There’s always a trade-off between using professionals (like Travis Chambers and Jamestown Films who killed it with their 10 annoying people at the gym video for Nordic Track… I loved it) and doing things in-house. If you’re a bootstrapper like me, it’s usually a question of budget. Start-up funds are sacred so I try to get $5 of value for every $1 I spend. Now I wouldn’t suggest doing this with everything (e.g., I wouldn’t go for the $1 approach in a patent application), but there’s nothing wrong with asking for a discount (and yes, even my attorneys give me a rate during start-up mode). Even if you’re well-funded (whatever that means) it doesn’t mean that you should throw money at everything (e.g., you might take only a living allowance until you’re able to cash flow a competitive salary).
Case in point… as a serial technology entrepreneur, I’ve learned to wear many hats so when we (and when I say we, I mean me) decided to produce our first product video in-house, I became the writer, spokesperson, cameraman, video editor, audio engineer and so forth. It won’t win any awards and that’s OK. I’m not after awards (except product awards). On the other hand, market windows fade all the time and sometimes you just have to spend your way there… just be careful with money (e.g., treat it like it belongs to your spouse and you want to stay married). Just one guy’s opinion.
This column was reprinted with permission from Robert Bishop and originally appeared here.