Don’t Let VCs Dictate Your Startup Focus — Instead Focus On Solving A Problem

(House keeping: If you like this approach, don’t forget to 👏 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏)

Over the course of more then 10 years building ventures from scratch and moving them from Angel to Seed to Series A, I came to the conclusion that hunting for VC money should be the least of your worries, for now.

Global Google Launchpad Program teaches startups to focus on the right things

5 reasons why you’ll fail when building a new venture with the goal in mind to get money from VCs:

  1. you’re not sustainable and not set up for mid-term growth
  2. your revenue stream is not a mirror of the reality
  3. you mess up your KPIs
  4. VCs can smell your real intentions
  5. you build a product for VCs and not to solve a problem. This issue leads then back to #1.

If you’re experiencing at least one of the bullets mentioned above, you’re probably on the wrong path and likely to fail with your startup.

Well, I know what you’re thinking now: You need money to get that thing rolling! Right? Is this what you’ve thought?

Here are 4 ways to overcome the misleading idea that you need VC money to build a company:

  1. build-in a revenue stream early in the process. If you fail to make revenue you probably fail with your idea.
  2. use value proposition design to create solutions for a problem and work towards a problem/solution fit. This will simply help you to focus on what’s really important: Your users.
  3. bootstrap as long as you can: What you do without VC-money is always more valuable compared to the times when you spend as if there’s no tomorrow.
  4. build a sandbox to test revenue ideas: A test area with your first 100–500 users will help you to prove assumptions. We’ve created an entire framework to test revenue ideas. In some startups we tested 5 and ended up with just 1 proven revenue idea.

Please also see my 50 Best Hands On Resources For Startups & Entrepreneurs — collected in 9 years in 4 startups.

Or apply for the Google Launchpad program (I’m a mentor) where you learn exactly this.