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Can You Compete With Heavily Funded Startups Without Big VC Funding?

Posted on Monday, Feb 13th 2017


There are always competitors who have been longer in the game and who are better funded. But it doesn’t mean they will be the winners in the marathon.

A startup is a marathon, not a sprint.

Gobs of VC money never guarantees a startup’s success. A nimble upstart can beat a well funded competitor with a superior strategy.

Here’s a 1 minute 21 second video that explains further:

And here are two case studies for deeper study: Hotelplanner and Social Annex.

Both of these upstarts have successfully battled heavily funded competitors.

And won!

We had both of them as guests at our roundtables. Here are the videos of those sessions:

So don’t think that you need to raise money just because competitors are raising money.

Death by Overfunding may just render your competitors irrelevant.

Money by itself doesn’t guarantee success in the startup game. Deep knowledge and solid execution are by far more important than funding.

Focus on acquiring the right kind of knowledge. Strategic and systematic knowledge, not random bits and pieces from the popular online media.

Figure out where to get proven strategic intelligence and how to extrapolate what is applicable to your particular situation. It might not be easy if you do not have over twenty years of startup experience and have not seen thousands of different business scenarios. So, an experienced mentor helps accelerate things. You don’t have to learn by making every single avoidable mistake on the planet. Consider getting an experienced mentor — a sounding board, a coach — who can steer you in the right direction and keep you motivated and accountable. Have no such relationship? Come talk to me.

Photo credit: rab steen/


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