It’s all one big game of risk. I just care far more about the goal of peer to peer education than I care about the risk of putting more money in.
An advisor was gently questioning the wisdom of me throwing in my own money. This was my response:
Primarily because I think I will get it back in the short run and the risk of diluted societal impact looks equal with outside money or without.
The risk with outside money is a return focused constituency in my decision structure. (Yes, I may find the right investor motivation, someone who believes in triple bottom line, but I don’t know them yet. They have not popped up. I would have to go find them, and that effort might be substantial.)
The risk with bootstrapping and potentially being underfunded is that I get beat by a funded competitor faking the change I want.
Instead, I can focus on building a community of current and future customers. I think I can decouple revenue growth from staff growth and create a defensible position.
Where I was confusing myself was in the short term consulting load on me personally. I was mapping this forward and thinking it was unsustainable. But these consulting projects can simply be another short term project to move the vision forward. If 80% of the work is R&D into users, positioning, and future roadmap, this is all work I would be doing anyway. I’m just selling it.
Raising money, on the other hand, is not work that I would be doing anyway. It could easily lead to me hiring paid employee marketers instead of creating volunteer evangelists – those employees would add future costs and a potential addiction to outside capital.