Advice for Small Town Startups, 3/10 - Make Do With What You Have

REMEMBER THAT NECESSITY IS THE BABY MOMMA OF INVENTION - If you don't have what you need, find a way to use what you have.

In a small town, you learn to make do with what you have. A lot of our company's hardware and furniture originated from giveaways and pawn shops.

This is not a bad thing. If you can make something great out of second or third rate equipment, you can totally call it Hustle or Lean Startup. You don't have to tell people you cobbled your display together out of wax paper and old overhead projectors, or that you made your servo's cosmetic prototype from a couple old monitor pcbs, a length of pipe, and some rocks, until you get past that point. Even big, rich companies use design fiction to share their vision.

You might have to accept less polished product development when you're starting out, but you can (and should) fix it in post. Remember, your primary market is probably not in the same town as you - the customers you're after will probably be looking at you through the lens of the internet. Make do with what you have and then use video and clever editing to make it look better then it was. It is totally worth paying for a good videographer, but barring that you should buy a great camera and learn how to use it.

Being from a smaller place automatically gives you a more interesting story then some rich trust fund Harvard dropout... you're the underdog and you have to be creative to succeed. Make sure you document the ways you are creative, because that is the stuff that makes your company special, and it is also what defines the culture and news angle of your company. It's a lot easier to get press, start conversations with potential investors and clients, and get attention online, when your company has an interesting story.