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TMFEditorsDesk (< 20)

Ramen Profitability -- yum!



July 01, 2009 – Comments (2)

Interesting article from (which was initially shared over TMF's Yammer.)  The article's about Paul Graham, founder of Y Combinator, and his approach to start-ups. Y Combinator provides funding and advice to roughly 40 start-ups a year.  

Rather than see start-ups squander money during initial stages, Graham wants something simple -- a product. Startups that enter Y Combinator's bootcamp, spend 3 months and are given up to $25,000 (depending on the total number of people). At the end of the 3 months, they're expected to have a finished product.

$25,000 isn't an insignificant amount, but for some startups, they could probably blow past it without a second glance. The theme that Graham reinforces to the startups is one of frugality and discipline -- spend as little as you can in hopes of becoming cash-flow positive in the future. He calls this theory "ramen profitability" and believes that these restrained beginnings set the startup for success in the long-term because they can "say no to bad investment terms and forces them to think about long-term viability."  

Imagine if consumers, investors, shareholders, company executives, etc. all got a dose of ramen profitability: spend wisely, act with discpline, and think long-term. Would we be surrounded by people that traded things like savings and living within your means for shiny houses and a "I-gotta-have-it-now" mentality?

True, this is nothing ground-breaking -- we've been saying similar things on for years. But it's interesting to see these core values deployed through a successful start-up generator. Plus everyone needs a reminder every now and again.

Deep Thoughts by Katrina 


Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

2 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On July 01, 2009 at 5:54 PM, Nainara (< 20) wrote:


Wha? Investing? 

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#2) On July 02, 2009 at 4:16 PM, Rehydrogenated (33.43) wrote:

My ramen doesnt look anything like that... *slurps from 0.15 cup o noodle*

So your saying if I save my money and act frugally all that delicious ramen will be mine?

But if I'm always acting frugally and saving my money then when can I get my good ramen?!

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