Now that I’ve been doing the fundraising circuit, I sort of have a sense of what’s what out there. But it has a lot to do with our personal lives as well, turns out. In an early stage startup, the team doesn’t really have much figured out. You sort of have early traction, you have a prototype, you THINK it’s going to work, and there’s no reason, as far as you can tell, that it shouldn’t. The market looks good, prospects look bright, but the product itself may change a bit, you may have to pivot a few more times to open up a few more revenue streams, but for the most part, it looks promising.
So how does an early stage investor take the plunge? How do they know they want to commit?
Basically, you bet on the team. That’s the only thing you CAN do. Because you can’t predict the future, and you’re not an expert on the market either probably. And there’s SO much uncertainty in the world, that you really have absolutely no idea what will happen. So all you can ask yourself is, do I think this team is smart enough to pivot when they need to, and do what needs to be done to make it work? If catastrophe hits, can they fix it? Can they keep the company afloat? Will they figure it out?
I feel like that’s the same thing with relationships. I mean, you can’t predict the future. You don’t know what’s going to happen. All you can ask yourself is a) do you have you figured out/what your vision is for your future? b) does the other person have themselves figured out/what their vision is for the future? c) is the initial prototype working? d) do the prospects look good? d) are you both willing to make it work?
I think things get messy when you start a relationship and..you DON’T have a vision for yourself, or know what you want. It’s like starting a company without a mission or vision. So I’ve got this cash, and I think I want to do something with it, not sure what, I’m just going to get a co founder on board and…we’ll figure it out. I mean that could work, but it’s a lot harder, and a lot more likely that things will fall apart. It’s much easier when you know what your mission/vision is, and get other people on board that share that mission/vision. That’s really how great companies are born. At least a lot more likely.
So I guess the question is, really, in the startup called Your Life, what are you trying to do? Are you going to be a sole Founder, or are you looking for a Co Founder? And finally, when do you think it’s time to invest in it, all the way? When are you convinced this is going to work?