The first two times I was able to "pay myself".
Everyone felt bad for us and tipped us $.25-5 per glass - avg tip was $1. We could not have charged $1 - we tested the price elasticity of demand. But, they felt terrible we never had any money in our jar.
Just saying tips make a difference.
My gut level guess of the underlaying mechanic is your most popular activity becomes your ending and focusing most on sales results in "pushed out by board"
I just keep bleeding cash no matter what I spend my time on
Valuation: 312,057,919 Cash: 1,228,670 Ending: Still in Business
Valuation: 168,777,006 Cash: 949,141 Ending: Bootstrapped (was trying for this one)
Valuation: 788,748,152 Cash: 1,257,966 Ending: Still In Business (http://i.imgur.com/Js2ZOYx.png)
What I did was (roughly):
Left the price at $1.5 nearly the whole time. I dropped it down to .50 in the last sprint.
First 5 days researching to get PMF.
Next 15 day designing to get Award
11 days on sales, accepting everything (all 3 carts, salmon, rappers, etc.) but not the investors. I wanted the extra marketing/sales from the other things, not the money. Equity be damned! (Damn that "second life" cart, it steals m'equity! As does the salmon one too. You need all the equities for the Fruitbook ending.)
Next 8 days on development to get the drops
Then the last 17 day on marketing, always accepting the PR/video/etc throughout the whole time.
It will largely depend on the weather that last day, but this routine should give you a good deal of valuation each time. On my $788M run, the last day was 29c "sunny with clouds"
- Sales and Marketing all the way. Nothing else.
- Go to $10 from the beginning (you are starbucks of lemonade)
- Accept: free cash, PR, licenses, new locations
- Reject: Anything that gives away equity or royalties
260k in cash
It seems that the secret is to increase price throughout the game - hitting $10/cup by the 2nd half of Sprint 4. Also accept any and all popups.