What’s always missing (or early failure signs for entering the VC-game)

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Signing a deal with a top-tier VC it’s tough. Knowing how to do it it’s not easy either, even though there is a lot of literature online.

We’re learning a lot through VCs experience. However, VC learning cycles takes ages. VCs rely on a small set of data, based on their portfolio. However, we are learning a lot from what VCs are telling us. Our primary literature is coming from them.

VCs discard quickly startups that don’t fit what they are looking for (that’s their job saying “no”). They focus on the distinct type of founders that should win the VC-game (=exit). While witnessing how the potential winners evolve, they also observe why startup fail. However, we don’t hear much about it. It’s tricky to speak about it publicly. VCs also want to make a good impression, so they avoid talking about it. There is a lot of things to learn from the dark side of the VC-game.

We also don’t hear much about the startup that didn’t fit the VC-decision-framework. Those startups are also from the dark side of the VC-game. Again, it’s a shame that we do not dig further into the faith of those startups, because there is more startup not being VC-compatible that the compatible ones. Saying “a lot,” it’s a euphemism. There are thousands of startups not entring it, compare to the only few that get into it. Again it’s quite clear that there is a lot of things to learn.

What could be deadly

From the thousands of startups I have checked, and the hundred I have helped, here is what I have learned about what could be deadly for a startup aiming for the VC-game:

  • Targeting too many different types of clients
  • Too much focus on selling to big corporations
  • Not knowing the PMF concept and not acting accordingly
  • Not spending enough time with clients and users
  • Founders not able enough to build the first product themselves
  • Getting too fat too early in the term of staffing
  • They leave too many options open
  • Taking too long to take drastic decisions
  • Not obsess enough with the field they want to transform
  • Not thinking big enough
  • Behaving like a classical company
  • Trying to solve “a not that painful problem” on “a not big enough” market
  • They want to fundraise to get comfortable
  • Building and following a business plan
  • Wasting time looking for reinsurance from institutional programs
  • Spending too much time getting financial aids
  • Not understanding properly the VC-game

Targeting too many different types of clients

Too much focus on selling to big corporations

Not knowing the PMF concept and not acting accordingly

Not spending enough time with clients and users

Founders not able enough to build the first product themselves

Getting too fat too early in the term of staffing

They leave too many options open

Taking too long to take drastic decisions

Not obsess enough with the field they want to transform

Not thinking big enough

Behaving like a classical company

Building and following a business plan

Wasting time looking for reinsurance from institutional programs

Spending too much time getting financial aids

Not understanding properly the VC-game

Startup Coach & Agent = Audit + Acceleration + Fundraising Founder of Mighty9. Check my newsletter “The VC Insider” : https://thevcinsider.substack.com/