HOTB Software Solutions
HOTB is a highly experienced software development company that provides in-kind angel capital to startup entrepreneurs with a viable technology based business. HOTB helps startups bridge the gap between their friends and family round and their venture capital round by subsidizing expensive technology needs. HOTB specializes in building custom software platforms to provide certainty of execution, experience, credibility, security and compliance. Additionally, HOTB Ventures has been formed for instances of passive investment when software development is not needed.

Manatt
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP is known for quality, for extraordinary commitment to clients, for integrated, relationship-based services, and for a range of capabilities typically found only in boutique firms. We are progressive and entrepreneurial compared to other major firms, and we are deeply committed to diversity, to public service, to involvement in the communities we serve and to excellence in all we do.

TriNet
Tech companies partner with TriNet Passport to compete for top talent by using our bundled HR products that cover the core services of payroll, fortune 100 benefits, risk and compliance, a scalable HR team all on a cloud platform. TriNet reduces the time businesses spend managing HR and administrative issues while providing enterprise-grade cloud capabilities. This enables entrepreneurs and management to focus on what’s important from raising funds to driving revenue. Join hundreds of executives in high tech who have experienced the TriNet Passport difference, working for companies in hardware, software, SaaS and telecommunications. Contact choy.chew@trinet.com for more information.

Eureka
The Eureka Building is a 3-acre technology campus in Irvine, California designed to help accelerate innovation. Founded in 2014 by Peter Polydor, our goal is to support local entrepreneurship by giving innovative companies and entrepreneurs in Orange County a home that is centrally located and easy to access. Through partnerships we are more than just a home, but are a support network hosting startup events while fostering mentorship relationships with our partners all within one of the most creative spaces in the region.

CrashLabs
CRASHLABS IS A VIBRANT COWORKING AND EVENTS COMMUNITY THAT ENHANCES WORK/LIFE BALANCE FOR THE NEW ECONOMY OF UNTETHERED WORKERS. CRASHLABS OFFERS CREATIVE AND FLEXIBLE SPACES SUCH AS OPEN DESKS, DEDICATED DESKS, PRIVATE OFFICES, AND EVENTS SPACE THAT SERVE EVERYONE FROM THE INDIVIDUAL TO CORPORATIONS.

Real Office Centers
At ROC you’ll find a cohesive and progressive working environment with professional support for entrepreneurs, innovators, and today’s leaders. Beyond merely providing the physical workspace, we contribute to your capital growth by facilitating innovation, inspiration, and collaboration. With professional support services, educational events, and a stimulating environment, ROC is where you and your company will grow. Our open-source work environment and friendly staff complete with private receptionists keep business running smoothly. ROC handles day-to-day operations and facility management so your company can focus on what it does best.

Is Manual Scaling Right for You? by Jason Freedman

Posted by Jonathan Greechan on 2013-05-02

Founder Feedback gives you insight from the startup trenches. 

In a post from the 42 Floors blogJason Freedman, FI mentor and co-founder of 42 Floors, offers insight into his personal experience building 42 Floors from the ground up. He also suggests three basic questions startup founders should ask themselves before attempting to scale manually. 

Below, Manual Scaling by Jason Freedman has been republished. 

 

"At 42Floors, we’re trying to change the way people search for commercial real estate.  It’s an enormous undertaking.  Gathering commercial real estate listings data is not trivial.  The data comes from many different sources, all of which must be cleaned and normalized.  We sign agreements with landlords to scrape their websites.  We do deals with brokerages to take feeds.  We parse emails from industry distribution lists. And a half a dozen other messy methods.

So when you see a nice listing with a picture show up on 42Floors, it’s usually because of some fairly schleppy stuff we’ve done.   It would seem obvious that we have to automate all of these operations and that the technology behind routing all this data, normalizing it, cleaning it and presenting it, is the core technology of the company.  But what’s not obvious is just how long we’ve been able to go without building any of it.

Early on, we didn’t have website scrapers.  We just hired people to manually enter each of the listings.  As we started receiving inbound distribution lists by email, we didn’t immediately build our email parser to transcribe the email blasts.   We just hired some people off TaskRabbit to manually go through each email blast.

And as the numbers kept growing, we kept scaling our manual processes, we worked with an offshore firm to manually enter even more data. In fact, when you look at each aspect of our operations, you will find a fairly sophisticated manual operations process predating every piece of technology that we’ve built.  Our wonderful Director of Vibe, Alison, manages all these processes while she does a million other things.

So now, your turn.

 

Is manual scaling right for you?  3 Questions to Ask Yourself


Have you achieved product-market fit?

If the answer is no, you’re a prime target for manual scaling.  In the pre-product-market fit stage, you are really just running an experiment.  Anything you do that allows you to test your thesis faster is worth it—even if it means doing a bunch of manual work that will have to be replaced later.

Would outsourcing save you time?

If you have a process in your company that could be outsourced, you should.  The cost of outsourced labor is so low compared to writing code, that you should almost always pursue it first.  Later on, when your startup is showing great traction metrics, you’ll have more time and more money to write the automated version that will be the future of your company.

Will your users even care?

If all you’re doing is changing some back end process that doesn’t actually touch your users, they won’t care.  They want their problem solved.  They don’t care if it’s through beautiful code or some hacked-together manual process.  If the latter is 10x faster to get to market, you should take it."

 

Jason Freedman is a mentor for the Silicon Valley Founder Institute and the co-founder of 42 Floors. To hear more from him, check out the 42 Floors blog and follow him on Twitter @JasonFreedman

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