<![CDATA[Nick Tommarello is the founder of wefunder, a crowd investment Platform that already funded 112 startups with over $16 million. Here is his advice to entrepreneurs and some fundraising tips.
Even an MBA can code
Every founder should know how to code, not like a real software engineer but you should at least be able to prototype. If you’re really driven it doesn’t take that long. It took Nick 2 months. Why should you get into this when you can have access to experts? Because no one cares as much as you do, no one can move as fast and it will be easier to hire an engineer if you speak his language. It’s hard to be a CEO in a tech company if you can’t code. Think about it.
It takes time to get good
Your first product and first company are probably gonna be bad. Don’t worry it’s part of the process. Mentors will give you great advice on methodology and getting customer feedback and on how to iterate quicker but look at it from a different perspective: How can you be better?
Do a huge volume of work
The answer to the previous question is right here. You will need to work, work and work. Everybody goes through a first phase where his work is not as good as he wants it to be.
Create a lot of stuff, iterate it and if it’s not good get rid of it. But DON’T QUIT. Sometimes it’s good to attack things in different directions. When your customers like you can feel it. You need to understand your users at a fundamental level.
Focus & simplicity
Everyone knows this but not many actually do focus. Design for now. What you create has to be instantly usable by the first person who sees it. Make a few people very happy rather than a lot of people not so happy. Plan to dominate the world in the long term but start so small that people can laugh about you. From idea to launch it shouldn’t take you more than 6 weeks. If you can’t it’s probably too complicated.
There are 2 types of investor behaviors out there: the monkeys & the sheeps
The goal is to build a company so you have leverage. It has to be profitable and have growing metrics. In that case fundraising is easy as investors will fight for you. That’s how you get them to act like monkeys. Oh but it is hard to get in that position.
So your solution is to be a good sheepdog. And this is how:
Your fundraising shouldn’t take more than 2 weeks. Prepare it and only start once you know you can succeed. You will need traction, there must be one thing you can grow in your business, focus on that, grow it and then fundraise. Get the timing right. Keep some surprises. Ask for advice to people you respect and be authentic when you do. That means that you should ask 6 months before to build a relationship beforehand.
Those two weeks of fundraising are going to require your entire focus, it’s all you can do. You can’t work on the product, you can’t talk to people, all you can do is arrange those 100 meetings for these 2 weeks. You should prioritize them, separate independent thinkers and people who invest with the herd. The latter should be at the end and you can attract them by updating everyone anytime you get a check.
Manufacture a deadline. Make the FOMO override their fear of acting. Convince them you’re the next big unicorn.[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Vk81eVFABo[/embed]]]>