I’m in the middle of a startup I founded and I can attest to the co-founder point. We’re in the middle of figuring out channels to reach our ideal customers and refining the business model / product to solve a very specific problem for a small bunch of people. Unicorns are not conjured on the back of a napkin at a bar but solutions to problems are. it could go big or it could just be a business. What’s your personal aim though? Just build a big business or serve people? If it’s the former, well, there’s no playbook for it. But if it’s the latter, $50k is a very expensive fee for a lesson. You could have built a fortune just doing digital marketing for small businesses.
Like Andrey Esaulov said, market + profit = business. Everything else is media BS. A startup is a business in the making, treat it as such for your next endeavour and don’t let this setback stop you from dreaming big (but start small).