It’s about time

“You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.”

Pink Floyd

When I was in school and later studying part-time at college, I founded several small online businesses. There was a freelance WordPress design service, multiple blogs, design showcases, commercial WordPress themes and even an audacious attempt to emulate the Million Dollar Homepage with a project that I called “Buy a Button”. Shameless. Anyway, I was able to set these businesses up with just one small expense – an account with a web host. I didn’t have much cash, but I had time.

It turns out that finishing school at 3pm every day and/or studying part time, all whilst living with your parent(s) is an extremely time-rich lifestyle!

My schedule afforded me the luxury of being able to teach myself the time-consuming lessons required to get those businesses off the ground. I didn’t even realise how valuable that was because 1. I was young and 2. I didn’t know any different.

Fast-forward 15 years and I still occasionally have to have to remind myself that not all entrepreneurs experience that same time/capital ratio. It’s all too easy for me to fall in to the trap of assuming that people starting businesses have more time than money, but the truth is that opposite is much more common. Instead of being cash poor and time rich, folks generally have money to spend (albeit on a budget) but lack the time to get everything done.

“So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking,

Racing around to come up behind you again.”

Pink Floyd

I now understand that that trying to get a side-hustle up and running while also working a full time job (potentially with a long commute) and organising a family is so challenging because that valuable resource is so scarce. Consequently, entrepreneurs are happy to spend money to save time. As a company that enables small business owners, situations where we can save folks time (whether that’s a feature of a product or an intuitive design) are huge opportunities for us. It’s true what they say – time is money.

It’s obvious, I know. But I believe we all have our own biases – results of our own personal circumstances. Research helps us to challenge those biases and learn important lessons which consequently better shape our products to meet our customers needs.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao

By James Koster

Product Designer


> time/capital ratio

Time vs money — which one do you let leak more vs less. That’s the core question, I agree.

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