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I've been having that corporate vs self-funding dilemma for a while now. I am part designer, part entrepreneur, part programmer. I enjoy doing all these activities, and I do them with desire. I have an idea which would improve designers life and I think I might have figured out working business model. More importantly, it's very hard to get me doing something I find either illogical or immoral.

I have been reading HN for a while, follow 10+ blogs from VC-world and read whole bunch of books about successful startup founders and although I find corporate sponsorship great for some sectors (biotech, hi-tech hardware, some IT where founders are born programmers and not entrepreneurs) I've come to a conclusion that if I was to seek founding from either VC or Angel investor, I'd be giving away my freedom to experiment, my freedom to work in a pace and rhythm as I'd like and all the fun that would come with. That's was the whole point about being an entrepreneur, right? Doing the stuff you like / world needs and supporting yourself to a point? And who would guarantee me that investor knows more about my sector than I do?

At least for me, the decision to not seek funding sort of answered itself. I didn't know who or how to ask for money, but I did know to program the tool I envisioned. Fast forward 3 years and I've got a moderately profitable business, and no investors. The work is fun, and no one tells me what to do.

I'm just always curious about others who seek the go the investor route. Do most of them actually get funding? If so, when? How? In most cases, I see people talk a lot about investors, but I very rarely see anyone actually get investment money. I'm skeptical that it even exists for the typical first-time entrepreneur.

You seem to have found your destiny. Why do you even care what other people think/do? I would say: follow your path perseveringly and you will end up fine. Not having the urgent need to think about the "investor route" is a good thing. Everybody additionally involved is going to meddle one way or another.

If your business model includes charging your customers (designers) directly for a service that improves their ability to earn money, you can totally do it, if you just put enough elbow grease into it.

If you don't charge your primary audience, if you get into some whacky convoluted business model that doesn't involve charging them, you're almost surely going to fail. You reduce it from skill and effort (create value, charge directly) to depending largely on luck.

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