The ‘ideal runway’ is a delusion, isn’t it?


When it comes to recommendation, tech loves standardization. Startups are sometimes advised that there are specific metrics to hit, deadlines to fulfill, timetables to measure themselves towards.

Examples abound: Here’s the best amount of cash to lift at your Series A spherical; right here’s what number of workers you must have earlier than hiring this govt; right here’s what stage to rent authorized counsel; and, most not too long ago, right here’s what proportion of employees you must lay off in the event you’re unable to entry extra financing.

(The reply is 20% of employees, relying on who you ask).

There’s a response to a few of these normal statements: Startups are sophisticated, and one dimension definitely doesn’t match all. But nonetheless, these startup requirements assist level firms in the best course, in some unspecified time in the future turning into the established order.

That’s why when entrepreneur Paul Graham, the co-founder of Y Combinator, prompt that he’s seeing startups with 20 years of runway thanks to very large 2021 fundraises, it struck me. Isn’t the final recommendation that startups ought to have three years of runway? And if we’re in a extra bullish market, 18 months?

My delayed response to this August tweet apart, let’s speak about runway. As you’ll be able to inform by the headline of this piece, I feel that the best size of runway is a delusion – alongside other startup myths like more money equals more growth. By the top of this piece, chances are you’ll agree.

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