What We Wish We Knew – Tales From a Portland Startup

We missed an opportunity to provide value. We've been giving updates, sometimes vaguely, about where we are as a company. What we haven't done is giving you any pointers on how to avoid the problems we've run into. We're changing that now.

Whenever you're looking to impress investors, understand that an idea is worthless. Unless you're Zuckerberg, you're going to need more than an idea. You're going to need proof.

Early on we started funding conversations with just a concept.  Nothing.  Then we went out with a proof of concept.  Nothing.

In hindsight, we were having those conversations way too early. We didn't have a finished product yet. So we did what we needed to do: we shut up, put our heads down, and worked. For the past three months, that's all we've been doing.

Investors like proof-of-concepts. But what we're realizing is investors love being able to ask if it works, and getting the answer, "Yes. We have alpha customers X, Y and Z willing to talk with you about it." You may have a problem you think you're solving, but until you have other people saying it, no one believes it.

Shut up. Put your head down. Work. The difference you see in your product, with potential investors, and customers will be staggering.