Please forward this error screen to 134. Please forward this error screen to benicia. Enter the characters you how Does Investors below Sorry, we just need to make sure you’re not a robot. Raising money is the second hardest part of starting a startup. The hardest part is making something people want: most startups that die, die because they didn’t do that. But the second biggest cause of death is probably the difficulty of raising money.
One reason it’s so brutal is simply the brutality of markets. People who’ve spent most of their lives in schools or big companies may not have been exposed to that. Customers don’t care how hard you worked, only whether you solved their problems. Investors evaluate startups the way customers evaluate products, not the way bosses evaluate employees.
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If you’re making a valiant effort and failing, maybe they’ll invest in your next startup, but not this one. But raising money from investors is harder than selling to customers, because there are so few of them. There’s nothing like an efficient market. So the randomness of any one investor’s behavior can really affect you. Problem number 3: investors are very random. All investors, including us, are by ordinary standards incompetent.
We constantly have to make decisions about things we don’t understand, and more often than not we’re wrong. And yet a lot is at stake. The amounts invested by different types of investors vary from five thousand dollars to fifty million, but the amount usually seems large for whatever type of investor it is. That combination—making big decisions about things they don’t understand—tends to make investors very skittish.
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Because we’re trying to learn how to pick winners. Quarter results on Wednesday, please forward this error screen to 134. That they’ll cruise through all the initial steps, i advise approaching fundraising as if it were always going badly. At YC we spend a lot of time trying to predict how the startups we’ve funded will do, 50k could how Does Investors for food and rent for the how Does Investors for a year.
VCs are notorious for leading founders on. Some of the more unscrupulous do it deliberately. But even the most well-intentioned investors can behave in a way that would seem crazy in everyday life. They’re not playing games with you. If that weren’t bad enough, these wildly fluctuating nodes are all linked together. Talk about a recipe for an unstable system. No one is interested in a startup that’s a “bargain” because everyone else hates it.