Remember me? I’m a Silly Valley serial entreprenerd. I’m well-known for using startup jargon, which I learned from Forbes, Fortune and TechCrunch. Shall I share my story with you? Beware: this small piece of text contains 73 jargon words.
When I was 16 I launched my first B-to-B business. Some FFF helped me to leverage my first MVP and both an incubator and accelerator thought that monetizing the Business Model would disrupt existing markets using our bleeding edge technology and lead to ROI quickly. In the beginning the business was just ramen-profitable, but by pivoting our way through the first months, iterated the profit model to a B-to-C market, we created traction, penetrated new markets and gathered the low hanging fruit.
Some angel investors acknowledged the hockey stick we didn’t know we were and we were suddenly valuated as a My Little Pony. We agreed on a term sheet, with some interesting metrics and cliff details. But more importantly, we co-created with accredited investors to reach the VC Series A round, because we wanted to become a centaur.
Became pretty serious now, we were no longer a cottage business. We started with SaaS, changed to Freemium</strong> with some gamification elements along the way, implemented responsive design and had a good enough runway to scale-up for a while. Yes, we also build a good deck and pitched to a range of capitalists. We promised them boot-strapping, sweet equity and an excellent burn-rate. Our value prop was valued at unicorn-level, we got FMA and a great exit strategy scenario ready.
When I was 16 and a half, my business had the most opium in our space and we were definitely crushing it. We were an excellent example of a lean start-up, growth-hacked ourselves into the Bay Area. We bluffed our way through funding rounds, shouting we were Non-GAAP Profitable, cashflow positive and had 500% growth rates week-over-week. We were market leaders because of our approach to UI/UX and our design-centered organization. Our post-money valuation brought us quickly to decacorn-level.
However, our loss leader pricing strategy didn’t work out and we had to confess to our investors we actually created a lot of vaporware and forgot to register for IP across the border. Our expected churn-rate was enormous, so we were suddenly valuated a unicorpse. We saved our asses by changing to an advertorial-model for a couple of months. We were a failure. We had to fire everybody and got acqui-hired by a real company. End-of-story.