batten down the hatches
Before I forget, I'd like to let you know that I'm being interviewed by a local Ottawa tv channel today. The interview is being done by Janet Eastman and will be aired today (Friday Feb 2) at 6:30pm on Rogers channel 22. It is short interview and is the first of a series of monthly interviews that will follow a new entrepreneur (i.e. me) through the trials and tribulations of kicking off a start-up. Because we are right in the thick of it right now and don't know how it will turn out, it should give people a more real sense of the experience. Ultimately, the last interview should be of our team diving in to a pool of champagne. I'll be getting a copy of the show to podcast from my blog.
I got some comments from a number of you off-line regarding the last blog. I guess I sounded really negative and upset. That is partly true I suppose but more at myself than anything. I haven't been turned down for investment yet and everything is moving along fine so there's no real reason to be upset. Having said that, it hit me quite hard last week that if I didn't start working on a number of parallel paths for funding, it was unlikely to happen. VCs rarely invest alone, especially in this very tentative climate, therefore getting multiple VCs lined up is critical. There was also a realization that it is possible that we would not get VC investment at all for quite some time for one reason or another and I needed to consider alternate plans more seriously.
I therefore began looking at the product that we are building in more detail to figure out what it would cost to launch our first basic product. I realized that if we scaled back the feature set a bit and got some outside help in exchange for equity, we could get quite far with very little money. If the team was willing to consult a bit on the side to help the cash flow, that could really help as well. This was a very positive realization that we are not urgently dependent on huge outside investments and we are prepared to move forward one way or the other.
Some people saw this as giving up and that is absolutely not the case. Quite to the contrary. We are putting on a full court press on the funding side and widening the scope of potential investors while we prepare to batten down the hatches and ensure we are not urgently dependent on significant funding. I think the ultimate result of this new direction is that we will get the funding we need but will be in a much more powerful position which will make it easier on the knees.