months and ask for 10-30% off. If half of them say yes you’ll save 5-15% on fixed costs. People will give you a discount if they think they are going to lose the business.
  16. Don’t waste money on recruiters. Get inside of linkedin and Facebook and start looking for people–it works better anyway.
  17. Really think about if you need that $15,000 a month PR firm. Perhaps you can get a PR consultant to work on 2-3 projects a year for $10-15k each and save 75%. More PR firms are wasted half the year while you build up your product anyway.{I’m going to add a couple more of mine as I remember them }
  18. Outsource to middle America: There are tons of brilliant people living between San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York who don’t live in a $4,000 one bedroom apartment and pay $8 to dry clean a shirt–hire them!

Disclaimer- the above tips are from the blog of Jason Calacanis. The full article can be found here.

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Paul/Angela Links

August 9, 2010

Last week a fellow internet marketer made a strong suggestion to check out ODesk. So I did. The site is cool. There is definitely opportunity to work, if you are willing to produce mass quantities of output and a super low rate. Competition is stiff!  Many of the jobs pay less than $5 per hour. I’ve seen as low as $0.56 per hour…. and that’s for a solid seo link building project.

ODesk could be a great opportunity for someone interested in getting into the industry or  looking for a little extra income. Stick with it long enough and you could definitely earn a nice little paycheck!

Also, what in the world is the benefit of this thing called Paul/Angela links? Is this service really so great or, is the ODesk job posting just a plot to sell this affiliate product online to unsuspecting patrons who need a way to build links fast?

Someone posted a job today for 120 ‘Paul’ links at a budget of $20. The Paul & Angela product actually costs $215 for 120 links. Um, something just doesn’t add up here!

Rant over. AffiliateGeek out!

What does your dream job look like? Is it sitting in traffic 2 hours a day so that you can sit in an office 8 hours a day? Or, would you rather set your own hours and work from any location that inspires you? A tough decision for sure…

Working for an established business organization as an employee can be nice.  The benefits are enticing. You get, a steady paycheck, instant team members, health insurance, shared tax rates… stability.

That’s all fine and dandy, but what if you were meant to start your own business. Meant to set your own hours and create your own customized career path? Will you know when it’s time to do this? Are you ready to risk failure? Are you ready to be your own boss?

If you’re bifurcated between conventional employment and entrepreneurship, check out this 2-minute Entrepreneur quiz created by Daniel Isenberg of the Harvard Business Review. Good luck!

It’s always sad to see products or organizations bite the dust.

AOL tells us about 30 products that you won’t see in 2010.

C’est la vie

I just learned that Salesforce.com will donate up to 10 licenses for their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool to Certified 501c3 NonProfit Organizations.

This is an amazing opportunity for non profit organizations. Think about how investors will open their wallets to organizations that can show them solid numbers and pipeline progression. Not to mention the project management piece. Investors give funding to companies who can prove results. Right? Salesforce.com is a great way to set that in motion.

In addition to Certified 501c3 Non Profit’s, Salesforce.com will also donate their web based product to the following types of organizations:

  • Higher Education Institutions
  • K-12 Schools
  • Fiscally Sponsored Organizations
  • Religious Organizations
  • B Corporations
  • Canadian Charities
  • 501c3 Organizations

Here’s the application for the SalesForce.com Foundation. Please let me know if you earn the donation!

Good luck!

As an aspiring entrepreneur I’m sure you are familiar with the frustrations associated to making your mark on the NICHE you choose to dominate.  It’s tough to start from scratch. It’s even tougher to get it right the very first time.  So many ideas and possible paths… so little direction.

It’s likely you are proficient at some things and terrible at others…

It’s kinda like being in the middle of the ocean… There are endless possibilities of where you can go… Some days the weather is clear and the ocean is calm. Some days the weather is frightening and the waves are overwhelming…. As an entrepreneur you can either embrace what you are given, create a surfboard and ride the waves of mother nature or…  you can choose to give up, get swallowed up by chaos and uncertainty and sink.

Personally… I’d rather go surfing.

The big question is how do entrepreneurs become so successful?  What’s their secret? How do they embrace mother nature? How do they build their surfboard?

I’m not claiming to have the exact answer… but, below are the characteristics I believe can help an entrepreneur become/remain successful:

-Focus

-Commitment

-Organization

-Courage

-Patience

As our President once said:

“Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it’s not. It takes patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way. The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won’t. it’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.” -Barack Obama

When there are waves… go surfing! -Moriya