At the moment I’m revising my playbook, 6 Proven Steps to Attract Investors. For anyone who has the first edition, you’ll notice that I have tweaked the title to broaden the scope from ICO Investors to include any investors. This is as it should be, because stuff changes, and times change. In fact times change really fast, because it’s only just over a year since that first edition was published! Then everyone was interested in Initial Coin Offerings as the model for investment, but in the following months that was overtaken by other tokenized instruments, such as ISOs, and now Initial Exchange Offerings. What this tells us is that fundraising for new ventures, particularly when related to the blockchain, is a work in progress and that nothing stands still.
Initial Exchange Offerings currently look like a good way forward, because the Exchange acts as the counter-party in any deal. This means that the investor is better protected, and the startup gets to see the money sooner. The fact that an established Exchange is involved is also re-assuring for everyone involved, and the reach of the Exchange often goes far beyond what the new enterprise could achieve on its own. So win-win, and now IEOs are flavor of the month? Well yes, but you won’t find me putting them at the center of my revised book. Reason one: Because stuff changes. Reason Two: Because I’ve been talking to a lot of people over the last year, as I mentioned in my last posting on the subject of sex education!
Stuff changes because one week it’s blue shoes, the next week it’s yellow, and I don’t want my work to be merely tied to whatever’s in fashion. However more important is what I’ve learned from all those people I talked to. The last year involved speaking engagements at conferences around the world, and everywhere I went entrepreneurs were asking the same question: How do I fundraise? Note that they weren’t asking, ‘How do I do an ICO?’ or an STO, or any other funding instrument. The overriding question was simply about the process needed to raise funds, of any sort, from any source. So what this told me was that I needed to alter the approach of my book, and widen it to include marketing for all forms of fundraising.
My focus is therefore currently on funding, and what this requires both from the point of view of the business, and the investor. Most businesses see investors as being difficult to reach, and hard to convert to ‘true believers’. The core team of a typical startup will likely regard their potential investors as wanting everything when they’re not really in a position to offer very much. The potential investor wants a roadmap, a prospectus, a strategy document, the works… On the other hand few companies consider what they want to get from an investor. The simple answer may seem to be, ‘Money of course!’ However I know that it goes far beyond this, and I believe startups have as much right to ask for – and receive – information and support of all sorts from their investors. It’s a two-way street, but this simple fact is rarely recognized, by either side of the equation.
My message is essentially quite simple, which fooled some people when the first edition of 6 Steps was published. The steps are simple, and logical, and repeatable, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy. It’s like telling someone who wants to lose weight that all they have to do is eat less and exercise more. Sure! Of course! Instead people want a magic bullet, a potion that will solve all their problems. The 6 Proven Steps to Attract Investors actually is a magic bullet, but the steps have to be followed, day in, day out. So that’s the other reason I’m revising the book – to convince readers even more strongly that if they want to succeed, they must put in the effort and time. It’s about process, and if you follow the process, positive results will come. It seems obvious doesn’t it, but many people seem to hang around, hoping for luck to play its part.
Stuff changes, which means we all have to change too, and that means putting in the effort to follow logical steps to achieve our goals, and never merely hoping, or relying on luck. As the third President of the USA, Thomas Jefferson, remarked, “I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”
Click here to learn more about the second edition of 6 Steps: