If you know what you are doing, at the very basic level, you only have 3 tasks:

  • Develop the initial product (Build MVP)
  • Secure users and/or customers (Customer Development)
  • Cover costs – do you have money to live and pay bills, both personal and business


There is also the 4th one,

  • Admin and making sure you remain “legal”


If you can code, know the domain inside out and have business skills (i.e. win customers – or at least do customer development), then you have a chance.

If you can’t pay the bills, either through savings or consultancy, then you are buggered.

Your only chance then is to raise the first round, the FFF (Family, Friends and Fools).

Trying to pitch to Angels or VCs at this stage will take a lot of your time, which means you will do a shoddy job at (1) and (2). In the end, most will run out of steam and the opportunity will get mothballed.

VCs won’t be interested in this stage – so please, stop wasting everyone’s time. Experienced angels might also pass your opportunity until it’s well developed. So once again, focus on what matters most!

If you cannot code, then you need to have the cash to secure development resources.

If you cannot sell, then outsourcing at this stage will most likely not work. If you cannot sell, learn the skills. In fact, it’s highly advisable you join a startup to learn the trade before you venture out on your own.

And everything (product and sales) takes 3x more than your worst-case scenario. Good luck

Image credits: Taken from bootstrapping a tech startup