“We are going to change the world”. If ever there was a cliche at a technology start-up pitch, this has to be it. Having gone through the roller coaster ride of raising investment, I learned an important lesson. Anyone that asks you how you are going to build a $1 billion dollar business and how you are going to change the world is a dinosaur. It is astonishing how many VCs continue to view investments through this lens. Furthermore, it is amazing how entrepreneurs are forced to pander to it. Sure, I understand the VC investing model and that they will make five to ten investments a year and hope that one delivers big. Those that deliver big are few and far between and you probably won’t be one of them. But don’t let that stop you from building a great product and business because you can. Don’t waste your precious time and energy trying to back fill a story that shows 100 million customers with your totally creative way to drive revenue (that deep down you know is nonsense). Instead, focus on these four clear objectives and frame your business plan around this. First, build a great founding and operating team. Second, build an amazing product that delivers what it says on the box with early customer feedback to prove it. Simply, make your customers happy. Third, set your sights to break-even and not a day beyond. Finally, ensure you are building a scalable business model and product from day one. If you achieve these objectives you will be in a great position to build a profitable growth business. Remember, it will take one customer at a time to determine your success.
Great presentation by founder of 8Securities.com Mikaal Abdulla (on Twitter: @8securities) at Startup Monday last night! Subscribe to this blog to get updates on next meet-ups!