I think my startup is a dud but I raised funds 6 months ago. What should I do?

I raised a round 6 months ago and my startup just is not picking up. The New York Fucking Times wrote favorably about it and users are still only trickling in. I promised to work on this for the next 24 months (18 now) and I do not see a point. What should I do? Return the money that is left and go crawl under a rock and die? My reputation is done.

– Wanting to throw up in Alto

  • Read Steve blank and find your customer. If you give up after 6 months you aren’t crazy enough to do this.

  • If you really think it is over. And you are all out of good ideas that you can execute fast then sit down your investors and have a chat. This will show you respect their money and will help your reputation no end. Explain you can burn along until the runway has gone or face the situation head on.

    Hence the sit down. It will be tough and hard to do but once the situation has calmed and they have had time to reflect they will understand. But… make sure you are not saying you are giving up. Tell them you want to make it work and ask for input and feedback. There is a big difference between giving up and recognising when something is not working.

    Good luck and I wish you well.

  • I know at least one team that ran into a similar situation, returned about 30% of the money to their investors after a lengthy sitdown, and earned enough respect from the investors to get their next venture funded. If you can pivot, pivot. But if you’re out of ideas with nowhere to go, you’ll earn more respect from being honest and returning the money than from burning through the rest of it chasing goals that are no longer relevant.

  • I would take a break. I find on a holiday without any link to work that I get most of my ideas.

    Go away, relax and put it out of your mind. And while you there read books by Napolean Hill – think and grow rich, Joseph Murphy – Power of the Subconcious mind and other motivational stuff.

    I eventually closed a business that had potential because I ran out of ideas. Looking back if I had taken the time, reaearched the market and realised my quality of service was poor I could have turned it into something. The market was ripe for picking. But becuase I was at the boiler plate for so long I could not see the forest for the trees in front of me.

    Try also see if you can go ahead without the money. Any good business doesnt just need money, it needs sales. If you not selling enough the extra money is only going to dig a hole deeper than the one you in.

    All the best.

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