Listened to Justin Williams on Release Notes ( talking about why he closed up Glassboard, and it was interesting enough I started looking at his blog, Carpe Aqua. Found a link to Ariel Michaeli (though the href was busted and you had to hack a trivial amount), who linked to Mark Suster, who said...

[Your investors] are not rooting for you to fail – please don't misunderstand me on that. They would prefer you always move up-and-to-the-right. I'm just saying that great progress with no revenue and you needing more money isn't always at odds with a VC's interest. Sorry to give away the game.

So that's clever. Having finally worked in a startup for about two years, that quote sounds awfully accurate. The point of Suster's piece is to slow down the bleeding, and, in a sort of Moneyball-ian "don't get outs" fashion, suggests that you need to keep your company alive, because it's in being alive that allows it to find good fits. The slower you burn money, the more chances you have to find your fit.

Actually, that's *exactly* the Billy Beane Moneyball angle. Playing defense and being fast is great, but what matters is runs. And what makes runs is continuing an inning. And what continues an inning is not getting outs. That's what you organize your team around.

Here, Suster's idea is to keep the inning going by making, well, income, duh. The more you depend on outside investment to create "runway", the more of your company's soul you're going to have to sell. As long as the growth can be turned into profit -- the way so many assume Amazon can at any moment, just at a much larger scale than your startup -- they're happy to keep banking what was your equity until you (plural, this time) flip the switch.

If you'd balance growth with income, you stopping hitting into triple plays. (Here's where the metaphor breaks down, of course. There's no way to sell part of your team to get more innings in baseball...)

Money is an interesting tool, and incentivizes fascinating behaviors, not all of which are exceptionally admirable.

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