Raising Money vs Earning Money

Money TreeI’m sitting in the audience of one of the best-run startup events I’ve attended this year. Next up, a procession of startup CEOs will be introducing themselves and their companies to the audience. The printed agenda details each company’s name, founder, kind of business and how much capital they have raised.

Oh, good grief.

There are few metrics that tell you less about a startup’s potential than how much money they have raised. Fundraising has become a kind of vanity metric, and people who should know better pay way too much attention to it. Revenue has real meaning, but most startups would be horrified at the idea of publicly positing sales numbers — with good reason.

Raising funds is such a tiny part of growing a business, but the startup world seems fixated on it.

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