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December 20, 2005

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Great post. I could not agree more. Shorthand: solve a real problem, make customers lives better and do it with a smart team committed to the project -- and to each other's success. Result? Heck, you will likely be doing so well and having so much fun that you won't even want to sell the darn thing.

(You likely should anyway...but that's another discussion :-))

- Stuart

As an budding entrepeneur, and a product/business guy at that, I really appreciate what you are saying. One of the reasons I am starting my own company is so I don't have to go back to work for the "giant software company" or even smaller company where you are just a cog in the wheel and spending more time playing political games than building great products. I'm surrounding myself with developers who buy into my vision and business people that will help me see the "light" as I know I can get emotionally attached to ideas.
On a side note, I also really appreciate your blog, as well as the other "really smart" people who blog about VC's and financing, etc. Coming up with a great idea is hard enough, but learning about the financing options and how those that are doing the financing are thinking has been a great learning experience. Thanks!

Well, I certainly agree with what you're saying here about the disadvantages of focusing on selling the business before you have a business worth buying. (On the other hand, if as Dare does you _assume_ you're building to flip, then it makes a certain amount of sense to accept the notion that the buyer will have their own sales and bizdev folks and won't want to pay a premium for yours.)

Any programmer who thinks sales and bizdev aren't important should try eating code sometime. And any programmer who thinks sales and bizdev are important but too easy to be worthy of top-flight personnel should try _doing_ them sometime. (And yes, I come to the table from the programmers' side...I know whereof I speak...and the day my business finally made enough money to hire full-time staff for these jobs was without doubt the happiest day of my life.)

But I suppose it's only natural for me to agree...I'm an entrepreneur who's decided long ago not to bother seeking out VC funding, because VCs tend to have institutional assumptions about business life cycle that don't match what I want for my company.

But...you're...a VC. Which leads me to wonder...

If you don't want your portfolio companies to be focused on selling themselves to bigger firms...what sort of liquidity event _do_ you prefer? I mean...I'm sure you enjoy your work, but I find it difficult to believe you're not ultimately in this game for the money. _I_ would be (and indeed am) perfectly fine with continuing to run my business at a tidy and growing operating profit into the indefinite future...but that route will never yield the level or speed of return that a VC would need, which is why I've never sought VC money. What's different about you?

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