I pitch Mint to everyone from investors to engineers, young and old, and I do it pretty much the same way: Here's the problem in the market place, here's how we solve it, and here's how we make money.
Investors don't like being in a world where everything is held up by and waiting for an approval from a very small number of people.
Amazon has suffered quarters-long profit droughts. Alphabet has given its investors agita over profligate spending on non-core products. Microsoft's growth - if not its profit engine - stalled for years, causing its stock to idle, too.
Neither a success nor by any means a failure, Roku will nevertheless ask public investors for money because they, too, have a right to dream that magic will become reality one day.
New products, new markets, new investors, and new ways of doing things are the lifeblood of growth. And while each innovation carries potential risk, businesses that don't innovate will eventually diminish.
Why do investors seem to care about 'billion dollar exits?' Historically, top venture funds have driven returns from their ownership in just a few companies in a given fund of many companies.
Many entrepreneurs, and the venture investors who back them, seek to build billion-dollar companies.
Some investors may grumble about entrepreneurs wanting 'unicorn valuations.' But let's be honest: most investors want them, too, and are supporting the massive capitalization of these companies.
When companies are private, founders can share more about their future dreams with investors; report less; and the shares are illiquid, constraining short-term changes in valuation.
Spend the first six to 12 months building a great product or service that people love, rather than chasing investors. When the time comes to engage investors, you will be meeting them from a position of strength. This makes all the difference.