We've all heard the old parable. The chickens and the pigs decided to make breakfast. The chickens provide the eggs, and the pigs provide the bacon. The chickens are involved, but the pigs are committed.
Jeff Bussgang, VC at Flybridge Capital, makes the point that VCs naturally prefer investing in founders who are committed to the startup - i.e. they've quit their job, they've gotten started, they're getting it done with or without VC money.
Following on from this morning's article about shutting down your startup, I think it's worth drawing an important distinction here.
"Being committed" is important. I've observed founders who could have made a company work, but failed to do so because they never really committed into a sink-or-swim push. Being very good at keeping multiple options open, they never jumped into the startup struggle with enough single-minded focus to actually make their startup work.
However, conversely, I'd argue that the commitment is to being an entrepreneur, not to a specific company. Many of the successful entrepreneurs I know have their fingers in multiple pies. They're committed to working for themselves, they're committed to launching cool new things and making them profitable - but they are not committed to any single specific venture (at least not until that venture is clearly taking off and a surefire winner). They juggle, they make multiple things happen, and they follow success wherever it appears.
In 2011, it's not unreasonable for one person to be running several startups. Be committed to the entrepreneurial way, but don't put all your eggs into a single startup until you create one that's clearly a winner.
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