Automate and outsource everything

Edited excerpt from Five things I will do different for my next startup by Jeff Haynie:

Automate and outsource everything. OK, maybe not everything, but everything that is possible — which is a lot more than you probably think. We did a great job at Appcelerator with this — but we could have done better.

You’ll want to spend all your calories on things that you do best, different, uniquely and the thing that makes you and your business valuable. Trust me, that’s not your website (which of course, is not to say that’s not important). Sure, maybe your dev can do the corporate website by herself over the weekend much cheaper than finding an agency to do it or a contractor. It will seem and be cheaper (and maybe faster) in the short-term. But it will really cost you in so many areas.

Same with systems. Maybe one of your devs could just setup Gitlab on your own server and that’s a little bit cheaper than paying for the $7/month for a small plan at Github. But trust me, it’s not. It’s just not worth it.

Try and automate and outsource things that aren’t core to your mission. Keep your calories focused on activities that will create muscle — and don’t do anything (if you can avoid it) else.

Now, like other recommendations, this isn’t an absolute and sometimes this can conflict with “burn less”. But generally, if it seems cheaper in the short-term, make sure you consider the long term ROI and other non-financial metrics (such as distraction).

(1) For practical advice about how to outsource, see How to hire someone to handle outsourcing for your startup.
(2) Cf. Saying “no” to good ideas.

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