So I recently had this conversation around “Make Money: Don’t Raise Money,” and I think it coincides with everything I have been doing lately with the #2017FlipChallenge
And the fact of the matter is this article is really about two things. Number one, my disproportionate belief that learning sales is a crucial skill in developing ANY successful leader in today’s market driven economy.
And number 2.
My unbelievable fascination around venture capital, and more specifically the prolific fundraising culture that I believe is fundamentally unsustainable in the long term.
Over the last 10 years I’ve watched the tech and startup community go from a place where people were trying to build products for people to use and change the world, to people building businesses around those products, to people building financial arbitrage machines (i.e Amazon, Facebook and Google) to now people raising 6 million dollars for their bullshit idea. More and more, every day, I meet entrepreneurs who are really good at losing money, and then trying to raise more capital to lose more money each year. This culture of celebrating failure and raising 14 million dollars for an unprofitable idea is ludicrous to me and can’t be sustained.
The truth is there are so many people in the world who are going to spend the next 5–10 years trying to figure out how they can raise 25–50,000 dollars for their startup. It’s just not a smart move. There are so many other ways to make money. You can buy and sell, you can get rid of old junk, you can move into a smaller apartment for 2 years, you can get an extra job, you can save money and not go out, you can skip Coachella and the club and spending 500 dollars on stuff you don’t need. And if you are patient and not excessive you will find the money you need. I just think it’s a much greater opportunity to make $5000 selling junk and deploy all of it into Facebook, wait nine years and have $27,000 dollars to start your first business. No debt, no equity, nothing.
I truly believe that it’s time, after almost a decade of prosperity in the public markets and the global economy, that we put pressure on the entrepreneurial community as a whole to start focusing on making money versus raising money. Way too many 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20 year olds that follow me on Instagram think that their first job during college, or out of college, or as they’re coming up, is to learn how to raise capital. They think to be an entrepreneur, they need to learn term sheets, or learn customer acquisition costs, or learn growth metrics just to appease their next round of funding.