How we save money and time as we’re building Appr.TV, some tips you may find helpful:

  1. Skip the office space, make space to work at home.
    This decision has saved us thousands already. Neither of us have kids so it works for us, though it might not work so well for others – and it means a lot of meetings are at local non-corporate coffee shops – but hey, we’re bootstrapping.
  2. Sublet our extra server resources.
    We do some web hosting for friends and boom, our servers are paid for. Yes this can get messy, but it works for now!
  3. Rent the condo and get an apartment at half the price, saving the difference.
    I lost my coveted garage parking spot and moved back to street parking. You may move back to ugly carpeting from nice hardwood. But you’ll save hundreds a month!
  4. Don’t be above consulting on the side.
    We sell web development services, coding, design logos, or whatever skill we have, and try not to spread ourselves too thin. It’s not always fun or the task that we want to be working on, but it pays the bills!
  5. Skip the health insurance.Dans separated shoulder xray
    This means when I separated my left shoulder riding my bike last month, I debated if I should go to the ER or not (once I awoke from the concussion). Friends helped me go ahead to the ER and the medical bill payments are still less than insurance. End result: Net savings, LEAN.
  6. Ride bikes to save gas.
    At $4 a gallon, gas can add up to hundreds of dollars a month. I actually prefer biking to meet people, so saving this way comes naturally. Except in situations like that mentioned above in tip number 5. But even then we survive. LEAN AND MEAN!
  7. When traveling LA to San Jose/San Fran/Vegas/DEMO/CES, drive instead of flying.
    We’ve pulled a few all-nighters in doing so and lost sleep, but it saves a couple hundred in the round trip for two or more.
  8. Transfer your car lease and buy an 8 year old car.
    Swapalease.com hooked me up with someone to take over my 2 year old lease. Then I stepped into a 2003 automobile. Hey it might have 80,000 miles, but it still runs from A to B.
  9. Liquidate the IRA, empty the garage on eBay.
    Saving up for retirement is not a bootstrappers first priority. Cash is king! To paraphrase Tim Ferris, you just have to jump in – saving is overrated if you believe in your dream and can invest in it now.
  10. Ramen Noodles? Check.
    This one is well known, but no less true. At 30 cents a packet, these noodle packets go great with just about everything. Try frying an egg and adding curry powder: instant breakfast, lunch or dinner for less than $1 !!
  11. Use free software!
    We max out Google Apps, Analytics, OpenOffice (I prefer NeoOffice on OSX), and use open source (not only because it’s free, but because it works) and take advantage of Microsoft’s BizSpark services, because it’s all FREE.
  12. When paying for software, get a discount! Take advantage of AppSumo:
    We got our first killer deal from AppSumo last November with the “Bad Ass Developer Bundle”, and this month picked up the SXSW “Lean Startup Bundle”. These bundles have given us access to services we could not afford otherwise, and a chance to try out more services we were not even aware of. In addition to the deals, AppSumo is a great lean startup resource, offering opportunities like the Lean Startup Challenge.

So there you have a dozen ways we’re saving cash today as we build our product. We are lean, hungry, and working to drop a bomb on app discovery! Sign up for our beta (launching soon), and share your lean startup tips.