Words by Disrupts Magazine
Silicon Valley is famous for crunching together brilliant minds, adequate capital and great advisors to produce world beating startups. Folk in the valley have also become famous for 'paying it forward', the concept where you give before you take.
So could it be that the independent minds of London's Silicon Roundabout would benefit from a more sharing approach to developing early stage tech?
Well, in all honesty, the London ecosystem will find it hard to compete with the massive resources of The Valley unless the players embrace some new principles making the most of the resources we have at our disposal.
PAY IT FORWARD
This is one of the first principles of networking. If you offer help before asking for it you are more likely to build a rewarding relationship. Ask potential future team members how you can help them and they will be more willing to join you. Show an interest in investors and they are more likely to fund you.
Startups often talk about the sharing economy. Some even provide sharing solutions themselves. How many walk the walk themselves? Sharing can save time and money. Here are a few examples of what startups can share:
Why pay for an expensive lawyer of accountant when there is probably someone in your workspace who already knows the answer to your question. Share experiences for the benefit of the whole ecosystem.
Why take on an expensive resource to complete a short-term task when you can skill-share? Try lending out your graphic designer in exchange for a development resource.
If you have spare office space, why not let it out to an early stage business at an advantageous rate. Not only do you get a small income stream but you also get access to new thinking and a vibrant atmosphere.
Founders can save a fortune by using a whole range of shared services. The cloud is a great example of sharing infrastructure. As well as simple hosting it is possible to dip into a whole range of software applications to save costs and improve time to market. Finally, startups can use consumer apps such as Airbnb and Zipcar to reduce fixed overheads.