Seek Revenue not Funding

seek revenue

It is time to seek revenue over funding!

These last three months make up the second summer I have been involved with Utah’s top accelerator BoomStartup. I have had quite a unique perspective. A year ago I was in the program with a company of my own. This time around I am on the management side. By helping run operations it has been a whole new experience. I have seen companies come and go, succeed and fail, start-up and fizzle-out.

If you know anything about business accelerators then you know that the intent is to give startup businesses a set amount of money in exchange for a small percentage of ownership in the company. In addition to the money the accelerator offers services, mentoring, training, and exposure to influential people. This helps these small startup companies to have a better chance of survival and a better chance at raising capital from investors.

Most accelerators, and their mentors, push the accepted startups to work toward a goal of raising the necessary capital. Many countless hours and sweat are spent working toward the ultimate goal of making a deal with a Venture Capitalists and firms. Companies are told to seek investment so many times that it has evolved into the holy grail. It becomes the only thing startups think about. They think once they have VC money that they have made it.

I am here to tell you, it is not true. I raised money. Then I spent money. Trust me, I am still on quest for success.

Business Funding V. Revenue

Every day we read about multi-million dollar fundings of startups without ever really understanding how or why. The companies receiving these amounts of money are represented as successful. This is sending the wrong message to the every day startup: that they need to raise money and it will all be ok.

Honestly, we’ve heard this for a very long time and it has now become the norm. In my opinion it isn’t about raising the money. It is about making it. If you make revenue, it solves problems.

If I could go back to when my team and I were accepted into BoomStartup I would change many things. The biggest change would have been getting to revenue sooner. Companies who have entered into an accelerator are so worried about landing the largest amount of capital from investors that they forget to start making revenue. I don’t care who you are, if you and your company are making money hand over fist, investors are going to be knocking on your door step.

Why? Because money is the ultimate goal for everyone. Investors and founders alike. Investors want to be part of a deal that makes them money. Normally something that gives them 10x what they invest.

This isn’t to say that seeking out investment is not important, because it is. What I am saying is that a company should concentrate on generating money, then with that traction the ‘seeking’ of seeking investment becomes alot easier.

Every company should ask themselves (especially those in an accelerator) an important question before hunting for an investor: How well can we demonstrate our ability to generate sufficient financial returns for a potential investor?

Cash flow needs to be stable and regular. It would be better to have a track record of recurring or growing revenue that is documented. It isn’t necessary (look at Instagram or even the Utah local Scan) but I would recommend it if you want any investor to look seriously. Many angel investment groups will not even consider you if you are pre-revenue.

Seek revenue people!

Accelerators everywhere need to be focusing on their companies generating revenues. I hope the accelerator ‘seek funding’ facade blows over because I got tangled up in it, and you could too.



Why Duck Dynasty hit 11.8M viewers and Breaking Bad didn’t

Breaking Bad v. Duck Dynasty

This is my personal rationale trying to break down why Duck Dynasty hit 11.8M viewers and Breaking Bad didn’t.


For those who haven’t heard, Louisiana’s “Duck Dynasty” family set another cable-TV ratings record with Wednesday’s premiere of season 4 on A&E. A record 11.8 million viewers tuned in, making it the most watched non-fiction series in cable history.

“Breaking Bad” did great for AMC. Last Sunday they kicked off the final eight episodes which drew 5.9 million viewers, more than double the number who watched the opening episode last summer.

Being a fan of both of these shows I was actually very surprised by the numbers they both pulled. I was floored that comparatively Duck Dynasty was so high and that Breaking Bad was so low.

Breaking Bad v. Duck Dynasty

In my mind I see both shows as top contenders for the most popular currently running TV programs. I love me some Si Robertson “hey” and some Jesse Pinkman “b****”.

But why didn’t Breaking Bad keep up?

Sunday’s episode of Breaking Bad was all anyone was talking about for the past few weeks. I swear every morning show, late-night show, the Internet, and even my social circles were anticipating episode 9 of season 5. Twitter near blew up during the super intense final scene. People like Rihanna were the ones tweeting about it.

But again, why didn’t Breaking Bad keep up?

Both shows have equally impressive Facebook Pages. Duck Dynasty has 5,445,774 likes with Breaking Bad close behind with 5,089,881. If the Facebook Fan Page and Twitter followers race is neck and neck then why isn’t Breaking Bad up in the 11 Million viewer range like Duck Dynasty?

Illegal Downloads

It comes down to one piece of modern day technology. Bit Torrents.

Figures collected by tech blog TorrentFreak indicate that plenty of viewers downloaded the Breaking Bad episode via torrent sites instead. The site claims that 80,000 people were sharing the episode within hours of it appearing online, and that torrented downloads had topped half a million within 12 hours.

Breaking Bad Illegal Downloads

Breaking Bad’s season premiere illegal downloads distribution world wide

That my friends is only counting downloads. Let alone how many viewers were watching each played copy or how many times each download was given to friends or family. I know every time I watch an episode of either show I wait for those I watch with to come over, pop some jiffy, and mold our butts to the couch. It’s a majestic time.

It’s also unknown how many people watched Breaking Bad on unlicensed streaming sites, which have become an increasingly high-profile headache for TV channels like AMC or A&E.

Duck Dynasty’s season premiere had less than 10% the illegal downloads that Breaking Bad’s received. The famous bittorrent site Pirate Bay can prove it. The most downloaded Duck Dynasty season 4 premiere torrent was downloaded 636 times. The most downloaded Breaking Bad season premiere torrent was downloaded 23,643 times and counting.

We have to take in account the type of viewers that each show is attracting.

Breaking Bad is a drama, about drugs, murder, and the DEA. Duck Dynasty is about duck calls, family life, and Si Robertson. You only need common sense to see that Breaking Bad is like a bone in front of a dog’s face to the hacker community. It is boils down to a stereotype that the type of person that illegally downloads is more likely to watch Breaking Bad.

This was unthinkable half a decade ago, but piracy is still far from defeated. Good or bad thing? Let me know in the comments below.


Duck Dynasty didn’t get the views because it is a better show.

If you ask me, Breaking Bad is more popular than Duck Dynasty. The only thing is that the numbers don’t show it. Tough break AMC. If it weren’t for illegal downloads, Breaking Bad would have been right up there with 11.8 Million viewers for it’s season premiere.

That being said, I don’t miss one episode of Duck Dynasty either.

Rip off and design – an Entrepreneurs best friend

Why is rip off and design an entrepreneurs best friend? Because finding opportunity where others can’t is the job of an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurial leaders, like greats in the past, create opportunities in any fashion they know how. I wanted to post about this to prove that to “rip off and design” is not that uncommon.

Sometimes the opportunities come by introducing a new product or service based on an unmet need. Sometimes the opportunity is built around an existing product or service from one market and then introduced into another where it may not be available. Or sometimes opportunity is made from literally taking an idea that has been tried/tested before and doing it again.

We call this Entrepreneurial R & D. Also known as Rip Off and Design.

“Entrepreneurs seldom invent and market unique products; rather, they build their ventures around incremental innovations and modifications.” – HBR 1998 The Road well Traveled

What is Rip Off and Design?

Rip off and design is literally when you identify a good idea from your neighbor where there is a significant pain or opportunity. Then modify, add to, take away, make it better, use it differently, or completely change the product. This is not blatantly copying a product but changing it to improve it.

Being unique is overrated. So many companies have taken the rip off and design approach and been successful. They took someone else’s idea and ran with it, making it worth millions or even billions in the process.

Facebook - Rip Off and Design


You’ve probably heard how Mark Zuckerburg stole the idea for Facebook from his Harvard classmates and founders of ConnectU. This story has been told in the news, made into a movie, and has been settled in a courtroom.

But you might not have heard about Friendster. A social networking made back in 2002.

Friendster sprang up before MySpace, Facebook or LinkedIn. Arguably, they were the first website with the idea of connecting friends and letting them share content. It simply was the first of social networking, including things like uploading and sharing.

So what should you do when your company can not grow because of another company’s intellectual property? You buy all their patents! Which is exactly what Facebook did.

Twitter - Rip Off and Design


Originally Twitter was a system that would send messages to mobile phones to keep specific groups up to date on specific things. Smartphones were super rare when Twitter (or twttr as it was known) first started, but the idea spread like wildfire.

But it wasn’t original. Another company, called TechRadium, did it first.

TechRadium was a mass notification system. The idea was that an author could send a note out to subscribers via text, email or voicemail. It wasn’t exactly the same but Twitter definitely ripped off and designed.

Hulu - Rip Off and Design


We all have heard of Hulu. But what about Joost?

Joost was founded by the guys who created Skype, got millions of dollars in cash from big corporations, and signed on Viacom and CBS as partners. But there was a big problem: downloading.

Joost required users to download a software and then users had to download the shows before you could watch them, and back in the day it took a while! That was a deal breaker.

Seeing the problem, Hulu burst onto the scene by basically copying Joost but tweaking it to allow users to watch shows instantly. Lets just say that was pretty much the end of Joost.

PayPal - Rip Off and Design


Before PayPal existed, Billpoint was a fast and easy way to pay for auctions on eBay. At first eBay endorseed the crap out of Billpoint. But it only brought mixed results among bidders and sellers. Eventually, eBay bought PayPal and phased out acceptance of Billpoint.

Billpoint lost in that battle.

It boils down to two simple scenarios: 1) That some brilliant ideas are simply too ahead of their time. And 2) Others companies are too slow and just fall behind while competitors improve and spread like wildfire. Then smart entrepreneurs resurrect the idea, tweak it, and make millions.

If you’ve abandoned one of your ideas because you were hammered by someone else, dust it off and take another whack at it. Or you can simply R&D. That is what this country has done since it’s birth. Thats what America is all about. You might find a way to improve on an idea, or you might just be able to execute it better. Who knows, you might be the next Mark Zuckerburg.