"Founders, do not fall in love with your product or your people. Before you talk to anyone about funding get experienced people to rip your strategy and pitch apart. You only get a few chances to get it done so make sure they count. Network like there’s no tomorrow. Gather people around you who have proven “big league” execution skills. Talk to everybody who can spread the message and bring value. Get yourself down to the Valley. Cold-call and get connected to anyone who can make your business move faster and smarter. If you don’t your competitor will."
Howard Gwin tells Canadian owners, "Bring it or stay home. If you are in the Canadian technology ecosystem, run faster, harder and set higher goals or we are going to fall behind – and we will not catch up."
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I read Howard's article just after I saw yet another owner-operator who had a healthy company at $20M, but waited until it dropped to $9M to speak with Loewen & Partners. The damage was too bad by then. The worst part was that he had bought out his partner and debt and it was ALL his own capital in the business. Rule # 1: Use other people's money. Rule #2: As Howard Gwin says - Bring it or stay home. Realize that this is the time of private equity and the money is here now. If you don't, your competitors will be accessing private equity and think how much market share they could gain.