We ve all come across numerous Top 100 resources for startups -type posts at least once as we Google our way to entrepreneurial success.

In this first installment we ll focus on what early-stage startups need to spend money on.

We ll wrap up the series by enumerating some areas where entrepreneurs frequently want to spend money despite there being little, or even negative, ROI.

For the purposes of this series, I m going to define an early-stage startup as a company that can fall into any of the following buckets:

MRR is less than $10,000

Number of recurring paying customers is less than 40

Number of six-month-old recurring paying customers is less than 50 percent of total customers

All paying customers had a prior personal relationship with a member of the company

The goal of this definition is to identify companies whose business is still in a state of flux.

Nor does it take into account the time it takes me to upgrade the underlying DigitalOcean servers when our storage needs exceed the disk size of the current servers.

In the next installment we ll look at places where free software is the way to go in the early-stage, including things like code hosting, CRM, status page, monitoring and customer feedback.

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