[ Just added this to my new series on Antipatterns ]
A mistake I myself have made as well as many other smalltime entrepreneurs is that we have wanted to appear like a business to early. Symptoms of this are things like:
- Renting office space
- Buying a fax machine (You know a business needs one)
- Fancy stationary
- Fancy graphic designers
- Multiple fault tolerant high availability servers
- Human resources officer (If you’re a startup and have one these you really are on the slippery slope)
- etc. etc.
These are all fine at the correct phase of your business, but don’t waste these huge money suckers without an actual need.
I for example have rented a server which hasn’t really been in use since february. That is ¢49 out the door every month. Stupid really. Now is when I need it and I could have saved ¢147.
If you think about it one of the traps that leads to big businessitis is playing a business. This is often necessary if you want to attract venture capital, after all they want to know that you are serious and have things like a fax or an hr department. But really, I think the businesses who really succeed are the ones that focus on their business model and not how they appear outwards.