Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been working with some truly spectacular founders. One guy was a three-star general at one point. Another is in the U.S. because his research is so far ahead of the AI learning curve that the U.S. State Department issued him an O-1 extraordinary ability visa. Another had a doctorate and a stack of patents in his name.
If you’re working at a VC firm, it isn’t unusual to meet such extraordinary people. You’ll see a steady stream of people waltzing in with pitch decks, prototypes and résumés. VCs are on a perpetual quest to discover and invest in extraordinary startups, those rare gems with the potential to disrupt markets, innovate industries, and disrupt the hell out of everything in sight. And if you’re an aspiring startup founder, you may wonder if you have what it takes to attract such investment and thrive in the competitive startup ecosystem.
Unfortunately, what I’m seeing out on the fundraising trail right now is that if you don’t have perfect founder-market fit, fundraising is getting hard.
Of course, that got me thinking about my own startups. If I map myself against the standards of fundraising today, none of my startups would’ve had a gnat’s shadow’s chance of raising money.