Screw Outside Funding. Keep Your Startup Simple And Keep Control – The Amit Gupta Interview

Posted on Jan 30, 2009 - 5:17 PM PST

The full program

This is an audio program. Listen and/or download here.


A few lessons from this program

Are you sure you want to spend time pursuing outside funding?

Amit Gupta has had it both ways. Today he’s running PhotoJoJo, a “lifestyle business” that doesn’t need outside funding and kicks off real profits. But before that, he ran The Daily Jolt, an angel funded company.

Here are 2 questions from our 50-minute interview (which you can download now).

Andrew: What’s the difference between running a lifestyle business and a funded company?

Amit: I think it makes my lifestyle a lot more sane than it was in 2000, when I was running The Daily Jolt, because back then we had such high expectations and we needed to hit these crazy targets to raise the next round. And then we had to hit more crazy targets to hit the next round. And even more crazy targets to get acquired or to IPO.

And now we can set sane goals that we can achieve and then grow based on money that is coming in–not money that’s being given to us by investors. And it’s nice. I like it.

Andrew: If you don’t have funding, you need to keep it simple. How simple is your businesses?

PhotoJojo is a brand devoted to making photography more fun. We do that in two ways.

1) We have an email newsletter where have fun photography projects and tips and ideas to get you out shooting more and more creatively.

2) We have a store where we sell really fun photography stuff.

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  • http://www.gogreensolar.com Deep Patel

    More than often, lifestyle companies or companies that are bootstrapping are categorized as companies that can never “hit it big”, but I have realized that type of thinking is just a myth. In fact, the majority of publicly traded companies on the exchanges today have made it by bootstrapping and letting their sales revenue and debt to finance their growth.

    I think venture capitalist are overrated, they typically have a poor success rate in their career of investing, can be demanding and lead you off course and loose sight of the customer and may bring in politics into your business, as stated by the Founder of The Funded on a previous Mixergy Podcast.

    So why do majority of start up entrepreneurs spend so much time chasing VC money rather then customers? It’s quite easy, people want to get rich quick, they want to build a business fast. Bootstrapping can help you build a very strong business that exceptionally meets customers needs and over time you can even “hit it big” by bootstrapping, but the business is going to grow over time consistently.

    I like how Amit mentioned that bootstrapping the company has given him a chance to control his own destiny and VC money can take away from being in control of the future destination of the company. Isn’t it ironic that a majority of Entrepreneurs are ready to give up control for a few bucks?

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