The CEO’s Handbook – Volume Four

 

The Money Chase

The CEO’s Handbook – Volume Four: The Money Chase

The Money Chase has been the death of many good companies. There are a range of reasons why this is so. Some companies simply do not deserve funding – they are not an attractive investment opportunity. Others embark on the money chase too early. They haven’t established the business base to justify funding. Still others are run by people who seem to like the money chase better than running the business. All of these reasons and more make embarking on the search for venture funding a perilous business which risks your company and all it may become.

Over the years, I have worked with a large number of companies and management teams that have sailed these choppy seas. I’ve written this book to let you in on some of the knowledge – sometimes hard won – that I have accumulated.

If you have been successful in building your company to a certain stage, you will be tempted to search for the financial resources that will allow you to take it to the next level. The question is not if but how you will pursue that funding; whether you will adequately understand the new world that you enter when you begin to talk to angel investors and venture capitalists.

The money chase is a high-speed race through a darkened labyrinth that has many blind alleys and circular paths. It is easy to get lost in that labyrinth. The judges are unforgiving of amateurs and their blunders.

The idea of being judged by potential investors is often an uncomfortable one for founders. That has always been strange to me because they are constantly being judged by their customers, team members and stakeholders. But investors seem to present a particular challenge. I suspect it is because of the ‘mercenary’ vision that investors can bring to the table. They are providing funding and are looking for a major return on that investment. The perspective is so tightly focused that founders, who have a more holistic vision of their company, can feel threatened or offended by such an opportunistic approach.

If the goal is getting funded – as opposed to ineffectively grousing about how unfair the world is and how narrow minded investors are – then founders need to understand the money chase from the investors point of view. Helping you do the latter is one of the major objectives of this book.

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