A lot of brands don’t make it, because in the process of trying to get many things right, they don’t get anything right. Why are they in such a hurry?
Startups can be a vice grip of stress. At first you don’t have money, and so when you finally do, it’s feels like a victory. You are funded at last. So much effort goes into fundraising that it feels psychologically like you’ve made it.
For the first three years of Bonobos, I lived with $3,000 in the bank, a $3,000 apartment, and $150,000 of debt. During that time -- 2007 to 2010 -- I was only a month away from being out of cash. I was paying myself, initially, $70,000. This is plenty of money in most places, but in NYC it can fly you pretty close to the trees on just rent and alcohol.