April 15, 2004

Startup in Acton, That's All They Got

So, I'm in the middle of trying to give brith to a new Internet startup venture, trying to get funding, get a team together, all that stuff.

My startup seems to break every rule in the VC handbook:

  • it's a boring story, not rocket science

  • nothing really new in terms of inventions or technology, in fact it's more a Frankensteinian hodgepodge of existing technologies stiched together

  • there's absolutely no barrier to entry, the proverbial two guys in a garage could do it but probably woudln't bother

  • it's a pretty totally obvious idea

  • stuff like this has been tried before, and it always fails

  • there's little in the way of intellectual property protection

  • nightmarish multi-billion-dollar competitors

  • utter uncertainty the venture will find a receptive market

When the world gives you lemons, give them to someone else.

So I'm basically describing my venture precisely in these terms: total doom. Funny thing is, it seems to be working.

Yesterday I had a great 90-min chat with a VC, who's fascinated with what I'm doing, and he agreed with my assessment of the business from a "no way is this fundable" perspective, by adding:

"You need to add another item to your rule-breaking list: No clear revenue model."

He then added, seriously, that this is the kind of venture where it doesn't matter what the revenue model is. That it's worth spending $25 million on it just to build it and see what happens.

Alas, he didn't write a $25 million check right then and there...

Posted by brian at April 15, 2004 08:58 AM


let me guess: another "pay to surf" scheme like alladvantage?

Posted by: wag at April 15, 2004 04:29 PM

Hell no, wag. I always thought alladvantage was a total scam and waste of time.

No, I'm building something that will have a lot of value and people and businesses will use and it's not a scam at all.

By the way, you work at Sybase, right?

Posted by: brian at April 15, 2004 06:32 PM

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