The past few months I have been thinking a lot about moving and where I want to end up. I have came to the realization that at least for the next year I want to stay in NYC. So with that, I figure why not post up some of the moving tips I have learned over the years. I have moved many times, at least once a year since 2006. This past year was the first year I didn’t move, I know crazy. I really like NYC and I am really enjoying it as much as I can, but know I need some change and hopefully a bigger apartment. So with out further background, here are 5 tips for moving specifically focused on the tech entrepreneur.
1. Clear Containers – If you are in to technology you most likely like to watch movies. DVDs are something I have been trying to migrate onto a digital platform or just leverage iTunes and store it on another hard drive. As any tech guy knows DVDs can take up a fair amount of space and how many times do you really watch that DVD. I highly suggest to invest in plastic containers – use these bins to store your DVDs and other tech gadgets (camera, usb card readers, etc.). In addition rather than using boxes during the move, use containers because they last longer and if you get the clear see through kind, easy to find your DVD within a pile. In addition, containers are way better than just boxes as they are weather proof to some degree. I know from a few past experiences with flooding of the apartment above me, I was able to maintain all my DVDs! A moving box would have ruined all the DVD boxes. If you are like me, a tech guy who has tons of DVDs, Books, and old gadgets – leverage containers and keep them safe. Also great for saving space when stacking them in closets. In addition I know from the transition after college, containers are great way to move stuff – bring back and move more stuff. Boxes tend to be good for only one or two trips back and forth.
2. Buy it again – I know this kills the eco-side of me inside, but I think when products cost less than $20 – you may want to think twice before you keep moving with it. In the tech world I know personally I have owned 3 iPhones (iPhone, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4) and that’s only 4 years! You are constantly upgrading and buying stuff again, much like moving. If you move cross-country do you bring the same toilet plunger or just throw it out and buy a new one? Sometimes you want to carve out a budget for moving on top of the cost of movers. For me, this was stuff from shower curtains to hangers. This tactic is also used when traveling, I know I will forget stuff and/or not pack everything, but having a few dollars budgeted also gives me the opportunity to pickup a hoodie or shirt from a destination. I think the best story when it comes to buy it again would be working with an entrepreneur who will remain nameless, but we worked together a few years ago. Basically when traveling he would bring clothes for the next day, but that’s it. We actually ended up having to go shopping a few times where he would have to buy clothes for the next few days.
3. Maintain the move – If your business is growing so fast that you keep having to find bigger office space, why do you unpack everything? Similar with moving just think if your planning to move in the summer, 3 months until you need to move start packing up your winter gear and store it. I also tend to use my luggage for storage of seasonal clothes. By starting early you spread out the packing and you know how much stuff you have. Getting back to topic #1 containers – I have maintained the move with a container box of DVDs that sits in my closet. It may not be the best way to showcase them, but easy to move.
4. Find people to compliment your weakness – in business if your not a tech savvy person but building a tech heavy application, you need to find your tech cofounder before you can even get started. This process should be the #1 goal. As for moving, save time/health and hire a legit company. Bootstrapping can be good and a great way to get a minimum viable product (MVP) or initial boxes moved, but are you really going to lug a couch, bed, or desk up that 4th floor walk up, put in the truck and then walk it back up another 2 or 5 floor walk up? I know moving sucks as I have done it a LOT. It wasn’t until this past move that I finally hired a company, I would never go back. It’s well worth the money especially if you think of what doctors bills cost if you hurt yourself. As for a startup – just think what an acceleration program could do to your business – think of how saving time like hiring a company could expedite your move process
5. Refactor your move – In the development world you want to refactor code from hard to read or hacked together functions/classes to verified and test approved code that won’t keep you up all night. Moving is a time to reflect on what you really need and what you really NEED to throw out. All those papers, books, DVDs, etc. think in terms of 3: Keep, reflect, throwout. As for development – think in terms of features: Should I improve this, will this affect ROI, and will people complain if I kill this feature.