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b2f50afe — Derek Sivers ArtistData is gone 4 months ago
                                                                                
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<title>Nothing to waste: The advantage of being under-funded | Derek Sivers</title>
<meta name="description" content="Start-up companies who have too much money often blow it.  There’s an advantage to being under-funded to keep you from making mistakes.">
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<div class="blogparent"><a href="/blog">Articles</a>:</div>
<h1>Nothing to waste: The advantage of being under-funded</h1>
<small>2009-06-29</small>
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<p>
	Start-up companies who have too much money often blow it.
	There’s an advantage to being under-funded to keep you from making mistakes.
</p><p>
	I don’t know if you’re old enough to remember the first dot-com boom of 1999.
	But I’ll describe what it was like for CD Baby to have a booth in the exhibit hall of these conferences:
</p>
<ul><li>
	1998.
	Me at a plain table, talking with people and handing out flyers.
	Not many other booths.
</li><li>
	1999.
	Me at a plain table, talking with people and handing out flyers.
	Other booths have big LCD displays and fancy corporate backdrops.
</li><li>
	2000.
	Me at a plain table, talking with people and handing out flyers.
	Other booths have booth-babe models, fancy multimedia displays, and giving away $50 items.
</li><li>
	2001.
	Me at a plain table, talking with people and handing out flyers.
	Others have bought out an entire pavillion, laser light shows, giving away cars, offering a million dollar prize.
</li><li>
	2002.
	Me at a plain table, talking with people and handing out flyers.
	Not many other booths.
</li></ul>
<p>
	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.”
</p><p>
	They’d come back saying we could “expand our reach” or other vague terms that to me sounded like blowing money on ineffective advertising.
</p><p>
	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>
</p><p>
	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.
</p>
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