I was really hoping not to have to write this post. Hoping that something would change and that I’d be able to avoid this, but unfortunately 9/10 start ups fail and I’ve built one of the 9 instead of the 1 out of 10.
That’s really painful to write. But it’s true.
I’ve put myself, my friends and family through a lot as I struggled and hustled my way on. I raised capital way to early and couldn’t close on the deals or the institutional investment we needed to keep going on. So that’s it. I’m done.
There’s been a lot of good and a lot of bad that’s come out of the situation and hopefully I’ll be able to turn this into a situation I’m able to laugh about in 10 or so years. Sigh.
But instead of wallowing in self pity here’s what I’ve learnt, most of it other entrepreneurs will tell you themselves but until you’ve actually lived it, it’s hard to actually learn it.
Don’t take money unless you have to - we raised angel capital before we had really defined our business, our products and our customers, being an investment when you’re still trying to define your business is hard work.
Get all the money in one instalment - traunch investments suck. You end up chasing the capital rather than focusing on the business.
Go where you need to be - having our development team in the US closest to our customers when I was in Europe was not a good idea.
Fail fast - we took too long to figure out we weren’t going to be able to compete with stronger players.
A deck is nice, a strong product with sales is nicer - I should have spent more time closing and less time pitching investors.
There’s probably hundreds of other lessons I could write about, but I’ll save those for the hundreds of coffees and drinks I’m likely to have as I talk about it further with friends and potential employers.
I think that’s another thing that’s suffered as the company was under-performing over the past few months I’ve gone inside myself a lot more, here’s hoping this blog post is the start to changing that.
Wish me luck.