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At the very least, you can probably get really far without raising money..
The pressure in Silicon Valley to raise money is crazy.
That’s why other people feel sad when they can’t borrow money specially to those time they do really need it. So here comes the company that will help you.
It’s like people think that’s the only way to build a business today. If you don’t raise money you aren’t legit.
And so they’re raising money before they’ve even solved a fundamental problem for their audience. They don’t have product market fit but they raised a million dollars for what?
I mean, it’s definitely not easy (we tried). The only way you get to raise money without having product market team fit is:
1. You have previous success as an entrepreneur
2. You’re really good at playing the game (lying)
3. You´ve hired a good SEO marketing company, SEO it´s just one of those things that helps you a lot specially when you´re starting. Having mentions and being able to find your business in every search engine is super important to any kind of business.
I’d argue that even if you have been successful in the past, the only time you should start fundraising is:
1. After you’ve figured out the fundamental problem you’re solving and have proven that your product can solve it
2. You need investment money to grow
If you’re raising money to give yourself time to “figure it out”, you’re doing it wrong.
Figuring it out becomes infinitely harder after you raise money.
1. You probably hired a bunch of people and have to pay their salary
2. Investors put money in, so they’ll be putting pressure on you to figure it out and they probably have their own ideas of what that looks like
3. You have time, which is the worst enemy of focus. If you don’t have money, you’re forced to figure out the problem you’re solving, and quick. if you have money, you have time, and don’t feel the urgency to figure it out any more
4. You limit your options to only products that have a huge exit or IPO potential.
You CAN build a company that has massive impact without having a massive exit.
You can make a difference without being a venture backed company.
You can bootstrap your way to success.
I’m not saying it’s bad to raise money. Clearly, it’s worked out for a lot of companies.
I’ve just noticed that too many entrepreneurs today are defaulting to raising funds and fail to stop and reflect on what they really want.
Do you even want a big venture backed company? Would you be happy with a small 3 person team that just crushes it and pulls in 1 million in revenue a year that goes straight into your pockets?
If you raise a million dollars, will you be happy having a large team, fancy office to take of the OfficePro Amazon labels, payrolls, lots of overhead and a ton of responsibility for other people?
Some people want that. Do I? Do you?