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Ask HN: Anyone raised money and wish you didn't?
31 points by trueneverland on Aug 11, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 8 comments
I am curious if anyone raised capital and wish they didn't. Not because they got bad investors, but particularly because of the difference in running a self funded company (complete control) vs raising (and potentially having expectations, rules, etc...). Could you please share your experience specific to why not raising would or wouldn't have been better, particularly if you didn't need the funds?

I know how some say funds help you grow faster, or raising helps you "hire" an investor you otherwise couldn't hire. I'm not really interested in those factors. More so on the differences of dynamics independent of those.

If you have any doubts that raising money is a good idea, you shouldn't raise money. In fact there's a good chance you won't.

There's no need to overanalyze it or weigh the pitfalls. Only raise money if you're already certain it's the right choice. If you're still asking "but how do I know?", you shouldn't raise money.

Just keep growing your customer ramp. You'll know when the time is right.

I have a corollary to this question, via this survey on VCs trying to identify which ones people would go back to or would want their investment.


I am amused. "which university did you attend" is a required question.

i wanted to use that along with which tech companies you know as a way to define people that are "tech savvy". So my crude method was to take top compsci/eng schools and use a gradient of different technology startups. make sense? happy to take suggestions.

What do you mean by 'tech savvy'? I mean, it looks to me like I (and most of my *NIX-using friends) wouldn't meet your definition, which is fine, you just need to know what you are trying to target.

It sounds to me like you are selecting for people with upper-class backgrounds that spend too much time on techcrunch; e.g. you want a elite school plus apple products and obscure startups. (I am a little amused that you put EMC and FusionIO on the same list as Etsy. Perhaps you are trying to separate the corp IT out?)

I mean, most of the people that pass your test that I know? They are businesspeople. Some of them, sure, I'd call technically savvy. but not most of them.

Really, if you are doing a means test, put an income range or net worth range or something in there.

I mean, first you have to decide what opinions you care about; Me? If I was asking people's opinions of various VC firms? I'd care most about the opinions of people that have actually done a funded startup. I would define funded in terms of dollars of someone else's money; say something like "have you been a founder (owned more than 10%) of a startup that obtained at least ten thousand dollars of investment money, not counting money you yourself put in?" something like that. (I think owning more than 10% is a more useful definition of founder than "there at inception" for this sort of thing, but I could be wrong.)

Of course, you could be trying to get a broader sampling of what people think of various VC companies in general, in which case, you can broaden your customer base.

But asking if you own an apple phone sounds a little bit to me like asking if your bicycle has a flywheel.

On the other hand, thinking it through, if you really are trying to get a broad "what do people that read techcrunch think of various VC firms?" kind of thing going, then your list of obscure startups is a good idea.

>But asking if you own an apple phone sounds a little bit to me like asking if your bicycle has a flywheel.

man, my hipster jokes make a lot more sense after I've slept. s/flywheel/freewheel/

Yes we raised over $500k from angels at my last startup and it was the worst decision we ever made. Instead of letting us build a business..we were forced to scale without product market fit.

An example of this is when we were about 2 years into things and we really noticed that our b2b customers for our ecommerce buying club made up close 70% of monthly rev. But we had postioned ourselves as a b2c "wholesale club"..

I fought for us to forget about consumers and focus on our b2b customers. I was vetoed due in no small part to the fact that our investors didnt invest in a b2b company.

We cratered 8 months later. Pivoting was not as fashionable as it is now (2010)

Hope this helps.

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