Recently I find myself in too many discussions with founders about their fundraising. On the surface of it there is obviously nothing wrong with that; what disturbs me though is how often the conversation starts with:
“What do we need to do, to be an investable startup?”
“How can we tweak our product so that investors will pour money into it?”
The very premise of this question is wrong. Fundamentally wrong. It’s backward to believe raising money is the thing and not just something you do to get to the thing.
Investors want to invest into founders building exceptional products creating lots of value for their customers. That’s the only way to build something big and lasting. The moment you focus your energy away from building kick-ass product to pleasing an investor you set yourself up for failure: Even if you find an investor who falls for the Wizard of Oz-charade, you now focus on the wrong target group (as your investor is typically not your customer), build the wrong product and look at the wrong KPIs.
Instead understand that money is just the enabler to do what you want to do. Also — money comes in many, many forms; angel/seed/VC money is just one.
Focus on building the most kick-ass product you can. Pour every ounce of energy into creating value for your customers. Solve your customers problems and you will be golden.