Bootstrap or Investors | You Should Listen To ThisApril 3rd, 2018
There is no right way to build a company and grow a business. Many suggest that startups nowadays need to seek investment from VC’s in order to scale and develop, but the process of leading a company is not as set out as some make it out to be. This week’s episode of The Pitch showcases an entrepreneurs conflict between jumping in with investors or lacing up his bootstraps and driving forward himself. It explores how opportunities present themselves at different times and in various forms, and notes that it is the responsibility of company leaders to decipher and interpret what businesses need and want in order to be successful.
You should listen to this episode because it asks how an entrepreneur breaks down and synthesizes his companies needs given his aspirations in the near future? On this week’s The Pitch, app creator Cesar Kuriyama presents his company to a forum of investors. This podcast illustrates the pitch process form both the entrepreneur and the investor’s perspective. It highlights the qualities of a company that are appealing to investors and explores the interests and curiosities of VC’s that may not appear apparent to those pitching their company.
Cesar is the founder and CEO of 1 Second Everyday, an app that topped the apple store’s paid download list for the first week of January and February of 2018. Cesar’s company has had immense success over the past 4 years, returning a profitable revenue stream with an increase in daily and monthly users. However, it is the recent turmoil that Facebook has run into that has presented an opportunity that Cesar hopes to exploit. This episode explores how Cesar intends to grow his company in the wake of Facebook’s recent decline, and become a competitive network of its own. In doing so Cesar makes his case to the panel of investors as a means of gaining capital for what he sees as the need to eventually transition to a subscription model for his app’s users.
Cesar receives mixed response from the panel of investors, but comes away with a valuable challenge that pushes him to ask what bag he is willing to throw his chips into. The investors emphasize that money from external sources comes with strings, and that jumping into the fast lane of growth can sometimes create more challenges than opportunities. A striking feature of this week’s episode is the awareness that every investor had as to the growing trend of “copycat tech,” in which large companies such as Facebook and Snapchat can simply recreate and publish new technologies for it massive user base.
This episode takes listeners into the internal dilemma Cesar faces as he tries to figure out in real time what he is going to do. You should listen to this because it presents a different approach to the understanding of modern startups, and showcases a different lens than the episodes from How I Built This and others featured on this blog. You should listen to this to gain insight into the nitty-gritty of what investors are looking at when assessing a tech pitch. And, lastly, you should listen to this because it underscores the importance of acceleration and user growth while being aware of the possibility of collapse given the industry of tech giants recreating your product.