It’s not always easy to get the time and space to get projects off the ground in the early stages because there may be too many distractions. Going away is a great way to get more things done, especially if you don’t have to do two jobs to pay your rent. Many startups report increased productivity when they are working in Bali. And trust us when we tell you, you resent work less when you’re sat next to a swimming pool overlooking a beautiful rice paddy field.
2. Being free from societal expectations
Traveling broadens the mind, so they say. And a broad mind can be a benefit when you’re working on a startup. It can give you a different perspective, an idea of which markets to target and how. It can also open your eyes to what’s possible. Get away from what you know. We all love the people in our lives, but the truth is they can sometimes stifle your creativity. Remember how your friends laughed at your idea for an app that delivered salads to your door? You don’t need that negativity in your life. Who knows what you could create if left to your own devices?
3. Flexible accommodation arrangements
In silicon valley startup founders will often work from ‘hacker houses’ that allow the whole team to work and ‘hack’ together. How much would it cost for you to get your own hacker house in London? Probably about £5,000 a month. If you know where to look in Bali, you can get a villa with a pool to house your entire startup team for less than one fifth of that. Yeah, we just said ‘with a pool.’
4. Minimal commutes
The average UK commute is said to be about 40 minutes one way. Workers in London endure the longest average commute in the UK (74.2 minutes) followed by the South-east and East of England (56.4 and 56 minutes respectively). That’s a lot of time wasted on a commuter train (or a car). Start Me Up houses you close to where the action is meaning you never have to spend more than 10 minutes getting to your placement.
5. Incredible workspaces
Working from home sounds like a great idea. You may fantasise about coding in your pyjamas, but trust us, it’s overrated (and lonely).
In Thailand and Indonesia, there are beautiful places to work, like Hubud in Ubud and Kohub in Ko Lanta, for example. Workplaces matter. If they didn’t, companies like Google and Facebook wouldn’t spend so much competing to make theirs the fanciest. But while Google and Facebook compete on the number of games consoles and restaurants, these tropical workspaces compete on rice paddy views and monkey sightings. They make you want to get up and go to work every day.
6. Lots of other startups
Surprising, but it’s true. Increasing numbers of people are going to the tropics to work on their startups. Not only are there dedicated startup camps, but there are growing numbers of people who want to go somewhere beautiful and cheap to work on their business idea – especially in the early stages.
7. Better for bootstrapping
London is a tough place to work on a startup without a chunky loan from the bank or any investment capital. Working for a bankrolled startup changes the game. Less creative control, more pressure and arguably less fun. To give you an idea of relative costs, Nomad List estimates the average monthly living cost in London as $3,500 while the average cost of living in Chiang Mai is around $800.
8. Easy to collaborate
Working solo is tough sometimes, tapping into these communities of remote workers means you get to make new friends. It’s often also a rich vein of potential collaborators. No need to advertise for a developer, they will probably be writing code on the desk next to you. Looking for a cofounder? You probably won’t have to look too hard. Having an existential crisis about your project or startup? There are hundreds of (tanned) shoulders to cry on.
9. Surprisingly fast internet
Okay, you won’t get faster internet in Indonesia than you will in London. But parts of Thailand have better infrastructure than parts of rural Britain. Asia is also home to the fastest internet in the world (South Korea). And 4G is coming to Bali, as we speak.