Launching a startup has become fairly easy, but what follows is back-breaking work.
“WE EVEN HAD to host the servers in our own office.” Naval Ravikant laughs as he describes how in 1999 he and some friends founded his first startup, Epinions, a website for consumer reviews. They had to raise $8m in venture capital, buy computers from Sun Microsystems, license database software from Oracle and hire eight programmers. It took nearly six months to get a first version of the site up and running.
By comparison, setting up Mr Ravikant’s latest venture, AngelList, a social network for startups and investors (see article), was a doddle. The cost was in the tens of thousands of dollars, which he put up himself. Hosting and computing power was available, for a small fee, via the internet. Most of the software needed was free. The biggest expense was the salary of the two developers, but thanks to nifty programming tools they were able to do the job in a few weeks…….