Potential co-founders say my idea is too difficult, should I give up?
My company is peer to peer lending but the tech co-founders I've been interviewing say my idea is too difficult. They seem to be scared of the bigger competitors. What should I do?
Without all the details of why they feel your goal is complicated it’s difficult to answer the question in full but…don’t allow someone(s) else is fearful of the outcome. That’s how they feel, not how you feel. And don’t allow them to get inside your head and mess with it.
The co-founders are absolutely entitled to have their own opinions and fears…don’t make them yours. If they’ve struck a nerve with you on some issue, work it out with a trusted friend/relative/mentor. Whenever I worked on a long-term project as a reporter and was having difficulty, I’d tell my dog the story. Sounds crazy, right? It worked. The led graph was always written within 10 minutes.
It might take you a little longer but it will be worth it. I don’t know who these people are to you, other than co-founders, but this may be a red flag that you aren’t meant to take this journey with them.
Don’t do anything until you’ve wrapped your head around it and know how you feel. And remind the co-founders, bigger isn’t always better. Good luck and keep us posted!
If you have presented the "Big Picture" they may be overwhelmed, and concerned about the logistics.
My suggestion would be to break it up into smaller stages, set achievable targets which plan for growth.
As with anything new, it needs to walk before it runs.
It may also be better to only discuss the first 1 or 2 stages. you may find that with growth two or three things will happen.
1) The tech side follows.
2) your growth is beyond their capabilities.
3) Technology will catch up with your ideas.
You may also want to say " I'm not concerned about the competition, in fact if we become a real pain in their butt, they may just call by with a big cheque, so that we can move on to something else.
Good luck with the development.
Perhaps, your idea needs to be broken down into parts. Agreeing with Mr. Hong.
If it was easy everyone would be doing it.
Find new partners.
I might be interested!!!
If it was easy then everyone would have done it already! Everyone has probably some sort of competitor regardless of the industry they are in! These potential co-founders dont sound like they are people you want to be in business with anyhow.
Give up on the co founder not the idea. You will always have competition.
Think of it like the student who says the assignments are too hard. They flunk out unless you have a no fail policy.
In business you do not need to carry a failure.
To thy own self be true.
Actually doing the difficult stuff is a way to get your business started. Then as you continue on the small things that make it difficult will come to light and you will have the opportunity to make meaningful corrections. Many doubters are just trying to maintain the status quo. If you are the boss then go ahead and make your decision or tell the co-founders to show you a better way.
Kenneth Lash, MBA
Its all about your self-belief Sandra. If you think, why can't it be implemented. You are the only one to evaluate it and re-think .
Firstly bring in small changes ,wait and watch as then how things progresses . If that also does not work then change the contents etc.Do not give up as the things will pick up from there.All the best.
I see two possibilities. The first is that the potential co-founders are correct in their evaluation. Mainly because they are people you identified as most capable of doing what you are suggesting. They should know best.
But it could be something else... In traditionally funded model, your team, business plan and idea (in that order) are what an angel will invest in. If the angel is providing all of the funding they will expect to own controlling interest. The idea is the least valuable asset in their investment risk/reward evaluation. Where this relates to your initiative is the same is often true with skilled providers capable of building the business. Could this be where you are at? Did you propose a share value for their work?
As an example from personal experience, I have been recruited several times as part of a development team in a proposed "work for shares" scenario. Only twice did the project move forward with the remainder breaking down in the work vs share value negotiation stage. And the two times it went forward, the skill team combined took about 80% of the equity and in both cases, the person whose idea it was had to contribute to the work just to keep 15-20%. The idea alone wasn't worth close to 20% equity to the skill team. In fact most of us had similar ideas at some point or have other ideas they think are better. If they are going to invest their time in a dream, it will be their own dream, not yours. With quality talent, the only way to keep control is to pay them for their work.
It looks like you got lots of input here to refine the business plan or idea.
Then it is time to get other tech co-founders - especially since the proposed tech co-founders deem the project too difficult.
They are right. It's a highly complex, highly regulated space. I wouldn't touch it.
Perhaps it's not that your idea is too difficult. It could be that the way you're explaining it is too complex.
What do I mean?
In my life I've reviewed 000s of business plans and similar proposals. If I had $1 for every time I am on page 15 and I still have no idea what is the business idea, I would be on my own yacht complete with Toy Boy!
Here is the advice I give to every person seeking funding for a business:
However complex your business idea is, write it down in a Purpose Statement of not more than 2 short (SHORT) sentences.
When you can do this, you are so clear what your business is about, you can sell it to a miser.
Can this be done?
Absolutely! My girlfriend took 2 weeks and 22 revisions to do it for her $37m business plan but she described it as a complete game changer.
So go ahead and try this Sandra and see if it changes the game for you too...
Why all the speculation - especially related to finance where there's enough speculation already?
Can you not test your idea and then have some level of results either way to help determine the course from there?
Find some prospects, pitch an offer and make contingencies in the deal.
If those you want to work with don't want play, make new contacts - and don't give too much of your idea/business away out of desperation to hook up with good help.
I always feel that I am late to these conversations. You have to determine a Sub-Market for your idea. It may not be the entire Market, but a Submarket. We live in the area of Mass Customization for an Audience of One. Your idea may not be broad, but it will work, if positioned properly.
Maybe they are just being nice. In essence they are going to build the whole thing for equity, but maybe don't trust you have the details all worked out ahead of time. Try to actually pay developers to build a starting point, and then get "co-founders" involved with seeing it through. Coders for equity rarely works out well.
Why listen to them? If this is what your dream is, it is in your gut, your heart, you may even dream about it! Stay the course - do not listen to those that want to dissuade you from your goals. Find those people that support you, build you up, give constructive criticism to help you - not those that tear you down or discourage you.
What this tells me is that you are a threat to them! Hey so what? The pool out there is huge - go for it my dear - you deserve it!
Based on your response to Ed Drozda, your question is more clear. They are not giving funding for this venture - it's sweat equity. They probably have their hands full with other projects and don't want to risk this venture. If you are convinced and you have all the necessary ingredients, e.g., market plan, market research, costs, potential yield and when, then go for money people. There are thousands of angels around looking to invest in solid projects.
You will need to satisfy yourself that your business plan is robust and can be delivered in the light of the existing competition. Help is available.