I am sure you have seen people talking about their successes all while bragging about having spent $0 on it. Startups and products with no marketing spend and free tools only. A lot of the time these people are finding genuine success which is fantastic, but I still find it odd that they propose such a glaring mistake as a pro of their process.
Here are some quick examples I found of this phenomenon (with no ill will to the authors!):
You Are Wasting Time
Honestly, this is all it comes down to. Creating a startup is all about moving as fast as you possibly can.
There are plenty of manual tasks that you can not offload while starting or running a startup so it seems silly to also try and do all of the things that you definitely could delegate just to save a few bucks.
If you think that blog content is a good avenue for you. You could spend hours upon hours writing. Or, you could buy a human hand-written article for as cheap as $10 or even use AI for just a couple of cents.
If you need users to validate a new product idea, copy, etc. you could spend weeks manually trying to drive users to it. Or, you could spend a few dollars a day on paid ads and get immediate feedback. This is a big one in my opinion. We often try and do our initial validation of new products in 5 days and that is infinitely easier when you throw a few dollars at the problem. After all, if paid ads work, and the stats point to a solid ROI, it basically becomes a money tap that you can just turn on and off.
- Money is powerful, even in small amounts. $50 can go a long way.
- Money can work in parallel to your manual efforts. Do everything you were doing AND spend money to support yourself
- Forcing yourself to use free tooling is almost always slower than paying for a premium product
- Stop bragging about spending nothing...