Startups Should Eat and Party Like Kings (no ramen for you!)

VentureBeat blogs about a comment made by Ram Shriram:

“I’d rather see start-ups scrappy and frugal and on a diet of Ramen noodles,” he said on a panel during the Web 2.0 Summit.

I’ve gone back and forth on this issue. Should startups eat ramen or enjoy a healthy (but paranoid) lifestyle. I think if you’re doing your first startup you need to eat ramen. If you’re paranoid enough and working hard you can probably enjoy life a bit more but only if you’re disciplined.

The third alternative I think is to outsource yourself. Red Swoosh did this in Thailand and I spent a month there hacking code. The lbpool code I just sold to MySQL was written on the beach in Phuket (seriously).

It might be a good startup hack. Raise an angel round in the US and then outsource yourself to a locale which has a decent wifi and infrastructure. Bangkok is one place that comes to mind. A few strategic locales in China might also be prime including Shenzhen.

One caveat of course would be that this is almost certainly against your tourist visa. Of course you’re not taking any jobs from the locals and you’re really just throwing money into their economy so I think this is more than ethical.

Since you’re out of the bay area you can go heads down and focus on work. Now that you’re in a new and interesting place even day to day activities will keep your mind fresh and interested in your new surroundings. Avoiding burnout is key to working long hours for months at a time.

If you were smart and put your belongings into storage you could leave the US for long periods of time. You could then turn two months of funding into twelve.

I wasn’t as smart when I went to Thailand. I had to keep my apartment in San Francisco due to personal reasons (I have a cat).


  1. Come here to the Philippines, we’ve got a number of tech expats and entrepreneurs.






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