Startup Founder: I Had A Great Business, Then I Took VC Money, And Now It's Ruined

An anonymous startup founder has created a Tumblr blog called “My Startup has 30 Days to Live.”

We found the blog thanks to a tweet from Monty Munford.

On the site, the startup founder says : “Through a series of unfortunate events, I took a bootstrapped (and profitable) startup onto the VC rocket ship. Now it’s crashing into the ground. Hard.”

In the blog’s first post, the founder says he quit his day job two years ago to form a startup, and that at first, things went great.

Then, “glowing in our newfound success and ramen-riches,” the startup got an offer to join “a very well known accelerator.”

This led to disaster.

The people running the accelerator told the startup founder that he should raise money.

The founder objected. The startup was already profitable and “providing (in a small way at least) for the needs of my family and that of my co-founder.”

Eventually, however, the founder relented and listened to the wisdom of the accelerator’s advisers.

“This is where we made the first in a series of many mistakes,” writes the founder.

The investors told the founders to do lots of things they didn’t want to do, such as:

  • “Make feature X free”
  • “Stop focusing on revenue, someone else will pay the bills”
  • “Grow $VANITY_METRIC so you can show a hockey stick at demo day and look good”
  • “Cut out that pesky client that generates 80% of your revenue, they’re a distraction on the road to executing $OUR_BIG_VISION”

Following all this advice, the founder eventually showed off a new version of the startup to potential new investors at a demo day.

But, writes the founder, “I didn’t believe the shit I was selling investors. This was not the company I put my life on the line to build.”Now the startup is failing.

The founder doesn’t only blame investors. The founder also blames his or her own hiring strategy.

“When I built this team, I didn’t build it with generalists and with people who could jump into any area of the business and get shit done. Instead, I built it with quality-minded perfectionists who build beautiful things. These people have their place, but not as early founders unless they can hustle. “

Things are about to get worse.

The founder says he has to fire a good developer because “I won’t make payroll next week if I don’t clear him and his severance out of the company.”

“I’m scared.”

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