35. My Startup is Different


Everyone’s own baby is the cutest baby ever…

Before we conclude this book on fundraising, let me take one last moment for an additional dose of reality…

  • Your company is one of tens of thousands like it.
  • Each and every founder of those companies thinks their company stands above the others.
  • Each founder out seeking funding thinks that every investor should invest in their deal.

The reality is that you probably don’t have a great idea. At best, you have just a good idea. The reality is that your team is not as great as you think and contains someone who will leave before the exit. The reality is that the opportunity size you talk about is unlikely to be as large as you believe.

The reality is that fundraising is a long and difficult process. It’s a sales process full of rejection. When it frustrates you, don’t blame the investors. Rather than think investor after investor is stupid for missing out on your deal, think instead about how you are failing to communicate the opportunity to them in a way that will get them excited, and how you are failing to find the investors with insight, who can see the vision you envision.

The reality of funding is that it takes far longer and far more conversations than you would like. If you choose to head down that path, then do so with eyes wide open, with an understanding of the needs of the people on the “other side of the table,” and come with an opportunity that makes sense to them.

Finally, if you don’t want all this frustration, don’t want more business partners, and don’t envision selling your company in the next five to seven years, then forget investors. Bootstrap your company on your own savings, your credit cards, and, as soon as possible, on revenues from customers.


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