Founders should live on Ramen noodles, and $2,000 a month

The Less-Is-More theme continues:

Ram Shriram, the founding investor in Google who backed Larry Page and Sergey Brin when they were still at Stanford, remembers those frugal days. Page and Brin insisted on taking public transportation when they first visited Europe, refusing to fork out money for cabs.

Few companies will get a YouTube-style buyout offer of $1 Billion plus, so they’ll have to tighten their belts early, he said: “I’d rather see start-ups scrappy and frugal and on a diet of Ramen noodles,” he said on a panel during the Web 2.0 Summit.

Angel investor Paul Graham, who runs the Y-Combinator incubator gives a notable quote in a New York Times story about the how cheaply a new Internet company can get started — and how angels like him have a much easier time with this than elephantine venture capital firms.

“We are like mice, and VC’s are more like elephants. They can only make a few deals, so each one has a whole amount of weight and worry attached to it,” he said

From the article:

As for the target investment of $6,000 for each employee, an explanation on Y Combinator’s Web site makes it clear that Mr. Graham and his colleagues are not looking for computer science entrepreneurs who want to be pampered: “C.S. grad students at M.I.T. currently get $2,000/month to live on, so this represents three months’ living expenses. Though in fact most groups make it last longer.”