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It's important to realize that working for someone else can be the best way to prepare yourself for a startup. Sometimes the best way to climb the higher hill is first to climb the short one and then work your way up the saddle.

Starting a startup is a lot easier when you're (relatively) financially secure. There's no way I would have been able to survive the first 6 months of my startup (when I didn't have any revenue coming in) if I hadn't saved up a decent amount of cash from working elsewhere (not to mention that working for others gives you important skills). The important bit is to think about this systematically: if you're going to take a job to accumulate financial and human capital, have a plan for how long you'll work there and how much capital you need to accumulate.

Being able to found a startup on your own terms (without having to desperately find angels) is very freeing and I definitely prefer it this way. My current startup is doing much better than my last one because this time I'm not worrying about investors at all.

>There's no way I would have been able to survive the first 6 months of my startup

How much do you think is a 'good' amount to have saved up? I have a little over 6 months saved up but all the articles I read are like "You need 18 - 24 months. Minimum." which I think is complete BS, especially for a tech founder with an MVP (this isn't to say non-tech can't do it, it was more that tech people can find freelance work)


There are a lot of variables in play so a perfect answer isn't possible, however, calling 18-24 months BS is almost certainly wrong. 18-24 months sounds like the ideal answer.

Note that you can spend $8k/month or you can spend $2k/month, depending on where and how you want to live while you're founding your startup. The nominal dollar amount could be a huge range.

You could also reduce the dollar amount of savings you need by the revenue in your MVP - if you're making $1k/month on a software startup you'll probably be able to net that against your monthly spend, even if most of that $1k/month is currently going towards fixed costs. The difference between an MVP that generates revenue and one that does not is enormous.

YMMV, but personally, after a startup experience that was tough both emotionally and financially, I got a stable job and have promised not to do that again unless or until I can save up at least $300k on top of retirement savings. Basically, about two years worth of expenses plus some buffer.

It varies for everyone, but I personally think $100k is a good goal. It's enough that you can sustain yourself for quite a while and make investments in the business without worrying too much about the immediate costs.

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