Back in the fall of 2007 we headed to our first Pardot tradeshow in Las Vegas. Not having any money, we got the cheapest place we could find at the Sahara Hotel on the old Vegas strip (it has since closed). After a long flight across the country, we were excited to be there and headed up to the reception desk in a dark, rundown lobby. After giving our names, the front-desk clerk said, “Wow! Four nights. No one ever stays here four nights.” We didn’t think anything of it as we thought the $40/night room was a bargain. And, for every trip of the five-and-half-years of the Pardot journey, including our last trip where we flew to Indianapolis to pitch ExactTarget, we shared rooms to save money.
Here are a few scrappy ideas for startups:
- Invest in the important items and save money on the nice-to-haves (see Nice Chairs and Cheap Desks)
- Remember that wasting money happens even when scrappy
- Play the real estate roulette game and find subleases (see #1 Startup Tip for Negotiating Office Space)
- Ted Turner would re-use postage stamps
After raising a huge amount of money or having a very successful exit, being scrappy is much harder. Regardless, scrappy is a virtue startup founders should embrace. More money available for the right things and fewer frivolous expenses goes a long ways when building a company.
What else? What are some thoughts on scrappy as a virtue for startups?