We live in an era rife with the narrative of unicorns, decacorns, and startups that seemingly explode overnight into multi-billion-dollar enterprises, and every budding entrepreneur is seemingly dreaming of being the next Elon Musk or Mark Zuckerberg. But the truth is, not every startup needs to be “venture scale.”
I see a common problem with many startups I work with as a pitch coach: companies will attempt to raise from VCs despite knowing they can’t possibly deliver venture-scale returns.
You can either be a venture-scale startup and raise from VCs or choose a different path and build a very lucrative company regardless. But never the twain shall cross: If you’re trying to pitch your startup to VCs without offering a VC-scale return, you have about the same chances as a snowflake surviving in front of one of the Boring Company’s flamethrowers.
Let’s talk about the difference between a company that can reach venture scale and one that can’t.