Startup Company How to Start Without Investor

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How to Start Without Investor

Your first task is to rent the smallest office building possible, and fill it with about 4 desks total. They will be used for the following staff:

  • CEO
  • Developer
  • Designer
  • Researcher

Use your 32 research points to learn the landing page, beginner devkit, and beginner designer kit.

The Landing Page – Get it to 10!

Now that you’ve got your developer and designer, it’s time to begin working on the features. Your landing page is the backbone of your entire website and the first thing that you can use to bring users to your site.

For the next several days (probably about 100 or so) you will be losing money at a steady pace. This is fine, as you need to get setup in order to attract the customers you need.

As you are working on upgrading your landing page to level 10, your researcher should be working away getting you more points in order to research Text Ads from the features tab, and Sales Executive from the Human Resources tab. The total is 190 research points so this shouldn’t take too long. Use this time to focus on getting users.

Getting Users

You’ve started working on your landing page, and you see that you can now handle several thousand potential users. Great right? Except no one is visiting your site and registering? That’s a problem.

To solve this, you’ll need to burn some additional funds. Click on your website and select the marketing tab. You will need to run an email campaign. Promote your landing page, and start it up. It’ll cost you $1000 a day, but this is vital if you ever want to make money.

I recommend stopping the marketing campaign as soon as you reach about 14k registered users on your site. It is around this point that the users start to “add themselves”. Sure it’s slow going when they trickle in on their own, but we can now save that $1000 a day, and focus on the following:

  • Research Sales Exec (if you haven’t already)
  • Research Text Ads (if you haven’t already)
  • Research Lead Developer – Human Resources Tab
  • Research Beginner Lead Developer Kit – Production Tab
  • Research a second feature – Features Tab

If you get lucky, the viral website event will be triggered at some point and you’ll just speed through to making money. This never happened to me in 4 run throughs while writing the notes for this guide, but it is still a possibility.

Stop the bleeding – Contracts and Loans

As soon as you research the Sales Executive and the Text Ads, get it installed as a feature and put your Sales Exec to work. At this stage of the game, I recommend taking the 10 day contracts (more money per day) and negotiating for the best price you can. I was negotiating contracts upwards of $6.20/CPM, so use that as a guideline. I always tried to find the $4.00+ ones to start with and haggle from there, but you do what you have to do to make money.

Important note: Monitor your Impressions by checking in with your sales exec. Since you are now continuously gaining users, your impressions will increase. Increase your filter to add more every time you select a new contract. Slow the drain of cash every dollar at a time.

Now, at this point, you most likely will not make a profit on your website. It’s too early. The goal here is to slow the drain of cash so you can hang on a little bit longer.

This will also be the perfect time (if you haven’t already) to increase your staff to make sure you have a Lead Developer or two as well. At around this point, I have the following team:

  • Developer x 1
  • Designer x 3
  • Lead Developer x 2
  • Researcher x 1
  • Sales Exec x 1
  • CEO

With this lineup, you will be spending a good amount of money on salary and loans and you’re probably thinking you won’t be able to hold on for much longer. So here’s what I do: Take out the second loan, and use it to pay off the first. The first loan by this point probably has around 80-90k owing on it, but your cash on hand is probably only a few thousand. This is why it is important to your success to take out the “Global Loans” $250,000 loan, and use it to pay back “Eazy Money”. You have a higher payment yes, but you now have more cash on hand, which means you can hang in there just a little bit longer!

The Second Feature and SysAdmins

You should have already researched your second feature, as mentioned earlier on, but if you haven’t you should now have a considerable amount of research points to make it happen. Just remember to choose the most basic features to add, as your only goal is to increase your potential users so you can guarantee more impressions sold in your ads.

The goal now is to get that second feature to level 10 as fast as you can. You’ll eventually get your two features to 10 along with your Text Ads, which will give you a satisfaction rating which is good enough to get the users to keep rolling in.

At this point you will also need to hire your first SysAdmin. You’ll need 80 RP to research the SysAdmin from the Human Resources Tab, and only 10 RP to research the SysAdmin Kit, so this is a fairly simple requirement. Your website should be amassing users, and probably starting to choke out during peak hours. To combat this, use the SysAdmin just long enough to get enough components to eventually add 3 Fastclouds Pro Cloud Servers. Don’t add them all at once, wait until needed before adding them, as it will start to affect your bottom line earnings. Start with 1 and remove the Mini Cloud server – it’s basically useless at this point.

P.S. Have your SysAdmin work to create the necessary components to add 3 instances of the server, then fire them to save money.

Once you’ve got all three of the Pro Cloud Servers in, you should have sufficient CU to handle about 175k users which translates into the capability of actually earning money.

Becoming Profitable

**SPOILER** You probably won’t like the methodology here.

So now you’ve got your two features up to level 10, and you’ve got your text ads in place, a nice contract bringing in some money, but you’re still losing money on a daily basis. You need your business to survive long enough to get enough impressions for your Sales Contract to earn more than your rent, loan payment, virtual servers, and your license expenses. The solution? You probably won’t like it…

Mass Firing of Employees

Yes, that’s the solution I have found. Without modding the game, on four separate run throughs, I have had to fire almost everyone. After the great firing, I typically am left with just a Sales Exec and the CEO.

Your website will continue to gain users as the game progresses, even if you aren’t adding more features to it (until your registered users = potential users), so keeping the developers, designers and lead developers on staff at this point is just going to continue to drain your cash. Fire them, and save that money. For the first bit, you might continue to lose money, but as your registered users increases, so will the amount of impressions you will be able to guarantee in Ad Sales.

Impressions seem to be about 4x your registered users, so use that to help you calculate/estimate the amount of impressions you’ll be able to sell if you forget to check in with your Sales Exec. Since there is no one else to check in on, you should probably just be sitting there sifting through your Sales Exec’s contract leads, so you’ll get to know your numbers really quick.

A quick side note here however – if you’re worried about your end game score, firing employees does cause it to lower, but you’ll last longer in the game. I accepted the trade-off.

Profitability! Usually at around the 100 day mark, with only my Sales Exec, my CEO and (MAYBE) a researcher, I am able to bring in approximately $100 per day. This doesn’t seem like much, but remember, your users will keep growing (unless you were lucky enough to go viral) and that number will grow.

The reason I suggested a researcher here is quite simple. Save up the 500 RP and learn the Banner Ads – 50% more revenue, YAY! I usually get to banner ads at around day 125. With the banner Ads, you can usually get the price to around the $9.00/CPM mark, I’ve had as high as about $9.50 depending on the starting price of the contract. At this point, you should be able to bring in about $1000 a day and beyond.

Moving Forward – Repaying a Loan with a Loan (again)

Now that your company is profitable, go ahead and start to look at expansion. Slow and steady wins the race. My usual approach is to research Managers and HR Managers, as I am a big fan of smaller teams with a huge speed boost. Keeps your overall cost down. With the HR manager, a Manager, two researchers, the CEO and a Sales Exec, my researchers are operating at a total speed of about 630%. Each one pumps out about 35 RP per 7 hour work day.

As you go forward, you’ve probably made a dent in that $250,000 loan you took from Global Loans. My advice is to check in on it, and see how much you have left. When your cash on hand is less than $100,000 than what is owing on that Global Loans, borrow from Eazy Money again, and pay it off. You’ll automatically add almost $500 a day to your income. Every bit helps at this stage of the game.

Basically, you’re using the game mechanics and consolidating debt. Win win.

Server Setup – Large Rack Only

One of the most common things that I saw on the discussion threads was the Hosting Rack Setup.

After playing with a few ideas, such as having racks dedicated to each of the three servers (Web Servers, Database, and Cache), I decided to make a jack of all trades rack that has served me very well in my games thus far.

**NOTE** I only use the large rack, and I don’t even bother with my own servers until I have at least the 4U (Blade) servers.

Here is my Mid-Tier Server setup:

Large Rack
2 coolers
1 4U Web Server – 100% (runs 22 degrees)
2 coolers
1 4U Web Server – 100% (runs 22 degrees)
2 coolers
1 4U Cache Server – 100% (runs 22 degrees)
2 coolers
1 4U Database Server – 125% (runs 28 degrees)
2 coolers

Here is Top-Tier Server setup:

Large Rack
2 coolers
1 8U Web Xserver – 100% (runs 30 degrees)
2 coolers
1 8U Web Xserver – 100% (runs 30 degrees)
2 coolers
1 8U Cache XServer – 100% (runs 30 degrees)
2 coolers
1 8U Database XServer – 140% (runs 42 degrees)
2 Coolers

For my Top-Tier Servers, I am using the largest hosting building, and have no additional air conditioning units in the building. I have 3 and a half rows of these servers, and the temperature in the building is still 10 degrees. The servers themselves seem to hold their temperatures well enough, so there is no need for air conditioners. Also, with only 3.5 rows, I generate 61.81M CU.

My one website has the max users (3.46b) and it’s peak CU usage was only 21.5M. With this top-tier setup, I do not anticipate running into any issues with CU if I were to run 4 websites with max users.

This is the ending of Startup Company How to Start Without Investor guide. I hope it will help you. If there is wrong or you have suggestions, please let’s know and comment us. Have fun.

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Written by Bill Murray

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