Startups are Jazz

I gave a talk at Station Houston here in Texas before leaving on vacation for a week. It was an AMA ("ask me anything") format that I love because it makes certain we cover topics that matter to the audience.

There was a pattern in the questions:

  • How much revenue should I have to quit my job and go full-time?
  • How much traction does my company need to get VC funded?
  • Should I do a convertible note or equity round?
  • Can my pre-revenue company get funded?
  • How quickly do I need to grow to get funded?
  • Can a startup in a non-sexy market get funded?

    The answer to all of them: "It depends."

    The pattern I saw was people looking for a recipe to build a start-up. There isn't one.

    Every moment startup is different. What worked last year for another startup in another market will almost always not work for you.

    Instead, it is better to think about a business like being part of an improvisational jazz ensemble. You're in-sync to your teammates, watching your audience (i.e. customers) and listening to experts for insight. Then, you play each note and move on towards your goals.

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