Who Cares How Much You Raised?

There’s something going on that needs to be stopped.

I see it constantly, all around us and it’s seemed to come out of nowhere. It’s inundating news headlines, email, digests and social media posts. Frankly, it’s gotten out of hand. What is "it?" Everyone is talking about what business or CEO is raising the most money, who they got it from and how much they got. 

What is the truth?

But the truth of the matter is: it doesn’t matter. Who cares how much they raised? The amount of money one obtains, is by no means the mark of how successful the business is that they run and it certainly is not indicative of the company's worth either.

Some think the amount is extremely important. But is it?

Sure, to some people out there, the amount of cash they’ve gathered in a round of fundraising is wildly important. Some mistakenly believe that it's everything they stand for, and this money gathering is the main focus. 

By the same token, there are some media publishers who are seemingly locked in on this same idea, as well. This may be all well and good, so long as the article they’re taking to print has that topic as the main point and focus. But this business of defining a company’s worth by the amount of money they have raised is what I like to call -- nonsense. 

Life in the bubble. 

It’s as if these people who decide a value of a company based on the funds raised live in a bubble and it’s time that bubble is popped. For sure this is no way to determine a company’s worth. This vacuous suggestion of worth is just a facade, and just as the word "facade" submits as a definition -- it is a fake worth based on nothing.

These not-so-fancy stats are not something you can hang your hat on. The reality is, some of these companies that are being praised and put up on a pedestal for their fundraising skills, have founders that, at the end of the day, don’t see a dime of that money. Or, on the other hand, the company has gotten so diluted that the new round of fund raising was actually a way for the earlier investors to get out. I’m fairly certain if you showed those two options to anyone on the street, they’d suggest that the business was operating incorrectly. 

If you want to define a business’s worth, you have to dig a little deeper. I want to know who is really growing their companies? By what metric are they making their decisions? Exactly how are they doing their finite calculations? Who out there is actually changing the marketplace or actually solving a market inefficiency? 

I want to know who is transforming their respective industries or revitalizing a process? Who is solving an actual, concrete problem to make this world a better place or change a destiny -- and how are they going about doing this? 

Whom are those who matter?

Those who are making a difference are the people that matter. Those who have an impact on someone, something or an impact on some industry -- these are the important ones. What makes these people impactful? How do they go about their day to day works and business? What are their tricks? Where did they learn their tips and trade? 

These people are the innovators. These are the people that are changing the game.   

I want to know what makes them important? I want to hear more from these types of people.

A business’s worth does not have to correspond with a round of funding, because there is a multitude of companies out there that are absolutely crushing it without raising a penny’s worth of funds or even going public. 

These company’s founders are making a great contribution to something substantial and are being able to  absolutely kill-it in the process. They are not just winning and building financially. On top of the sacks of capital they are wrangling in, these founders are also keeping their freedom and their autonomy as leaders.

The true company founder. The true company owner.

These are the founders and leaders who actually own their companies and businesses. These are the business owners who are truly free to build and innovate the way they see fit. These are the ones who are not being told what to do with their original ideas -- they can do whatever they want. 

Not to mention, they are working for an ultra-desirable company that is changing entire industries with their own work. These are the true, free ones -- free to create incredible cultures for their employees and free to have the time of their lives while doing what they know they were meant to do. 

They aren’t worried about fund raising. They are free and happy to be worried about doing the real work -- their own work. These are the true game changers who are making a difference. These are the founders and owners that take risks and put it all on the line, because, at the end of the day, they understand that what they’re striving for is eventually going to be what makes them a valuable company. 

The ones we should be talking about. The shinning lights.

These are the people we should be talking about. These are those whom the headlines, email digests and social media posts should be about. 

We need to stop shining a light on companies strictly because they managed to raise some funds. Really, anyone can go raise money, but not everyone can change the vision of an industry or inspire an entire workforce to buy into a startup. 

These are the types of people I want to talk to and get to know. These are the visionaries and the innovators. These are the people I hope to one day do business with. These are the ones we should know.