Start up – Build up – Cash up
Who would believe that the hopes and dreams of an entrepreneur – extend much beyond optimistic survival initially? A sensation that is intermittently superseded with daring to dream about the ultimate endorsement – Funding. A necessity in whatever guise, which will in turn drive the product through Round A to Z and bring in the people and securely perpetuate the belief that the whole thing was the right decision after all.
The CEO of the Start up, may not be the same CEO that sticks around to run the steroid fuelled Nasdaq beast beyond the “buddies in the basement” beginnings– but Zuckerburg disproves that theory… What started out as his… is still his. And the same is true with Airbnb and many of the other Billion Dollar Tech Up Starts.
When the investor’s talk about scalability, it’s not just about the product and growth of the business, but it refers to the Founders ability to go international as well. Exponentially extending their vision and general worry about 2,000 employees and the lives of many, as opposed to the founding 2 that started out.
Ultimately – Cash is King and without it, the best laid business plans, operating models and 35 year forecasts are completely meaningless. The greatest Algorithms, driving the most conceptually sounds websites, will not mean Dixie if you don’t pay the bills and staff and keep the scoreboard ticking over. These are the simple tasks and as the likes of Uber swing easily from one funding round to the next with their irresistible momentum, its hard to see the channel of return on the $50b of investment to date coming anytime soon, particularly as their latest financials show operating costs dramatically eclipsing revenue.
Google turned a profit in year 5, Facebook in year 6. Uber??? But its all good news for the Tech Entrepreneur because the crowd funders and investors are out there in droves and they are keen to be the next Sun Co-founder, Andy Bechtolsheim, optimistically writing out a cheque for $100k to get a chunky chunk of Google, back when it was more or less a doodle in 1998. Dare to dream. Dream to dare…
The drive to monetize everything and anything continues to extend – rent out my spare room (Airbnb), fridge space, pet (borrow my doggy), car, dreams, you name it and there is nothing that we can’t monetise, maximise, optimise and stick an integrated payment gateway onto. . Uber have captured the taxi, now it can become the courier service, the delivery service and so much more than just a global taxi booking device.
When Expedia in 2014 managed to spend $2.4b on advertising, it is very apparent that Facebook and the other social media sites are on the beneficial side of receiving that spend. Uber will make its money through mobile advertising one day – more so than a commission for each ride. And as we all look for Mobile Entertainment Bursts from our mobile device, the mobile becomes the go to Advertising platform of choice – Twitter, Amazon, Apple will be benefitting and finally paying back their investors. If you build it, they will come…