Author: TroutGirl Delinates: I should first say that success means different things to different people. If you’re 20 years old, you might be pleased as punch to build something and get a few hundred grand for it a few months later. And hey, as long as you don’t get all kinds of wacky expectations from the experience — if it’s just a way to get a condo and a nice car and a good job — then more power to you. Go forth and build Facebook apps as fast as you can! But I’m sort of assuming that all these guys I’m meeting are not that realistic — that their aspiration is more YouTube than Reddit — and that in fact they’re pretty much interested in what we call the “venture-backable business”. So please keep in mind that my comments are mostly applicable to the latter case rather than the former.
The bare minimum you need before entrepreneur can found a venture-backable startup:
* EITHER a substantial work history (e.g. you were a key contributor to a very well known product) OR hundreds of thousands of users of your product OR a serious computer science background (think PhD) with major patentage in the relevant area. If you don’t fall into at least one of these three buckets, it will be exceedingly difficult to get initial meetings with any funder much less convince them to invest.
* A core team. These days the initial team must be almost entirely engineers, and they must be willing to work on your product for essentially no money until the demo stage at least. Among other things, this proves that you have sufficient powers of persuasion or management or hypnosis that you can serve as an executive for a little while.
* Some source of “enough to live on” money for you and your core team for about six months. Without this, you are fatally at the mercy of funders and will be unlikely to get a deal on terms that will make you happy for very long. Actually without 6 months of cash, you probably won’t even be able to get through the funding process even if things go spectacularly well.
* Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal. Pitching is no joke — you will need every scrap of ability to convince others (often extremely skeptical others) of your vision. This is one of the most mysterious factors, because you often can’t tell how charismatic a founder really is after they have already been successful — by that point they’re completely hemmed in by legal issues and PR bunnies who prevent them from speaking their minds — but you should assume they had the ability to communicate their ideas effectively.
* A billion-dollar idea. You better be able to say how your total addressable market is multiple billions of dollars, and how your share is going to be at least $100 million a year, and how you’re going to IPO or sell for at least $1b. This is another mysterious factor, because often startups have to change strategies or get bought for a lot less than this before they can really execute on the vision to that level… but believe me, they wouldn’t have gotten VC money if someone early in the process didn’t think that they could be worth a billion dollars someday.
* Friends. Along the way you are going to need dozens if not hundreds of small favors from other people in the community: introductions, blind reference checks, recruiting help, etc. Silicon Valley is a small town, and it’s hard to even buy the necessary goods and services without being introduced to vendors by someone. Hopefully your karma piggy-bank is good and full.
* Mental and emotional equilibrium. This has actually been one of the hardest factors for me, and I suspect is the biggest barrier for most women. It’s so easy to lose perspective — the most common way is by being overconfident and overoptimistic, but it’s also possible to go the other way and give up — that I would say it’s the #1 reason early-stage startups fail.
Interesting read Continues Here
Ariticle from TroutGirl