It is not a joke.
> I have no understanding of the concept of humor...
So it is a joke.. Or at the very least tongue in cheek. (With some exceptions,) I doubt hosting is what most VC funding is spent on.
Edit: as he said, "The biggest obstacle to creating something useful is finding the time to build it and attracting an initial pool of paying customers." If you have access to those you probably have $37. I get that he is trying to say technical costs can be negligible for startups. I fail to see how Investment Co-Prosperity Cloud helps anyone in anyway. And thus, I think it's a joke (even if the funding is real).
You've managed to recapitulate his point while simultaneously missing it.
As you say, costs are negligible. Time to build something is hard to find, but nobody can help you find it.
Attention is what's really valuable and really hard to get, as a startup. Maciej is highlighting this by making an offer to startups that puts what's really valuable for building a sustainable business (I'll drive attention your way) front-and-center, while mocking the valley's mentality of take-huge-wads-of-funding-cash-and-bet-it-all-on-winning-the-growth-lottery approach to business creation with his "I'll throw in $37" offer.
I doubt that was the point.
I will feature the six successful applicants on the Pinboard blog, and give them whatever additional help I can in making contacts in computerland and attracting an initial pool of customers."
His point is that a lot of money isn't needed, but publicity is (and a cool service of course).
You might be surprised.