There is really too much funding being chucked around these days. Not just by the government, but by investors who are very comfortable, with jaded appetites, and who are looking for some adrenaline rush by putting their discretionary money on startups that are probably going to fail. Someone remarked recently that the CIA would probably be a lot more effective than it is now if their budget and headcount are suddenly halved. Counter-intuitive, but think about it. If you remember that old movie “Animals are beautiful people” by Jamie Uys, you will remember that the animals living in the Pre-Namib Desert possessed a greater zest for living than their cousins living in the lush basin of the Cubango River. Remember too, that Jamie Uys didn’t have the luxury of today’s video editing software. It took maybe four years of production and half a million feet of film to put it all together. John Steinbeck wrote to Adlai Stevenson “A strange species we are. We can stand anything God and nature can throw at us save only plenty. If I wanted to destroy a nation, I would give it too much and would have it on its knees, miserable, greedy and sick.” Does that sound like some startups or even some established businesses you’ve seen? It’s not the funding, and very often it’s too much funding!
I have the military to thank for this concept. That is, when you’ve been assigned a mission, you are expected to assume that all resources necessary for the successful prosecution of the mission have been allocated. If you request for more resources, that request is always predicated on the assumption that it will accelerate the process or further the aims of higher headquarters in ways you’ve figured out but which the clerks sitting there haven’t. I trust you get the drift, but even if you don’t, read on!
Tell the one giving you money how your business is already succeeding. Then tell them how they, you, and all stakeholders will gain all the more quickly when they do give you their money. Be careful, though. You might just get it! Make sure you don’t founder on the funder!