A recent, and refreshingly brief, article over on Business Insider about the inexplicable amount of hype that tech media lavishes on startup funding crystallized what’s got me so cynical about “the valley” and startups lately. What it comes down to is that I simply cannot understand how so many seemingly intelligent people think it’s a good idea to throw huge sums of money at a “business” (if you can even call most startups a business) that has absolutely no revenue stream, and moreover has no viable plan for generating one.
It’s ludicrous (or is it Ludacris, I get them mixed up).
And yet, I think I could conservatively estimate that about 98% of all the articles the show up on Tech Crunch and other tech blogs make some mention of some new funding round that Social-McGamify (totally trademarking that) has just managed to secure.
But when a startup announces that they’re going to focus on generating revenue instead of digging a hole of debt they get a polite golf-clap and whispers ripple through the audience of people trying to figure out what they could be thinking; “You’re never going to make it the front page of Techmeme with a viable business model, you fool.”
What they’re thinking is that wrapping your mouth around the VC funding exhaust pipe (or other metaphoric pipe-shaped thing) is, for lack of better phrase, retarded. Not only are you reinforcing the fact that you can’t make money, you’re spending your time whoring yourself to VCs rather than working on your business/product/service. Take that time and energy and put it toward making something that people will actually pay you for.
Listen, if your strategy is hovering anywhere near the “get a bunch of users and then monetize them with ads” model I’m going to clue you in on something:
No one wants your shit.
Users want more ads like they want to get shot in the face with Nerf darts dipped in feces. If you can’t come up with a product or service that people will give you actual money for, just stop. Stop what you’re doing and go beg for your job back stacking widgets at the widget factory. Besides people with good ideas need widgets and those widgets aren’t going to make themselves.