Stop, right where you’re at.
Look objectively at your startup.
Are you creating new technology?
Would your startup absolutely and completely cease to exist if you didn’t have the tech that you do? And I’m talking about more than simply relying on the Internet.
Are you using an existing technology in an entirely new way?
If your answer to those questions was, “No,” then you may not be a tech company.
It’s ok if you’re not a tech company.
The world thinks it’s cool right now to be an entrepreneur. And the only thing cooler than an entrepreneur right now is to be a tech entrepreneur.
I love my tech entrepreneurs, and I’m proud to say I’m not a tech entrepreneur.
Each one of my ventures uses technology, but none of them are building new tech. None of them would crumble if the tech we do use went away. And none of them are using existing technology in entirely new ways.
The multiples on my companies are going to be lower than those on tech companies, but I don’t care.
If high multiples are your thing, then go for it, sista!
If you’re driven by something else, then don’t force yourself into the tech space.
I fully admit that I’ve oversimplified this discussion, but I’m not sorry.
There are startup founders running around right now who are in total denial about what they’re actually building, and it’s quietly killing their company.
Because they’re talking like a tech company, they’re not talking to the correct investors.
Because they’re acting like a tech company, they’re losing focus on their core product: customer service.
Because they’re acting like a tech company, they’re not emerging from behind their computer screens to talk with the people who matter most: their customers.
Be proud to be a tech-enabled company.
You’ll be around when the lights go out.
Photo: Flickr/Aaron Kim