Six Characteristics of a Technology Juggernaut

October 27, 2010

If you are an entrepreneur, looking for funding and you haven't read Howard Gwin's post on Digital Puck entitled Six Characteristics of a Technology Juggernaut, read it now. It is a sobering recipe for what it takes to get funded. It is also a scorecard that every Board and CEO of a start-up should be using before they invest time in chasing VC's. To be polite, if your company has to go looking for funding versus having VC's knocking on your door, you are already disadvantaged. If that introduction to a VC isn't a warm introduction from someone who knows you well and whom the VC respects and trusts, you are probably wasting your time.

In today's market, I see too many CEO's spending too much valuable time pitching for funding when they really need to spend that time selling customers, guiding development or hiring and managing talent. If this is you, what do you do when your cash runway is too short and your burn is too high. My suggestion is follow Howard's scorecard. Shift your play if you have to so that your TAM (total addressable market) gets bigger. Spend time with your prospects, customers, industry gurus and others until you find that secret sauce that will drive prospects to flock to your door. Build your talent, both internal and advisory. Surround yourself with people the VC's trust and demonstrate by actions that you are listening to good advice. Show results fast or take longer but build a tsunami-like revenue momentum that will clearly propel you to the top and sustainably keep you there. 

If you are not ready to score high but running out of cash, cut your burn now until you get your score right. Just because you need money, doesn't mean anyone else will have urgency to fund you. Hope is not a strategy. Howard's blog is.


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