What if I told you it’s easy to start a company? Would you believe me? And what if I took it a step further and said you could start a branded and incorporated tech company, for just $500? You’d probably call me bananas.
But it’s true. Before the Internet, starting a company was a $100,000 endeavor and usually involved taking a huge amount of debt (and risk) to sell a product or service. However, that’s not the case anymore.
In many entrepreneurial journeys, a handful realized that there were dozens of frustrating hurdles along the way and really could use a healthy dose of disruptive innovation.
The result? The $500 startup. Never in history has it been so simple to start the company of your dreams, to be the founder of something that you truly care about, to be the boss you deserve to be.
But to fully understand this, I want to take you back to 1965 where a man by the name of Gordon Moore theorized that the number of transistors in a dense, integrated circuit board would double every 2 years. Also known as, Moore’s Law.
What this really meant was that the processing power, memory, and capacity of technology would double every 2 years, creating an exponential boom in technology for decades to come. And although this has come true for things like Nikon cameras, Playstations, and Intel microprocessor, we’ve neglected to address that it’s also happened to entrepreneurship.
Since the birth of the Internet in 1990, companies, resources, and digital tools have sprouted up to make every step of “founding” easier. Need a website? Squarespace has templated sites for $150 a year. Need a logo? Freelancer sources designers from around the world to build a full brand identity for $50-$155.
Prefer to work away from home or a coffee shop? WeWork and dozens of others provide $350/month co-working spaces to get shit done. Have small admin. tasks that you don’t care to do? Virtual assistants like Task Everyday provide outsourced assistants for just $7 per hour. Need to make a founder’s agreement, terms of service, or non-disclosure agreement? Docracy provides free, customizable legal documents.
And finally, want to beef up your network of fellow entrepreneurs and investors? Founderslive.com is your social network for connecting with likeminded, ambitious people.
And that’s just the start. What this means is that if you were really “bootstrapped,” you could get the bare essentials and spend a mere $505. But if you chose to do it right and automate the whole system, it would cost you a little over $9,300. Although daunting, still very manageable given a $50,000 annual salary of a 25-year old in San Francisco or Seattle.
I’ll pause here for effect because this is phenomenal. Why aren’t more people starting companies? What’s stopping us? Nearly all obstacles have been wiped out.
The truth is in our modern, tech-savvy generation, we each pump out hundreds of entrepreneurial ideas a year and they usually sit idly in our Notes, twiddling their figurative thumbs. But if we simply took just one of those ideas and ran with it, something incredible could happen.
Some might say fear of failing is what’s really stopping us. And although some argue the “fail fast, fail often” mantra of Silicon Valley is overrated, what they really mean is embrace resilience, learn from each failed attempt (or business), and bounce back even harder.