Guilty As Charged – Confessions of a Start-Up Founder

Here’s a great post on wasting time at a start-up.  I found it on "A Venture-Backed Start-Up Founder" blog.

I went through the list…and pretty much checked off all of them. Guilty.

The key for me was #2 – Wrote a complete business plan.  As the author of this blog mentions, it was outdated in a few weeks. 

I’m at the point where I’m convinced that putting "financials" or projections in executive summaries is  ridiculous.  If the funders cannot see that "You have something tangible, exciting, and likely to succeed based on the things you’ve put forth in the summary," then what’s the point? And by the way…the rabid funding of web 2.0 "features" is proof that VC’s still live by the same rules, biases, etc. that produce e-bay auctions for companies.

I’ve been booted from funding round tables before for being "realistic" with numbers and outlook.  The funders are putting money and faith into YOU and your TEAM to figure out the best path to the big bucks.  In most EVERY case, your revenue model will change by the time you have a real business.  I’d rather see someone explain that they expect this and embrace this than to see the usual (and you all know what I’m talking about), "We’re going to make $250k, $1mil, $3 mil, $7mil, then $20 mil"  in the coming 5 years."

I will be submitting an executive summary soon to a few small funding groups.  I’ll share the feedback since I’m taking the,

"Look, here’s the reality with what I’m trying to accomplish and in this early stage in the game, I’m asking you to bet on the come line here and believe that there’s enough here to fund without me laying out a yellow brick road to 10x return in 36 months,"

approach.  In other words, I’m trying to sell me….and the value of this idea and future potential without professing to know EXACTLY how things will be in 3, 24, or 60 months from now…but that I’m capable of handling them.

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