Which one is better: self-funded or venture capital backed?

Getting Started

Some of the worst advice you’ll ever hear is extremist. That funding it yourself and retaining control is better! That VC is bad, you lose ownership. That Investors are the only way to go!

  • That funding it yourself and retaining control is better! Until you lose in the market because you can’t compete, keep pace, or fund ongoing innovation.
  • That VC is bad, you lose ownership. Unless you’re building a COMPANY, companies aren’t owned by a person, they’re owned by shareholders… who all have equity.
  • That Investors are the only way to go! Only if you can’t wrap your head around how early customers are investors, grants are prolific, and debt is an option.

It’s better to build a sustainable and cash flowing business (notice I didn’t say profitable). Period. Anything but that is on the path to failure.

Often you need investment to achieve that. Often you’ll want or deserve investment to achieve that. Often you don’t need investment and you’ll erroneously waste time and energy chasing something neither appropriate nor attainable.

There is no better or worse. There isn’t even ideal, there’s what ensures you aren’t in the 90% dead pool.

There is only a Cost of Capital and ROI (and even customers have a cost of the capital they bring you and an ROI they expect from giving you money).

Do what it takes to not fail.

SEO'Brien
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