Everybody’s talking so much about cost optimization and extending runways that startups across the board are looking at every little expense as they seek ways to navigate the downturn. But some costs are better left untouched simply because the work involved may not be worth the payoff.

It’s also increasingly important to not lose focus on product development if you’re a growth-stage startup. “I’ll always believe that getting things working end-to-end in a timely fashion and iterating on user feedback is the priority. Over-optimizing early is an anti-pattern,” said Menlo Ventures partner Tim Tully. “As they say in product teams, K.I.S.S. (keep it simple, stupid). You can always go back and optimize later.”

However, Grinberg added that startups should be mindful of the implications of using multiple cloud vendors down the road. “Firstly, egress costs can be expensive enough to make this not worth the while. Second, you need to manage more than one provider, so your monitoring, cost management, infrastructure as code and security solutions need to support all the vendors you are using.”

Besides the usual suspects, there are now more vendors and models available to startups than there were a few years ago. This includes virtual private clouds, which can be useful for companies dealing with privacy and regulatory concerns.

For a company to run its own servers, all the investors agreed that founders should first carefully weigh the pros and cons of doing so, and only proceed if it’s going to be worth it. Tully said, “Going on-prem from a data center perspective, as opposed to cloud on-prem, i.e. virtual private cloud (VPC), would require a very compelling business reason to justify.”

“For starting on-prem, you should have a really, really good excuse, as the overhead cost for running this kind of operation is almost never worthwhile for startups (and even for very mature companies, for that matter),” Grinberg added.

Why startups are better off prioritizing growth instead of optimizing cloud costs by Anna Heim originally published on TechCrunch