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<title>Nothing to waste: The advantage of being under-funded </title>
<p>
In the comments to <a href="http://sivers.org/lofi">Version 0.1 = Start lo-fi</a>, <a href="http://sivers.org/lofi#comment-17896">Larry Rood</a> pointed out that start-up companies who have too much money often blow it. That there's an advantage to being under-funded to keep you from making mistakes.
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It reminds me of <strong>what it was like to have a CD Baby booth in the exhibit hall of conferences:</strong>
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<dt>1998</dt><dd>Me at a plain table, talking with people and handing out flyers. <strong>Not many other booths.</strong></dd>
<dt>1999</dt><dd>Me at a plain table, talking with people and handing out flyers. Other booths have <strong>big LCD displays and fancy corporate backdrops</strong>.</dd>
<dt>2000</dt><dd>Me at a plain table, talking with people and handing out flyers. Other booths have <strong>booth-babe models, fancy multimedia displays, and giving away $50 items</strong>.</dd>
<dt>2001</dt><dd>Me at a plain table, talking with people and handing out flyers. Others have <strong>bought out an entire pavillion, laser light shows, giving away cars, offering a million dollar prize</strong>.</dd>
<dt>2002</dt><dd>Me at a plain table, talking with people and handing out flyers. <strong>Not many other booths.</strong></dd>
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I remember being pressured during the dot-com boom to take venture capital. But my response was always, “I'm profitable and have plenty of cash. The company doesn't need more money.”
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They'd come back saying we could “expand our reach” or other vague terms that to me sounded like blowing money on ineffective advertising.
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They'd say we could have a big marketing budget, but I'd say, <strong>“Marketing doesn't cost money. ‘Marketing’ is another way of saying ‘being considerate’. It's all in how you talk with people.”</strong>
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By then they'd decided I was just crazy and would surely fail, which was fine with me, because it let me get back to focusing on my clients and customers, undistracted by investors.
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<img src="http://sivers.org/images/cheapbike.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="http://www.flickr.com/photos/26745132@N00/201520772/" />