“Solvency First, Consistency Second, Growth Third
If you don’t have enough money to survive you die. It’s simple logic that most founders understand all too well. One of my mentors, who I respect tremendously, would always side with my argument that we need to do professional services to survive as a bootstrapped startup, and it was true. It wasn’t what we wanted to do – but it was, and still is, necessary. Most early-stage investors will sell you the story that you need to focus on your product and iterate until you get traction in a large market and never get distracted on product execution. I would argue that depending on your financial situation – you should focus on what I like to call ‘Minimum Viable Cashflow (MVC)’. Once you determine what the MVC is for both you and your team, work towards achieving that by whatever means you can. Consistency allows for predictability and the more predictable your business (‘X inputs results in Y outputs’) the faster you’ll grow.”
Rob Saric (@RobSaric) in “Startups Are Hard“
We often talk about the “Work/Work” balance at Bootstrapper Breakfasts: you have to do work that keeps the team together and the lights on as you also work on product development and the primary new business you are building. Defining the minimum viable cashflow allows you to calculate the amount of freelance, consulting, or other “day job” work you need to put in to keep moving forward.