We started MavenHut in February 2012. Right from the beginning we decided to not bootstrap the company, but raise investment and grow as fast as possible.
This also meant one more thing: if we didn’t raise money by December 31st, 2012, we would close the company. What this did was to focus our efforts and energy into the most important things for the company: generate users, generate engagement, focus on delivering on our promises to the would-be investors. And it worked: SOSventures invested in us in November 2012.
The thing is, though, that I see a lot of people not setting up a “company deadline”: if we don’t reach “this” by the “then”, we will close the company.
Why you should do this?
Because then you will focus on the things that will move you ahead faster, because you just don’t have the time anymore and you need to choose what to do next in a much more efficient way, especially in relationship to the resources at your disposal (money, people, whatever).
Last time I’ve seen this, somebody has been dragging away the company’s product, putting in new and new features, without actually adding the most important one: allowing potential customers to pay for the product. And the founders were complaining of not generating revenues… It might seem obvious, but this is a mistake I see often: “we will implement monetization/whatever, but before that I will add a more pinkish color to the sidebar/a new logo/redesign the product”.
So, what is your startup’s deadline?
Photo: Grim Reaper on the Road, from ShutterStock