Ultralight startups: little capital, just computer is an interesting article by the SF Chronicle's Tom Abate. It is about a UC Berkeley student who started a custom T-Shirt printing company in high school and continues to run it at college.
The company is ooShirts.com and the founder, Raymond Lei, expects to earn over $700,000 this year from the business.
Lei's total investment in ooShirts was $2,200.
There is a lot of talk and discussion in Silicon Valley these days about bootstrapping and lean startups. Eric Reis is credited with coining the term "lean startup" and preaches a "low burn rate" approach to running startup companies. Many startups are incorporating lean operating methods.
Lei's company is even leaner than lean startups. ooShirts outsources almost everything and is tightly focused on keeping costs to a bare minimum.
A recent WSJ article, Start-ups on a Shoestring, also covers ultralight startups. The article profiles a series of companies that got started with less than $150 in invested capital.
The trends driving the growth of ultralight startups are strong. Technology is making starting companies of all types much cheaper. The Internet makes finding and selling to customers easier. Contractors can substitute contractors for employees and outsourcing services are available for almost all product and services categories.
We expect strong growth in the number of ultralight startups over the next few years.