Nice treatment of an important question in Bootstrapping or Fundraising, That Is The Question by Alyssa Royce on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reader blog, Start Her Up: for Women Entrepreneurs.
I’ve dealt with the same issue this blog addresses: The startup culture emphasizes raising money. But bootstrapping has some real advantages. Royce quotes several people and several points of view.
So, imagine my surprise when I sat down for a friendly cup of coffee (NOT a pitch) with a VC and she looked at me and earnestly asked me why I was raising money.
Um, because I HAVE to?
But I didn’t answer her, I just thought about it, and my answer changed to, “because I thought I had to.” I really thought about it, thought long and hard. What do I need money for, and how much will it take? Huh, that’s a good question.
I’ve come out before on the bootstrapping side of this question, both on this blog and my Planning Startups Stories. Part of that leaning is for reasons that Royce points out . . .
Raising money is a full-time job. Running your company is a full-time job. It’s very hard to do two full-time jobs well. (And exhausting!)
. . . and part of that leaning is also a long–some time in the future–post on the desirability of owning it all yourself, doing it all yourself, not sharing the decision process, independence and control.
But then there is that whole other side of this question. Can you do it by yourself, without additional money? Does that require too much compromise? Can you narrow the focus–can you start up a part of it on a smaller scale? And for that matter, is funding a real option? Do you have the track record you’d need to get investment? Does your business plan hold up to scrutiny?
These are all really important questions. More later . . .