Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Why Entrepreneurs Don't Need VCs

by Saad Khan, 04.14.10, 06:00 AM EDT Forbes.

Technology is changing. Venture capitalists need to do the same
It's the year 2010. I'm an entrepreneur and want to launch my next game-changing, multi-platform, mobile, social, online service. Here's my quick checklist of things to do and some of the costs associated with them:

Incorporate and get my legal house in order: Go to Incorporation packages start at $139.

Recruit rock-star engineering team: Mine my social web for recommendations. Read their reviews. If they're excited, have them start working nights and weekends for equity until version 0.8 of the product. Get a friend's recommendation on an outsourced development team as a plan B (rates starting from $1,500 per developer per month).

Recruit Design Ninjas: Browse design portfolios; find one that seamlessly fits your target market. Repeat above. Try crowdsourcing to leverage the larger community of design talent. 99 designs has Web page designs starting from $314.

Find office space: This morning it's about $2 for my Sencha Green Tea at Peet's (comes with free Wi-Fi). Videoconference my business partner from home this afternoon (free anywhere in the world using Skype). Book meeting rooms for $15 hour from Regus for my client meeting next week, or $99 for a virtual office with a business address and a receptionist. Add a virtual assistant for another $8 an hour.

Build a datacenter: Amazon Web Services provides cloud-based storage and computing power with 99.99% uptime and reliability. Pay as you go, allowing your costs to start small and scale with your revenue.

Acquire customers: Facebook has about 450 million users and access to their API is free. Between my team and I, we already have 20,000 people who will sign up for anything we send out, including our baby pictures.

Tell my mom I'm quitting high school to become an entrepreneur:Priceless.

Science-fiction? Nope, this is today's reality. Consider the following:
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