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The Early Stage Slump (avc.com)
51 points by dforrestwilson 10 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 10 comments

The wise words at the end:

You can tell where there is too much money and too little money by looking at valuations. When valuations are extended, that means there is too much money. That was seed in 2014, growth in 2015/2016, and ICOs in 2017. The trick is to get into these sectors before the money shows up and get out when it does. And then get back in after it leaves. And not get burned along the way.

Or as Warren Buffett put it:

"...be fearful when others are greedy and... be greedy only when others are fearful"


Or maybe more entrepreneurs are starting sustainable businesses and monetizing earlier therefore not needing to raise money.

No, it's definitely harder to raise seed money right now.

It is harder today, compared to one year ago.

I also submitted an "ask" on HN yesterday, regarding valuation/cap in my seed stage startup - I would be grateful if any of you could provide comments/suggestions: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15858585

I think this is more prevelant. VC/Angel/Series funding doesn’t get a great rep.

For serial entrepreneurs who just want to build, grow, and get out, leveraging someone else’s money to do so makes sense.

For first-time, or even veteran entrepreneurs, who want to maintain control and velocity of their business, taking outside capital might not yield the results you want.

If you can scrape funds together from yourself, family, and (contractually) from friends, do that. Then check with your city, state, and even federal resources for Small Business Administration loans. Then go to a bank and get a loan. Then, and only when all other avenues of funding have been exhausted, should you then consider getting those other funds. But YMMV, and if you just want to grow as quickly as possible, maybe you have a vetted business plan, maybe you just have an idea, if you need capital, seed funding will get you there, but caveat emptor.

Although Wilson titles his piece The Early Stage Slump, he correctly goes on to say that this is a return to normal, that we believe 2012-16 was a bubble in early-stage funding.

Perhaps a sign of uncertainty? There seem to be many risk factors right now:

- A government that is close to shut-down

- A president that could get indicted or fire the special prosecutor anytime, either of which will cause rioting in the streets

- A fed that seems on-target to raise rates this month, which will have many ripples in the economy

- A stock market that is standing on it's toes to justify the lofty prices of the day

- The possibility of nuclear war with North Korea

- An enormous tax cut bill that is still being crafted whose impact is yet to be understood

Despite all these the stock market is doing relatively well. In fact, the potential tax cut and Trump administration have lifted stocks. There are always a few concerns out there but I think most investors are feeling okay about political environment.

All of these are reasons someone might conserve capital rather than deploy it.

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