With All This Talk About the Economy

Let’s talk about how it can benefit startups:

Time Rich vs. Time Poor

There is a clear divide between time rich (I just spent 4 hours on MySpace working on my design!) and time poor (I just bought a Getting Things Done app to manage my other GTD app).

If there is a continuing downturn, the amount of people with time on their hands is going up.  Give them a great product, and even think about having ways for them to earn a few bucks.

If every other company is freaking out, you have an advantage.

User Generated Content Sucks

Admit it.  We suck at participation.  More people go to a restaurant every night than their are reviews for that restaurant every night. We don’t reward users for engaging.  We don’t teach users how to leave really quality content.  We don’t make it easy.  Fix it.

Don’t Sink The Ship

There is a lot of talk about being as light as possible in your startup.  There are a lot of styles on how to run your company, and one of the worst, especially in bad times, is to have people actively demoting you.  Be careful with your hires, and with your fires, and don’t do something stupid like fire a great engineer because a blogger said so.

Find Creative Ways To Earn

Not spending is earning.  Getting a 50% off a TV is still spending.  Get creative.  Create a trade relationship with your coffeeshop.  Sublet your empty desks.  Cook your own meals.  Rent a desk for afterhours.  Use twitter search to find new work opportunities.  Start a business and enjoy the tax breaks.

Listen to the Crowd

Jeff has a great post on this.  So does Lance. Brad says the time is now to step upFred notes how this is different from 2001-03.

My Take?

Now is perfect.

(I’m a bootstrapper at heart.)



, ,



5 responses to “With All This Talk About the Economy”

  1. Tridentata Avatar

    Great post, Andrew. Thanks.

  2. Marina Martin Avatar
    Marina Martin

    *claps* Preach it, Andrew! The current times mean those with strong business models who are being creative and solving problems will be just fine, and those who are building GTD apps to manage GTD apps (which, sadly, I bet someone IS doing right now) won't do so well, which is as it should be. For anyone reading this comment: I'm the Community Evangelist for Elastic Lab and we're currently hiring filmmakers (from video bloggers to full-timers) for a variety of well-paying projects. If you like video and are looking for a creative way to make money, I can help fill up some of those free hours! [email protected]

  3. Brett Borders Avatar
    Brett Borders

    I haven't worried so much about the economy because my work revolves around helping companies get new business / sales / traffic / hits / orders or phone calls. I figure a bear market will be okay.

  4. LindsayDayton Avatar

    Thanks, Andrew. I couldn't agree more! Those of us who learned lean when there were plenty of resources to be had certainly will have an advantage over those trying to adapt now. Still and all, bootstrapping is, to me, a state of mind. One that I am proud of, and one that gets me excited about all that you're into!

  5. Jared K. Avatar
    Jared K.

    I'm definitely in agreement with you about user-generated content. What does it take for them to become involved? I'd love to see a post written solely about this. What are your thoughts?

Leave a Reply