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Deciding to bootstrap this venture meant relying on the “gig economy” for help. I cannot afford to pay design or marketing firms thousands to develop complex designs and aggressive all-touchpoints kickoff strategies. That’s pretty unrealistic and reckless for a startup — even one with a generous day 1 expense account. Reserve the majority of any initial funding for future growth phases, when a solid business model has already been vetted and living in the wild.
After admitting full-service media agencies were outside my budget, I tried solo contractors. Unfortunately even students, young professionals and upstart teams of 1 or 2 didn’t satisfy on price, workmanship or ability to deliver. It seemed I had a knack for attracting the wrong people, or just didn’t know enough of the right people. I spent at least 2 months trying to fulfill this desire to “Buy Local!!!” and recruit help from within Toronto. Each attempt and re-attempt left me disappointed and frustrated. I had increasingly urgent goals to meet so I reluctantly abandoned that path and turned to online services like Fiverr and UpWork that connect clients to IT and creative talent around the world.
Thank God! I honestly went in very skeptical (and maybe I lucked out with my Estonian and Taiwanese gig hires) but I really wish I’d done it sooner because I accomplished in a couple of weeks what previously was taking months in vain, and for a fraction of the cost.
I’ll eventually solicit help in Toronto again. I believe this work needs a ton of local collaboration to be its best. However, for a quick injection of creative/technical talent to accomplish objectives on a budget, the gig economy was a saviour.
observer, talker, general provoker