I have asked a few fledgling tech startups about what they wish they didn't have to spend as much time on.
The answer is almost invariably 'not coding' and 'context shifts' as exemplified by "clients on fishing expeditions", "Customer support" and marketing.
I am wondering if your experience is the same, or if there are other issues.
In your experience, what is the most time consuming aspect of being a startup?
Better yet, what time drains have you plugged and how?
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We took the 37signals approach and had mostly remote workers. Then one of the devs I started working with would come out to the coffee shop with me and we'd be in the same space.
Communications flowed 20x faster when someone was in the same room as you. Theoretically, working with remote workers is fine. In practice, being in the same space as all the people you're working with will save a ton of time.
I think the most time consuming part of a startup is communication. Once that's streamlined, the rest flows.
In our early days our biggest workflow pain was keeping customer information organized. We adopted SalesForce and that solved that issue.
After that our biggest pain was probably bug tracking and feature request tracking. FogBugz solved that.
Next came taxes and accounting issues. We eventually found a good accountant and adopted QuickBooks, which solved most of those issues.