I fucking hate hearing this as an angel investor.
It’s often said by the same people who don’t want to tell you too much about their idea because the idea is “Secret.”
There are passionate, competent software and hardware engineers all over the world. The world. If you can’t find one, you’re not looking hard enough or you’re a shitty salesperson.
If you can’t find one engineer to work with you, how the hell are you going to build a company full of them? Finding great talent (technical, operational or creative) gets harder after raising money, not easier.
And duuude. No one cares about your fucking idea. Now go find a good technical partner and treat each other like gold.
- These two are the co-founders of a startup that was a copycat of my second company (but in Singapore). They cold called me and asked to meet for some advice, which tickled me pink. One is the business person, the other person technical. Can you guess which one is which?
In 2009 my buddy Mischa and I wanted to make a ding in the healthcare universe. We were both pretty fed up with the status quo for consumer health, and felt like we could build a communications app that made it much easier for doctors and their patients to communicate digitally.
Man, we learned some really harsh lessons about the American healthcare system. Namely, the folks who control our national healthcare policies at the highest levels make Russian mobsters look like pussies.
- If you work for the Russian or Ukrainian mob, please know that I have the highest respect for your craft – no insult intended.
DoctorBase was also a lesson in competing with better funded competitors by sticking to your passion for building the best damn product and ignoring the VC hype machine. Our closest competitor HealthXXX had raised 30x more money than we did, but at the time of our acquisition we were a totally employee-controlled company and was doing almost triple their revenues with nominal churn.
This took 5 years to build out completely, and by then it was one of the dominant apps in the market with very little funding or marketing. Of course, VCs passed on us because, well HealthXXX had raised much more money and that meant they were going to win. A very famous VC said he felt that “HealthXXX is going to run away with the market.”
At the time I sold the company we had about 18,000 doctors communicating electronically with nearly 7 million American patients. We were small, but we were a bad ass gang. I mean, not as bad as Russian mobsters, but still.