The end of bootstrapping

I was talking with the founder of a very successful startup this week. His company has been around for almost 10 years. With over 100 people, it’s well on it’s way to being a market leader. They have achieved that success without raising a penny of outside capital. But that’s about to change.

For the first time ever, this company will be raising capital. The obvious question is why. He had several good reasons. Wanting to be the clear market leader was one. But a big driver is that his company competes with other well-funded companies for talent.

As he said, “talent is everything”. In the current environment, startups and large tech companies alike are fighting over the best talent like never before. Developer salaries are climbing. Benefits like free meals are becoming more and more commonplace.

How do you compete with companies that have all this funny money lying around? And with valuations being as high as they are now, selling shares in your company is relatively cheap. Continue reading The end of bootstrapping

Fundraising? Be a Buyer, not a Seller

If you’ve ever raised capital before, or if you know someone who has, then you know that it’s not easy. It takes a long time, you get rejected a lot and it distracts you from your core business. And even for those who do raise, they often end up with investors or deal terms that cause issues down the road. For many, many reasons – raising capital sucks.

So, what’s the solution? Bootstrapping? No, not necessarily. I fundamentally believe that most worthwhile opportunities require capital. This is a fast-moving World. If there’s a great opportunity out there then someone else is going after it as well. So, capital can help give you an edge.

Continue reading Fundraising? Be a Buyer, not a Seller