I appreciate the notes you’ve sent me letting me know about the WSJ article highlighting the dismal success rate (fewer than 20% return money to investors) among VC-backed companies.
As I often say in my seminars, believing that money will make your problems disappear is a myth. More money alone won’t solve your business problems any more than more money alone will solve your relationship problems.
However, it is not cause for panic, but rather reflection.
Money is rarely the solution to problems that entrepreneurs face. The surface presentation is often about money — more clients, lack of cash flow, shrinking investments, accounts payable that need to be collected in a shorter time…. The real solution, though, is to understand what you want to accomplish and build systems to consistently move toward those objectives. Without great systems, both entrepreneurs and investors suffer.
I’ve had this conversation with hundreds of entrepreneurs — mostly as a trusted advisor, several times as an investor — because it is crucial to taking full responsibility for one’s business.
The WSJ article reports that Shikhar Ghosh of the Harvard Business School did an in-depth study of over 2,000 venture-backed businesses to arrive at his conclusions. It’s a wake up call. How will you respond?