A lot of online companies are completely location independent, especially if they do not have to do time-sensitive customer support, ship physical products or meet clients face to face. This includes most of the app development companies, affiliate websites, blogs, a lot of game developers and so on.
In the old days startup founders dreamed of renting out a house in Palo Alto for the whole summer, where the whole team could live, work and have a ton of fun together. Mark Zuckerberg did this in the early days of Facebook, famously showcased in the Social Network movie. However, these days Palo Alto has become extremely expensive and, yes, it is really boring (imagine a village somewhere in your country that has a nice University and a lot of rich investors. That’s pretty much it).
Let me tell you a few reasons why you should pack up your bags and go to develop your startup in Southeast Asia, especially if you are in the product development phase:
- Cheap. First off, Southeast Asia is extremely cheap compared with almost anything, but especially with Scandinavia, where prices are among the highest in the world. 1,000 euros will hardly get you anything in Sweden or Norway, but in Thailand and Indonesia you will be considered rich and will be able to afford a lot;
- Mind opening. Changing the surroundings is always a good thing, since it opens up one’s mind to new possibilities, cultures, religions, ways of life and obviously, new people. And that’s even truer if you spend time living in a culture so different from anything in Europe. When I first came to Southeast Asia, I thought I was in a different planet and I felt as if everyday I’d be learning more than I ever have;
- Exciting. Ever seen those pictures where people hang out on a white sand beach with a fresh coconut in hand in the middle of the winter? Yes, that’s Southeast Asia. Depending on where you go, you will do a lot of things you haven’t done before. You can go diving, snorkeling, taking part in the all-night-long island parties, trekking up the wonderful mountains and so on;
- New connections. You will probably end up working at different co-working spaces. There you will find a lot of other entrepreneurs from all walks of life – freelancers, developers, designers, sales people, digital nomads from around the world. And making friends whenever you travel is so much easier, I’m sure you will make some life-lasting friends along the way.
I’ve been a digital nomad for the past 1.5 years, went to more than 15 countries in total and will have done 13 Asian countries by the beginning of this summer while successfully working on Chameleonjohn.com at the same time. Even though you might not love it as much as I do, but I assure you those few months you will spend working, living and traveling with your team will be something you will remember for the rest of your lives. And you will save a lot of money, which will significantly lower your burn rate.
Jacob Laukaitis is a location independent entrepreneur, who works on an online coupons website ChameleonJohn.com and spends most of his time on creating great content.
Long boat on island in thailand image from shutterstock