If you are thinking about starting a company or are fully into startup mode, it is worth you time to watch this video of Aaron Patzer where he describes the process for his success at Mint.com. This is a tremendous walkthrough of how he bootstrapped his company, planned for success and ultimately sold his company for $170 million to Intuit.
Aaron walks through his early business plan, revenue expectations, funding and ultimate acquisition with lots of numbers. I found it particularly humorous when he talked about how VCs value early stage companies; $500k for every coder/engineer, -$100k for every business person.
His instincts are on the money though. Focus on your product, building value, proving out your business model. Understand your market and you will gradually build for success. You can add sales, marketing, and executive leadership through advisors at first, consultants and part time employees next and ultimately will bring on full time executives as needed. We had a great discussion on this topic on my own site a few weeks ago in the post “Do startups need VPs?”
Hope you enjoy the video.