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Startup Thoughts: How to save money in your startup company


  • Buy Macs, They are a little more expensive, but worth a hell lot of money in productivity terms

  • Buy a second monitor for every programmer, passing through windows (a.k.a: browser to Textmate and back) take a lot of time. worth the money.

  • Buy everyone food, all week long. when people go out to work it takes a lot of “extra” time, by buying them the food, you’ll cut off about 20 min. per lunch break.

  • Expensive chairs, crappy desks. most of the programmers i know, appriciate their chair more than their table, their chairs are those big high-backed cousins, while the desk looks like a dump, besides everything you buy should be ergonomically designed

  • Programmers don’t need phones, don’t buy an expensive phone system, most of the programmers i know talk to each other across the room using Skype :), save the money for an executive phone system, if needed at all.

  • Rent to grow, don’t rent offices with no space to grow (expected growth is something you need to calculate prior to renting an office). rent 100% more than what you need.

  • Outsource HR, YOU DON’T WANT THE HEADACHE, assign a professional employee to view the final candidates

  • You don’t need an office, you need Google. Don’t buy Microsoft office for everyone, buy for 4-5 stations and the rest can use Google Docs of one of those Java based editors (OpenOffice or Neo Office)

  • Use Google Apps, Emails, Documents, Wiki.. why hiring a system programmer for those? or even waste your employees time on building a wiki

  • Key programmers should get a laptop, do i need to expain?

  • Hire devoted programmers, these guys (when payed to the full) will work harder and faster than anyone else in the crazy startup life, compansation via paycheck will be required, but these are valuable employees.

  • Refrigerator, everyone knows that programmers drive on Coffee, Coke and Bamba (in Israel at least, in USA it’s Cheetos or something:) ) so i suggest a Coffee machine and a snack drawer in the kitchen, a chocolate bar can do wonders to code.

  • Just finish, allow your employees to work in their own hours, (within reason and except the situation a bunch of programmers is needed to work together) when they are aware that they have a deadline, some people need to sleep until 10:00am, this does not mean they are not right for you

  • Cars, very important, an employee that needs to drive around buses for 2 hours in the morning traffic, is not a happy man

  • Clients don’t speak to programmers, they don’t speak the same language, use a dedicated person to bridge between the programmers and the clients, or if possible, hire a support personnel

  • Source Control, use Svn, Git or something, just do it…

  • Allow remote connectivity, you can hire people from abroad and still not to micromanage them, think about online collaboration too

  • Task management, use an online application, like basecamp or something, they keep your life easier and cost almost nothing.

  • Open Source, use open source software when possible.

  • (No) power to the people, empower a power saving policy in your startup, turn off screens and hibernate stations on the end of work for starters

  • Big Bad Bandwidth, there is nothing more annoying than slow connections so buy the biggest bandwidth possible, BUT, keep an open eye for Emule connections and such, you don’t want it around.


  • that’s it for now, thank to all of my programmer friends that helped me composed this one, i’ll view the comments and update if necessary

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