Now that you’re inspired to Be like Jack– you need to start thinking LARGE.
Jack was fortunate to have top-bill investors, why shouldn’t you. Jeff Bezos and Fred Wilson were early investors- find the equivalent wherever you are. Great investors can open many doors for you- they can also provide mission critical advice. They also don’t flip out if things don’t go perfectly – remember, Twitter only announced a revenue model in the last 6 months… they’ve now raised north of $100M date from solid investors. Do the same if at all possible. Also, since you’re raising a lot of money, hire the *BEST* people you can. People that are smarter, faster and better paid than you. It’s been said before, but A teams attract other A players. B teams attract B players… if your idea is great, you’ll be able to raise good money and attract top talent. This is a very important part of growing your business.
Also, location matters. Find the hottest spot you possibly can to build your business. The density of connections in the Valley are well documented, but there are other hot spots if you can’t launch there. And if you can’t launch there, you seriously need to Visit the Valley (next post). New York is developing as a great hub now, London is doing very well over in Shoreditch (check out Techhub)- you significantly increase your chances of success by being in the best location you can… Yes, the world is flat, but talent tends to live where it’s happening. Get there if you’re not there already.
A great London example of raising big amounts of money, scaling quickly and seeing a good exit is Playfish. They raised $17M (big money) from Index and Accel (great investors), then sold the company to Electronic Arts within 18 months for $400M. If don’t think you can do this, you might want to re-think what you’re doing…
You need to Think as Big as you can.