So I have been in Berlin for the past week – it has been a super cool experience and I have been loving every second of it (all of you who has met me down here – it has been a tremendous pleasure).
However I was overhearing a talk yesterday night at the official party that left me scared – or it left me feel a tiny bit different about tech.
This guy was telling his friends that he was in the startup competition here at NEXT and he was convinced that the investors here would see the light and give him at least 500.000 EUR before the end of next12. I hope he’s right. I really hope he’s getting that money. I know he’s going to be working his ass of for it the next couple of years because he suddenly have to live up to these investors and what they want out of their company.
I hope he has a kick ass product, and a fantastic business plan that will scale.
However the feeling Im getting is that some of the startups here are feeling a bit like having a golden opportunity (a potential goldmine) But they are waiting for the investors to do the digging for them. I’m kind of a DIY business person so I think you should do most of the digging yourself. Then if you still need investment – you can probably get a larger amount, but for a smaller percentage of your company.
Now, I haven’t taken investments in Toothless Tiger because I wanted the freedom of not owing anything to anyone around it. One of the reasons I have been working at it for the past 6 years is because of the freedom of structuring my own work and art and making a living of it. It’s hard getting that with a steady team and it’s even harder to achieve that freedom when you have other peoples money.
I love startups – but I wish that people in the investment climate would also be talking about other alternatives of financing. I know investment is important – but if it’s investment focusing on the exit strategy from the beginning, I would say the focus of the company would make it more unlikely to succeed. All the coolest companies who do make a remarkable exit has down to earth-ness, accessibility, creativity and visions as first priority. Great products is always first. Disruptive business models is always first. To me at least.