How Much Funding Does A WonderBus Need To Run?
$42,000.00. No, that’s not the answer to life. And if you stick around, I’ll give you a little insight that will help with your dream.
Beyond the obvious “it depends” there is a greater underlying philosophy here. To understand that, we first need to address a big “small” something. There’s a heavily treaded reading track in the entrepreneurial community regarding “going small” and “being lean”. The reason? Billion-dollar garage startups merit notice.
These startups have built what could be called “mountains”. They are the base of operations. Everything that surrounds those mountains — from wildlife to cities — partake of its resources. So how do you build a mountain? You don’t. You plant a tree and dream of a hill. You may think, “Gee, thanks”, but in all honesty, this hyper-simplistic philosophy is all the rage these days.
If it’s so simple, why is it making an impact?
For the same reason that you struggle to read more than a few sentences without a spacious white tab separating your content. For the same reason twitter delimits the number of characters you can use in a single tweet. For the same reason that more engagement on Facebook comes from fewer characters (40 to be precise). For the same reason that an app like Yo can raise millions of dollars while only allowing you to share pre-programmed words. For the same reason that User Experience specialists obsess tirelessly over getting your favorite app to transition from 3 clicks to 1.
Because it works better. Could it be possible then, that the same is true of startup investing? Yes, but there is a limit. I have talked to far too many entrepreneurs that confuse lean with cheap. What ends up happening? They burn out.
It’s crucial to figure out WHO you are and WHAT your strengths are as a founder. Chris is a new member of WonderBus. He knows I suck at Social Media. Even more important than that, I know that I suck at social media. Sure, I know the mechanics of it. But the subtle things that make someone truly effective elude me. Am I a lawyer? Hell no. Accountant? Not even close.
This is insanely obvious. So did I feel I needed to write to you? Because there is one thing that people don’t talk about much. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. I spoke with a new friend the other day about his freelance business. He wanted to make his own logo. Or, I should say, he was stuck on it. He spent 2 days thinking about this. The problem? This logo was holding up literally everything. He couldn’t design brochures, website pages or anything else.
Whether that’s because of a practical need or his own creative need is irrelevant. What matters is that he should NOT be wasting his time on that. Because it’s far too valuable. The fix? Invest the $400 for someone else to make it. Sure, arguably he could spend that $400 paying himself or investing in new team members. Many would see that logo as frivolous and a poor use of resources… but here’s the truth. There’s another resource that he’s using even more haphazardly…
Willpower. Fortunately, it bounces back. But unfortunately, if the only resource you are willing to invest is willpower, then you are not running a lean company, you are running a cheap one.
This may sound harsh, but after having chosen the cheap option…after being frightened about putting my name on the line for so many years… I finally realized that the fear was the only thing separating me from actually accomplishing my dreams. Until I was willing to act like a business owner, I could never be a true startup founder. And simply put, a business owner wouldn’t make the laundry list of mistakes I made when I was younger. They would “delegate first and do second” (see Scott, I listened).
Now, if anyone read this and would like insight into some common startup costs and things to account for, I’d be more than happy to provide that. Leave a comment if you’re curious — otherwise I’ll see you in the next post!