Michelle Conlin wrote about startup founders living together to save cash in the wonderful BTW section of this week’s magazine. We’re reposting her piece here to make sure our blog readers don’t miss it. Enjoy!
The latest cost-slashing trend for the geekerati? Taking a page from the past (think Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard) and bunking together to get their startups off the ground. According to adherents, “going lightweight” cuts monthly expenses by up to two-thirds. “We looked at the economy and said, ‘This is the right thing for us to do,’” says Adam Bouhenguel, who lives in a “super-geeked-out” Boston apartment with Josh Wilson, his co-founder at Tsumobi.com, a maker of social networking software for mobile devices. Also in Boston are Dan Haubert, 25, and Tom Davis, 24, who moved in together to launch TicketStumbler.com, which aims to be the Expedia of sports and concert tickets. The “ugly dump,” says Haubert, lets them “live and run a business on a few thousand a month.” Then there’s Marcus Nelson, 37, who co-founded UserVoice.com, an online suggestion box. Last year, Nelson, his wife, Emily, and their two children moved from Wasau, Wis., to a Santa Cruz (Calif.) beach bungalow with partner Richard White, 28. “We sleep with our laptops,” says Nelson, who estimates that monthly expenses come to $15,000, a third of what they might be with separate living and office spaces. Are venture capitalists taking note of such frugalities? Longtime Silicon Valley angel investor Ron Conway says he is: “I love to invest in scrappy entrepreneurs.”
Illustration: Wesley Bedrosian