Build foundation for great company long term, or get easy money first that don't align with your overall goals for startup?

Build foundation for great company long term, or get easy money first that don’t align with your overall goals for your startup? –@RobbieAb

Never take money before you have a company already cruising along.

I’ll give you an eample (and I wrote about it here). I started a website,, a dating site for twitter. Also,, a way for companies to manage their presence on twitter. I combied them together into one company. I had $500,000 raised in a first round.

Then…I realized it was a bad idea. People go on dating services anonymously. Twitter is mostly not anonymous. I had already spent good money building these sites. I could’ve paid myself back with the money raised. But I turned away the money and sent back the money already wired.

Some people said to me: just use it to figure out a business. Never turn away money.

But this would’ve been wrong. Not only for my investors who were trusting me. But because if I didn’t really know yet what business I had, I could’ve ended up wasting the next two or three years trying out idea after idea with their money and disappointing everyone.

I don’t do that.

Create a product, get people using it, find out what’s wrong with the first version or two of your product, iterate, and when you finally have a business model or even better: paying customers, then you can take money. Because then you know what you will do with it, and you will have a reasonable chance of making your investors happy in a very competitive world. Making them happy will make you happy. Make sure you always have the highest probability of doing that.