Why are you going to all this trouble?
Before we begin, step back and answer some questions. Why do you want to start a company? What are your goals? Do you seek financial independence? Career independence? Do you dream of seeing a few million people using your product? Or of seeing a few million dollars in sales? Have you always dreamed of starting a company?
Is there a problem in the world you want to solve? A problem you see every day in other businesses or as you go through life? Is no one else solving this problem? Will this problem go unsolved unless you start a company to fix it?
Do I (really) want to start a company?
A good way to help answer this question is to break it down into a series of forward-looking questions, centered around what you expect your company and your job to look like five years from now.
What do I expect my company to look like in 5 years?
($1 million, $10 million, or $100 million in sales? How many employees?)
What do I personally want to be doing in 5 years? 3 years? 2 years? Next year?
(CEO, CTO, sales, product development, advisor to the company, etc.)
Am I prepared to quit my current job and work at the new company full-time?
Why do I want to start this startup? To solve a problem, to be rich, both, or something else?
At work, what makes me happy? Excited? Eager to start a new day?
The answers to these questions will help you decide whether you want to start up and operate a new company or whether you are just dreaming about being an entrepreneur, without a compelling reason to make it actually happen.
If you are ready, these answers will then help determine the scale of the company to be built and, in turn, the path and size of any fundraising. And with these answers, you should have sufficient information to decide the answer to question #1: whether to pursue this opportunity as a company at all.