Startups Anonymous: "What I'd Really Like to Say to Investors"
[This is a weekly series that brings you raw, first-hand experiences from founders and investors in the trenches. Their story submissions are anonymous, allowing them to share openly without fear of retribution. Every week, we'll run one new story chosen by Dana Severson, who operates StartupsAnonymous, a place for startups to share, ask questions, and answer them in story-length posts, all anonymously.]
I tend to find the whole fundraising process to be quite annoying. If I never had to raise money again, I’d be one happy entrepreneur. From start to finish, it seems to be a game of who can bullshit who better.
If I were playing the game straight-up, this is what I’d really like to say to investors:
- This “deck” is just a Powerpoint with a trendy name. I want you to know that I’m not green, so I’m going to use your terminology as much as it kills me inside.
- 90% of what you see in this “deck” is complete bullshit. I literally made it up.
- Our growth chart is snapshot of our best week. I’ve truncated all of our data to make it look like a vertical line.
- I spent way more time than I should have begging the press to write about us, just to impress you. That growth chart was the week we were in TechCrunch.
- Aren’t our clients impressive? We convinced them to participate by giving away the farm, just to make fundraising easier. Sounds logical, right?
- While we’re raising money, we’re making no significant progress with the business.
- I’m supposed to say I want an investor to be a partner that brings more than money, but really, I just want the money. I could care less about your feedback.
- Actually, that’s not true. In addition to the money, I’d like you to help me get more money.
- I want popular investors to invest, because I know the sheep will follow. Plus, their tweets are part of our growth strategy.
- “What’s our timeline on the round?” Seriously? Today.
- We need a decision quickly because we may close any day. This is false urgency I’m creating. You know that and I know that you know that. Can you just give me an answer so we don’t have to play charades?
- I’m not going to tell you who else is in this round unless it’s someone worth mentioning. I know that if nobody impresses you, you’ll lose interest. Why would I fall into this trap? I feel less of you for asking this question. Be a leader for fucks sake.
- We’re 80% committed. This is always inflated by at least 50%. Truth is, who knows.
- These terms and valuation are completely made up. I looked it up online and went with what everyone else said was a good place to start.
- I don’t understand a majority of the terminology, so please don’t ask me any questions about it.
- Let’s be honest, if we get an offer for $10 million, we’ll probably sell.
- If today, we had the revenue you’d like to see, I wouldn’t be talking to you right now. It’s as simple as that.
- Also, we’re raising money to be relevant. Sad truth.