ROSL102: If only I had a horse…

ROSL102: Reflections on Startup Life, Week 102.

A quick trip to the US last week — nothing to see here, move along.

It was interesting in a couple of ways though that I can share.

One was the culture of the Mac. There really is an amazing dichotomy between the Mac and the PC. Wondering around the valley, every coffee shop is full of people working away and they are almost exclusively on Macs. Enter an office, everyone is on Macs. The Mac is the tool of choice for valley types.

I then flew out of LAX back to Australia, while I was waiting I entered the Qantas Lounge — and all of a sudden it’s wall to wall PCs. Not a Mac to be found. It’s just weird that there is a such a split between the two.

Anyway… so why do I want a horse? I don’t really, but one thing I think is true of every startup is that you want something you don’t have. It’s no huge secret there’s only two of us plugging away here on We often desire things we don’t have; more developers, more servers, more money :-)

But maybe when you don’t have a horse, you invent the wheel. As we spoke to people, it became clear that we’ve achieved a lot with the resources that we DO have. Being very limited in the number of servers we have means that our code is generally much more efficient, so we squeeze more performance out of what we’ve got.

Frugal and start-up is ingrained into our DNA now, we always try to do more with less. The next time you wish you had a horse — the trade off might not be as bad as you think! For example:

  • A lack of developers drives a hard focus on only working on the really important things.
  • Limited servers means that you have to care about performance a lot more.
  • Doing your own community management means you feel the impact of development choices more keenly.