Startup Therapy Podcast

Episode #11

Ryan Rutan: Yeah. Mm hmm. Yeah.

Wil Schroter: One of the most common questions among founders is do I need to raise funds for my startup? What that question generally means is can you tell me how to raise money and where to find it. And sure every startup could put more money to use, but does every startup need funding today on the startup therapy podcast, we'll discuss why there are very few scenarios in which your startup absolutely needs to raise capital. This is Ryan Rutan from startups dot com back for another episode of the startup therapy podcast. So we get a lot of questions about raising capital. And one of the most common questions we get in fact, is about should I raise capital for my business? And when people ask that, what they're really asking is, can you tell me how to raise money and when to find it? And well, I know you have a very specific and fairly short answer to this. And what is that? My stock answer is just no. I mean, and it messes with people, right. And people, when people ask you that question, what they're really saying is like the equivalent of saying, hey, should I get a haircut there really want you to say yes, you need a haircut. You wouldn't, you wouldn't ask that unless you needed it, right. But you know, they're there, they weren't expecting pushback that they're asking because they think that we're going to go on to tell them you absolutely need to raise capital. And you know, this is the process for doing it. Yeah, the truth is, I mean, it's not a snarky answer. We say no, because truthfully the answer is probably no. Yeah, that's exactly it. You know, I've actually started to caveat this, this response with and, you know, this might sound funny coming from coming from a guy who is one of the founding partners of a company that owns a funding platform. But no. And then I started to say, you know, I I very rarely talk people into raising funds and I'm back and I have actually never talked anyone into raising funds, but I've talked plenty people out of it. And, and I it gets the same look every time, which is just like what? Really? Seriously? That's that's the answer. No. Why. Uh, and then we dig into the why. Yeah. And you know what? There's not enough narrative out there about why you shouldn't raise capital, right? There are other people that are are really burned and pissed about it and they have some agenda where they're trying to just like stick it to investors because they had a shitty experience or people you know that that are just so hell bent on the independent company. And the truth is Ryan, we're not either of those things, right? I mean, we're just pragmatic about it, right? There's a time to raise capital And and there's a time not too. And the truth is regardless of what we tell you, regardless of what answer we come up with, it sort of doesn't matter because most people aren't going to be able to raise capital, about 1% of companies are gonna be able to raise capital anyway. And so for most folks, it's a time and soul crushing endeavor that yields very little, especially in the formative years when, when you don't really have much of either. Yeah, exactly. So let's talk a little bit about how we got to this realization. We've been down this path personally. But I think the more interesting aspect and certainly the one that gets people to kind of lean back into the conversation is when we talk about the fact that, you know, we've built and run fungible dot com and we've helped startups raise over a half billion dollars at this point. And that's told us as much about when not to raise funds as, as win too. And it adds a lot of credence to the claim that we sort of, we sort of know the answer to this. We've, we've seen it firsthand. Yeah. I mean we've worked with thousands and thousands and thousands of startup companies through this process. I mean, you really can't have more shots on goal here. Right. I mean we've been doing this thing for, for seven years just with fungible alone with thousands of companies, but we've also done it on our own as far as raising money. So we know what it's like firsthand and for us to be able to stand up and say, hey, you're probably not going to raise capital, just that the odds are stacked against you and you probably don't need to runs fully in the face of what people think our agenda here is right. This is reverse psychology. Most people think, well you run a funding platform, you've raised over a half billion dollars for people you must want everyone to raise and it's like, no, even if we did, it's not possible. Yeah, we'd love that. The reality is that while the methodologies have changed and the access to deal flow has changed that. The number of Czech writers and the number of checks being written hasn't really changed that much. But the odds are still what the odds were. I think that, you know, sort of best case scenario, the process has been democratized a bit and maybe more of the right people are getting the checks more of the right people, not more people. Right? So it's still the same number of folks getting checks. We've just changed the distribution of that money. Yeah, that's true. And look, there's more ways to raise capital now, right? You could raise money on something like a Kickstarter and Indiegogo where it's, it's not traditional investor capital and really not a ton of downside to doing that in the grand scheme of things. There's going for debt capital, right? And so you're talking about going to a bank, et cetera, which has a whole bunch of triggers and caveats that I think folks need to be aware of and and sometimes they are, we all understand paying it back, but there's, that's usually the least of your concerns when you get into that problem. But what we're really talking about here more often than not is our folks that are that are going out there and they're trying to talk to investors, which Ryan, I think it's worth us just stopping for a minute and saying it's an incredibly time intensive process, especially if you shouldn't be doing it. Yeah, that's exactly it. Right. Yeah. I mean let's just let's walk through just a couple of the high points of time you're going to invest and just to be cleared in a kind of T. L. D. R. This a bit Raising capital is a 6-9 month process. If anyone thinks that it's a 1-2 week process or a 6-8 week process. Not the case whatsoever. And so I just want to be very clear about that, even the best of us take months upon months and months to invest in this process to ever get a check. So we're talking about a lot of valuable time and not only is this a cost just in terms of the length of time, I think we also need to talk about what changes focus wise during that time because quite frequently it means your focus is shifting from building that business to moving forward to gaining traction to raising funding and all that goes with that, the writing of the business plan, putting together the pitch deck, trying to get investor meetings going to investor meetings. There's so many things that happen that the business almost pauses at that point while you're in this fundraising process, depending on where, you know, maybe if you're a series D, that's not the case. But if you're going after seed funding, the chances that you're doing a great job of running and building that business and raising funds at the same time, Probably zero. Right? And so there's a huge opportunity cost in terms of the progress of the business while you're pausing to raise funding, right in the assumption Ryan, is that I'm going to make this investment. I understand it's a lot of time. It's a shift in focus, but we really need the money right there. That's an assumption that when we invest all this time, we're also going to get the money statistically you're, you're not going to get the money, there's maybe a 10% chance if you're lucky that you will get the money. So there's a 90% chance that you won't. Right. Right. So, and greater than, uh, so the the other challenge I have with that statement is that, you know, we need the money. And I think that that's, it's just so often the case that you don't write, you don't necessarily need the funds. I think that's some somewhere that people jump to this foregone conclusion that they have to raise funding. And it's just nine times out of 10 isn't true when you dig into why they're looking to raise. There's a lot of flaw in that step, in the logic in that step. And I just very rarely see people give that question of to raise or not enough credence and there's not enough diligence done at that particular step. Yeah, we start off with I need money. Dude, every single star, that's not the reason to raise funding. The fact that you have stuff that you need to pay for, that you don't have money for doesn't need to mean you need to raise capital. That's that's literally the defining quality of every business, whether they're funded or not, right? I mean, that's that's a given that you have to buy things that you don't have money for, right? And we'll talk about this probably later. But there are lots of ways to get those things and millions and millions of startups every year, figure out how to do it without raising money, whether they want to or not they have to in order to grow. So it can be done. But I think really what we're talking about here is let's not use the premise of I need capital to simply be I have to raise capital because the two aren't necessarily compatible. No, they're not and and and quite frequently the things that you're trying to spend on aren't things that people would want to invest in in the first place. And so we talked about, we talked about timing in two different two different ways. Already. Let's talk about timing in a third way, which is one of the actual triggers for when you should raise funds, Right? And that's if there's a timing issue in the market. And so, you know, you've said this in the article, but rarely does this happen. But sometimes to start up companies will come into a market at the same time and this can precipitate a need to raise funding in order to run that race. Why don't we dig into that a little bit? Absolutely. So there's a couple of things to consider within that, right? The first is, hey, we have competition. That does not mean it's a timing issue. A timing issue is when something so freaking game changing is happening in the market. And I want to take a minute to dig into what we think game changing is right Whereby whoever figures this one out is going to be the next next Jeff Bezos. Right. And so you're, you know, mobile dog walking app probably isn't going to make you Jeff Bezos, right. But if you redefine how all of transportation works like Uber did. Yeah, you're probably gonna be next Jeff Bezos, right. Which means if you have competition going into some something with that big of stakes? That big of an outcome? Yeah, you're gonna have to raise capital because the folks that are going to drop into that market are all going to be super heavily capitalized. And if you aren't one of them, you're not even at the table. I often talk about this and in terms of being able to understand because I think that when you're in the foot race and you are looking at your competition, I think it can be really hard to determine whether or not this thing that you're trying to compliment accomplish fundamentally change that, right? Is it, is it that big of a deal, Right? Is it that big of a fundamental change? And for me, the easiest way to break this down is to look at are you building at the infrastructure level? Right. So to your point, are you going to change how all of transportation happens? You're gonna make a fundamental change in that That's infrastructure level stuff. Alright. If you've got a piece like, and maybe this is his a bit of a twist here. But if you look at automated cars, right? So we look at automated driving, that could also be a fundamental change in transportation, but I would argue that the timing there is less critical. That's less of a race to be first to market because they've already been first emerged, a couple people who already gotten and they've had to back off because we started running people over right timing, timing, timing was very critical there. So point being, is it the true, are you really at the infrastructure level or you augmenting the infrastructure? Right. So I don't think automated cars are going to fundamentally change how we engage with that. It will make an improvement to the top end of the infrastructure. But I don't think it's infrastructure level stuff. And I think for me, that's the easiest way to figure out is timing really going to be that critical to what I'm doing, right? You know, is this the internet versus male? Right? Is this Dvds versus streaming with netflix? That was a big moment in time. That was really, really important because it changed the infrastructure for how we consumed video. Right, Right. And in some something that's going to fully change the infrastructure isn't the only reason you'd raise capital, we're just using that as a good example of look, if you happen to find yourself in something that's significant in your career and you were on the cusp of it, okay. There's other competitors that are going to get into this space and everyone is going to go hard, right. The challenge. And I think you touched on this the challenges, we all think our idea is going to be so damn huge and world changing, right? It's it's damn near impossible to talk to a founder and have them say, yeah, I'm actually not working on something that important. I quit my job and burning through all my, my kid's college fund. But yeah, it's not that important. I mean, no one's going to say that we're all going to feel like our idea no matter what it is, has a huge timing issue and then everyone's gonna want to get into it. It's the biggest thing in the world. That's why we started it. Yeah. But there has to be some way to calibrate now. Often what people do is they try to talk to a couple of advisors, you know, folks that are maybe a little more sober than they are and say, you know, just be honest with me, like, am I in something big enough that the whole world is gonna want to pour cash in this as fast as possible? Yeah. And chances are they're going to say no. You know, if they like you, they're going to say no, because they're gonna want to be mindful of what that is now. Again, that doesn't mean that whatever industry you're in, be it a smaller opportunity won't invite capital from other players by all means that will happen. And we should probably talk about, you know how competition is raising that, how that often is a trigger. But in this case, what we're saying is you don't necessarily need to raise capital this second because you're afraid the entire market is going to escape if you don't have capital this second. In many cases, yes, maybe you raise capital over time, try to be mindful and a bit sober that most businesses have all the time in the world. There are very few lyft, uber bird lime kind of in one second. Everybody was raising hundreds of millions of dollars. That happens so rarely. So you have to be mindful of that timing is, timing is very rarely the critical factor, right? It can, it can play into it. It can be important. There are a few rare times where it is the most important thing. But I think that if you were to meet, uh, facebook and Myspace at a cocktail party right now, my space wouldn't be talking about how cool it was to have been first to market. Yeah. I mean in most cases, if it's going to be an important industry, it's going to take a long time to mature. The players will take some time to get into it and you've got maybe a minute in order to figure out whether capital is really the right thing. Just because you heard someone else's raising doesn't all of a sudden make this a foot race for capital, which would probably bring us to our next point, Right? Which is, you know, Oh ship, my competitor just raised $2 million. You know, we're screwed. I absolutely have to raise money. Do you really do you? And I don't think a lot of people can calibrate for that, right? I think a lot of people, you know, they read the press release, We've done that right. You know, we've been in this in this business long enough to know that we see someone taking off for raising money and you know, our hearts sink and like, oh no, we're screwed. This person raised money or this company raised money and you know, we're behind the eight ball now and there are millions of dollars are going to change everything and we're going to be totally left in in the in the dust. Rarely changed. Was their burn rate. Yeah, Yeah, yeah, Yeah. The outcomes didn't change that much when we're launching fungible. We had Maybe 30 competitors. Do you remember that like circa 2012? Yeah. There was a point where like the the list changed daily. It was bananas and in that time during that time companies were getting funded like every week. It was crazy. And in all fairness, everyone including us to some degree, I thought it was a timing thing. We thought that crowdfunding was going to fundamentally change the entire investing small business space. I mean, it was going to be such a massive, massive fundamental change, you know, until it wasn't well, yeah, circle back to a few minutes ago or even to the very top of this conversation where we said, you know, it didn't fundamentally change how many checks were getting written? It may have changed the distribution. So then go back a couple of minutes. The previous conversation around infrastructure, it changed a piece of the infrastructure, It changed some of the marketing methodologies and mechanisms but it didn't change the base infrastructure which is the total amount of cash available. Right, Right. That's what didn't change and none of us saw that like it didn't at the time like we, we were certain that was going to change all of a sudden doctors, lawyers and everybody's well heeled granny was gonna start writing checks. It sounds silly now, but at the time we believe that to be true like now people, everybody will be able to invest in startups so therefore they will. Right look, no further than the gym to understand that just because gyms are available doesn't mean we're going to, you know, we're not going to run out of out of shape people. No, it doesn't change the ability to do something doesn't mean that you will. And with funding we saw that to be completely true the ability was there, but it didn't create more demand for for check writing, But it didn't stop people from collecting checks to raise capital. There were different folks in this space, you know, doing different things, but I remember Indiegogo raised $50 million dollars at the time. I mean Big, big amounts of money circle upraised what, $30, $40, $50 million dollars at the time. I mean people are raising big amounts of money On a big story now, I think the only benefit we had during that era, this is circa 2012, was that we had kind of been to this rodeo a few times before. We're just because everyone else was raising, we assumed that you have to raise etcetera. And we did one thing that I thought was really interesting at the time we step back for a minute. We looked at our business, we looked at what our customers were saying, particularly the investors and we said, we're not seeing a single buying signal that's telling us that more investors are showing up or somehow they magically have more investments to make, Right if the guy was writing two checks a year, we didn't see any indication where the new jobs act or anything else Gave him the opportunity to write four checks here. That's correct. From a total funding standpoint, nothing changed. Yeah, yeah. We looked at our competition raising and said, man, I don't know what they're gonna do with all that money. I literally remember sitting down and thinking like we were sort of played it out, we're like, okay, they just raised $15 million right, what are they going to spend that on? We're looking at and going like, I can't imagine what they're going to spend that on like just more acquisition on, on which side. Like who, what are they, what are they going to bring to the table with this cash that they couldn't do without it and what impact is it gonna have And and the answer was not much right now, I totally great now, I want to point out a school of thought because because I remember talking to some of my VC buddies at the time and because their VCS, they have a pretty popular inconsistent refrain and it goes something like this. Look if you're going to pursue an opportunity, you may as well raise as much money as possible To go full guns after it because really if you look at a different way, what's the point of going after something, spending 5 to 10 years of your life, if you're going to be undercapitalized and never be able to realize the opportunity to begin with. And I get that, that thought process, but it totally overlooks the fact that most people who are going to raise are going to have nothing to show for it at all. Right now, now again, sticking with the BC he would say, but, but wouldn't you rather be the person who raised money and came to that conclusion than the person who didn't have any money to, which I would say it depends on what business you're trying to build me. You we kind of like to build profitable businesses right, sustaining profitable businesses that have a growth future ahead of us. A bad habit. But yeah, I'm hooked. Yeah, Yeah, I mean, you know silly us right. And I think that's what most people endeavor to build, what the VCS are saying is if you're down for an all or nothing business where you put all the cash and you have a huge outcome or even a modest outcome or nothing, then this is the only way you can play the game, which is true if you only want to play high stakes poker, Yep, like that's cool. And if you're the VC, who's gonna make 20 different investments and wait for one to hit, cool, you can play that game. But as founders, this is our life, Right? We're not making 20 bets were making one bet. And dude, if this thing doesn't work, you know, that's our savings gone, that's our career gone, that's everything gone. So to say, Hey, you should only play in high stakes poker where you win it all or lose it all. Fuck that, right. I mean like I'm just, I'm not convinced that that's the way entrepreneurs should be thinking about how to approach capital and when we look at things like, hey, our competition is raising, uh, so we have to play this high stakes stakes poker too. I'm calling bs on that. No, and we should, we should, because I think that I don't think that gets called out often enough and I think that as people enter into this, they assume that it's sort of a binary thing, raise funding and succeed. Don't raise funding and and disappear into obscurity and that's just not the case. I mean, we've we've sort of provide antithetical proof to that just by existing, right? We're here and we've grown and we're building amazing stuff and we haven't had to take on major capital and we probably won't right as a company when we try to talk to entrepreneurs through the funding process, you know, with fungible or anything else, we try to kind of coach them on. We explained to them that funding is one of many paths, right? Then you can take on small funding, you can think of big funding. Those, those have kind of different triggers and in in different responsibilities or you can take on no funding build business more slowly, which is typically the case and just work to try to get into a profitable model that suits you perfectly not an investor. And and look, no matter how you cut it, that's how most people build businesses, right, drive down your main street and look at every business that's in business, chances are almost none of them are venture funded and what do you know, all of those people built businesses, they all exist. Okay. So, and you've already pointed this out, but, you know, driving down main street, look around there are thousands and thousands of companies launching every year without raising capital. So we know that it's possible, right? Businesses can exist without major capital, but we've also said there are a lot of things that your business needs to pay for, that you don't have money for, therefore we need capital. What we need is a way to pay for that. So let's talk about, how do we do this? How do we get creative? How do we create that capital as a business that isn't at least right now going to raise? Well, we've got a few options and this actually covers how like 99% of businesses start. So when I'm mentioning this, this isn't some weird outlier voodoo. This is actually how people build businesses. Right? So Ryan, let's just use you. And I as an example, we're going to go start a new business and we're thinking about whether or not we should raise capital and we're thinking about if we don't, what are our other options? Well, typically to start, we have our time to some probably finite level. In other words, when we personally run out of cash, et cetera. So we think in terms of if we had capital, we might be able to buy things to accelerate some of the things we do with our time. But if we don't raise money, we'll just use our time in lieu of that. Right? I mean, if if we're building a product, we'll just work on packing and shipping it ourselves versus hiring somebody else to do it, right. And that's usually what we're talking about is we're going to pay resources that we could otherwise use ourselves. Yeah. In some cases we need resources that we can't do ourselves like we need to hire a developer or we need to buy inventory or things like that. Typically in those cases what we'll do is we'll try to use other forms of capital like stock options in the company or we'll use a credit card or a line of credit, you know, something that we can pay back, you know, once we have fulfilled inventory. But it's it's rarely lets just have somebody give us a blanket check and just cover all of those things, right? We're just going to be resourceful in how we go about acquiring those things. And I have to .1 thing out very often by requiring us to take more time. It ends up letting us make better decisions Ryan how many times to take more time and and look back and go, Holy sh it did we make a better decision? Yeah, I think we didn't, we didn't talk about this today and it's probably a discussion for another day. But when you take on capitol in the, in the event that you do raise, it changes your decision making significantly because now it opens up more options, not necessarily better options. Just more options you have more ways you have more money to spend so therefore you can spend it in more ways. And I think that by having to be creative in the absence of taking on cash, it forces you to really consider your next move, right, imagine imagine a match of chest whereby the your you get to all of a sudden move four pieces in one turn, right, changes a lot. Like when you only have one piece to move, when you have to make a decision, like you've got this much money, we can only do one of these three things. It forces you to really think through challenge your assumptions and make sure that you're picking with the data you have available to you the best option for that moment. And I think that something else you touched on here is really, really important. The word acceleration. And you know, if we had more money we could accelerate this and quite frequently, let's let's be honest, we don't really know where the hell we're going. A lot of the times the acceleration just means we're to drive off the side of something and so, you know, Yeah, a lot of times you're talking to people, they're like, well if we had more money, we could do this so much faster. I was like, okay, explain to me what the benefit of doing that that much faster is. Well then we'll be done with it. Okay, cool. Then what it doesn't necessarily matter when you get it done. If you could do it in another way, you can do it without that capital because they're also you point out it takes a long time to raise funds and they're completely throwing that out of the equation at that point, like if we had the money, then we could do this that much faster. Yeah. Don't forget the six months you spent raising the funds while this stopped moving forward. But yeah, if you got the money. Yeah, exactly. So Ryan, what I'm sure we've found, because we've spent a lot of time exploring this ourselves, is that not having a big check of capital sitting in the bank has forced us to really think through every single decision we make and here's what we found. And Ryan, I think you can appreciate this because you and I have had this conversation with the management team and me as the CFO I always have to be checkbook guy Nine times out of 10 the decision we would have made with cash was the wrong decision. Yeah. I I think we can easily say that if we had been able to just quickly and easily make the decision, if there had been a ready yes, there, we would have often said yes to things because saying yes, feels good, right? You don't ever want to say no to somebody that comes in and says, hey, I have this idea. Here's what I wanna do. I wanna put the capital into this. This is gonna be the anticipated return. Of course all that's conjecture, right? It's all bets. And so I think that, yeah, forcing ourselves to really take the time, There are definitely some decisions that we hemmed and hawed over in the end, we decided, You know, we didn't want to spend that level of resource to do something and that beautiful 2020 hindsight, has has proven us right in a lot of cases. And there are also were certainly times where we've, you know, four went acceleration where we could have gotten maybe to the same point faster but at the time we could not have known that we could not have known at the time of making the decision, had we doubled the facebook spend, had we tripled the number of dev resources that we would have gotten to the same place, but much faster and that that would have been better now in hindsight, we can see those things, but I think that, you know, in the way that we've played this and having been creative, having been resourceful, having been patient. Um the hindsight continues to land on our side and I think we're getting smarter from it now when we look at that and we talked to an entrepreneur that trying to build their business right now, they'll look at those things and say, yeah, that sounds great grandpa, you know, that's really nice, but I need to get my mobile app out the door. So all of your, you know, use the force, take creativity and patience and build something. I just don't give a sh it, but I have to say, being forced to be disciplined about your business to be patient, whether you want to be or not, uh and be able to be forced to be creative about your business Are literally the most important building blocks of the business in learning to to work through all of those and learning the benefits of those is how great companies are built. I'm 100% certain of that. No, I couldn't agree more. Yeah, it's it's the, the benefit of that. It's sort of like the difference between going to the gym and taking a pill that will give you muscles, right? A one of them is probably not going to work and be like, there's so much good comes from the hard work, from the focus, from being down at the level where, you know, being resourceful means keeping your hands in it. And a lot of cases, if I go back in time and think about decisions that we made kind of against an opportunity where it was like, well we could outsource this, it would only cost us this much and here's the anticipated benefit and at the time it felt like it would have been good to do that, and then we didn't, it forced us to get in and do those reps and really learn something new and something new about our business, right? And and not only were those fundamental building blocks, it let us shape those building blocks in a way that they became that much more useful to us over the long term. I think that in a lot of cases, when you take the, I'm gonna air quote this easier approach, you accelerate something by outsourcing by paying someone else to do it. You may see a short term lift and benefit, but I would argue that because you're not going to take away the deep learning's because someone else is doing it for you. You will find yourself at some point at a plateau in that person's capacity or skills peak that they can't move beyond and that you can't help them move beyond because you don't understand it well enough. And I think that we've taken enough of those things away that I will continue to be very, very comfortable saying no to funding, saying no to acceleration and saying yes to being creative and just kind of getting it done that all said, I know we're both thinking the same thing because you and I deliver this to a lot of people and what we're both thinking is we've now said all of this to a founder across the table from us, we've talked about all the ways to avoid raising funding and why you may not need to raise funding and they immediately come back and like, okay, yeah, cool, thanks for that. Uh, so will you take a look at my pitch deck and I get it right, I mean, we can give all this advice, We can explain all of these reasons why you don't have to have capital, but all you're sitting here thinking is yeah, cool. Whatever. I don't have any, I need some. Uh so how do I get some? I don't think either of us think for a second that any of these four warnings or explanations are going to wholesale make people just clap their hands and say, okay, I guess I'm done with the capital discussion. But in all fairness with all of the advice that we give, that's never what we're trying to do. We're not trying to force a binary decision on any of the founders. All we're trying to say and everything that we talked about is here's a point of view that's worth synthesizing, right? It's it's here's something that you ought to consider before you're so gung ho are so certain that the path you're going down is absolutely correct because you know what? It's probably not. And and you've got more choices than you think. I think that you know, when you said we're not trying to force a binary option in, I think we're doing exactly the opposite. We're trying to point out the fact this isn't binary. Very, very few things in building your company are going to be binary. This is not one of them, right? There are lots of other options. There are other ways to generate the money. You need to generate the resources you need to be able to move forward. And so I think that is a really critical point. Will it isn't binary. We're not trying to force a binary outcome. We're trying to open up people's eyes, people's expectations to the fact that I can do this lots of other ways. But I think that the vast balance of this conversation, um, out in the ethernet on the internet, wherever you're hearing this is the opposite, right? And it's sort of that binary thing between, you know, raise funds move forward. Don't raise funds developed cute lifestyle business, Right? And that's bullshit. Right? Right. What I would say is, look, there's a handful of ways to move forward and they always look the same number one. Look for an alternate revenue source to keep the lights on while you build the business. And we've had discussions and shows just about that number two is heaven forbid try to get some revenue for customers, keep expenses low and build the business that way. Or number three is trying to raise some outside capital to augment revenue that you don't have and you know what And it's likely a combination of all three. So it's typically not one path, it's it's synthesizing all of them and trying to figure out how to keep the business moving forward. So again, the caveat to everything that we've said is this isn't an anti capital pitch. It's an anti I need capital and there's no other, no other path forward pitch or something's happening that makes it so binary and so certain that I absolutely have to have this capital. It's rarely the case. That's a wrap for this episode of the startup therapy podcast. This is Ryan Rutan on behalf of my partner, Wil Schroder and all the startups dot com family thanking you for joining us and we hope you'll continue to join us. Be sure to subscribe, rate and comment on itunes or wherever you love to listen to startup therapy. You can find all of our episodes at startups dot com slash podcast. If you're looking for more amazing resources to launch or grow your startup, be sure to head the startups dot com and check out startups unlimited. It's everything we have to offer from our online university to our amazing community of experts and founders and even all the tools we've built like biz plan, fungible and launch rock. It's everything A founder needs visit startups dot com slash begin that startups dot com slash b E G I N. You'll thank me later.

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