Let’s face it, for most of us on this board, we can run our companies from just about anywhere, as long as there’s a good Internet connection nearby.
But the cost of living differs dramatically, depending on where you live in the world.
When we were moving a few years ago, we were debating whether it still made sense to remain in New York, one of the most expensive cities in the world, and, financially speaking, probably one of the worst places to bootstrap a software company. We chose to stay because of family, but it was probably not the best choice financially.
The realistic amount of annual revenue needed to raise a family in New York City (lower-to-mid middle-class), is about $100k. An average 1/4 acre, single family house, in the suburbs, runs about $300k-$600k. You also have the mandatory health insurance, car payment, etc.
But if one can make X in New York City, running an Internet company, one can make the same X anywhere else, where (assuming personal safety and political stability remains the same), the cost of living is much lower. For example, from my own rather naive source (HGTV), you can buy a similar house in Texas for less than a quarter the cost of the same size house in New York - and they don’t have personal income tax, from what I understand. In the 90’s, this was one of the reasons Carmack moved id software there; and there is, in fact, a fair collection of software companies in Texas. Peldi from Balsamiq moved his family to Italy when he decided to start the company.
We have folks all over the world on this board. What’s the typical annual cost of living where you are, for a family of 4, let’s say (lower-mid middle class)? What is it like to bootstrap a company while living there? Have you heard anyone recommend other great places around the USA, or around the world, where bootstrapping a software company would make good sense financially?