I’m a twentysomething who has sworn off college…

I’m a twentysomething who has sworn off college and 9 to 5’s and doing everything society’s way. I have a real mind for business and have an awesome idea for a new website. The idea is to create a live community, a craigslist or Brazen Careerist even for [culturally aware types] across the nation, a site complete with a message board and a calender for user submitted events. I really think there’s a need for this, and feel it would do really well upon launching. I probably shouldn’t have told you all of that but I’m confident you won’t steal my ideas.

So the question is money. I have this great idea, and I assume I need investors. Where do I find them? What should I say to them once I do find them? I’ve read some articles on your blog and made some headway but still feel a little, foggy.

1 reply
  1. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    I don’t think your idea is fundable. Here are things you need in order to get funding: A believable way that you will earn $100 million in revenue in five years. If you can’t scale that fast you cannot give investors the return on investment that they need.

    A lesson in funding: It’s actually very easy to get funding. It’s very difficult to think of a fundable idea. Angel investors have a fairly uniform formula they use to justify the risk they are taking. All startups are very risky for investors so investors rely on only putting money into startups that could be enormous. Investors assume only one out of ten of their investments will actually pan out. But that one out of ten has to pan out very very big. Which is why investors only take risks on companies that can be huge.

    This idea is not a company that will have a big exit. The exit is the sale of the company for at least $10 million, but hopefully more. This company probably won’t have any exit. Based on the sites that already do this online, this business idea would only make a few thousand dollars a month – in ad revenue. An investor would never get their money back, ever.

    The only companies that can get funding are companies that can show the investor how a very big exit could be imagined.

    If this were a good idea, I’d recommend that you go ahead and do it anyway — you would get good experience building a company to fill a need even without making a lot of money. But this is not a good idea. There are already sites doing this in every major city.

    Keep thinking of ideas. Maybe try to think of a more specialized, niche version of the site you’re have in mind now. There might be a more niche need that is not being addressed by the sites out there right now. Or think bigger – think of a site idea that could take the communities that already exist and put them together to create something large and profitable.

    Entrepreneurs go through tons of ideas to get to one good one. And the only way to figure out if you have a good idea is to tell a lot of people. If everyone could steal your idea then it’s not a defensible idea, so it probably wasn’t a good idea anyway.

    So, that’s the good news: no one will steal this idea from you :)


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