in Business Design, Economics

Note to Self: Resist Accepting Millions of Dollars

Something to keep in mind just in case someone ever wants to throw several million my way…

I still don’t think you should raise as much as you can, for several reasons, but I’ll just highlight the most important. You will spend what you raise. If you raise $10 million, you will quickly ramp up to a burn rate of $800k a month, because the investors don’t want their money to sit in a bank account earning interest with 36 months of runway while you hire employees 2 and 3. The amount of money you raise sets you off on a course at a specific pace. Your board will want to know why you aren’t deploying capital. You will hire a marketing team because you can afford to hire a marketing team. You will hire a vp of sales before the product is ready because you can afford to hire a VP of sales. Companies that raise $10 million dollar A rounds don’t raise $5 million dollar B rounds, they raise $30 million dollar B rounds. If you have not accurately predicted how quickly you can grow the top line, you will quickly find that the cap table has gotten away from you, and you will have less flexibility to build the company the way you might like to if the market zigs when you thought it would zag. You want to give yourself the flexibility and room to react to market forces so that you can build the best company possible.