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ref: 89db8a0db3b15ad1a131b443ccfe2a0d5f08170a sive.rs/site/nofund -rw-r--r-- 4.1 KiB
89db8a0d — Derek Sivers formatting 4 months ago
                                                                                
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<title>The advantage of no funding | Derek Sivers</title>
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<header>
<div class="blogparent">from the book “<a href="/a">Anything You Want</a>”:</div>
<h1>The advantage of no funding</h1>
<small>2011-07-09</small>
</header>

<p>
	Having no funding was a huge advantage for me.
</p><p>
	A year after I started CD Baby, the dot-com boom happened.
	Anyone with a little hot air and a vague plan was given millions of dollars by investors.
	It was ridiculous.
</p><p>
	Most business owners I knew would tell you about their businesses by talking about their second round of funding, their fancy encrypted replicated load-balancing database server, their twenty-person development team, their nice midtown office with a pool table, and their weekly promotion parties.
	When you asked what the business actually did, they couldn’t explain it clearly.
</p><p>
	Then they would talk about LOI, ROI, NDAs, IPOs, and all kinds of things that also had nothing to do with actually helping people.
</p><p>
	I’m so glad I didn’t have investors.
	I didn’t have to please anybody but my customers and myself.
	No effort spent on anything but my customers.
</p><p>
	I’d get weekly calls from investment firms, wanting to invest in CD Baby.
	My immediate answer was always “No thanks.”
</p><p>
	They’d say, “Don’t you want to expand?”
</p><p>
	I’d say, “No. I want my business to be smaller, not bigger.”
</p><p>
	That always ended the conversation.
</p><p>
	By not having any money to waste, you never waste money.
</p><p>
	Since I couldn’t afford a programmer, I went to the bookstore and got a $25 book on PHP and MySQL programming.
	Then I sat down and learned it, with no programming experience.
	Necessity is a great teacher.
</p><p>
	Even years later, the desks were just planks of wood on cinderblocks from the hardware store.
	I made the office computers myself from parts.
	My well-funded friends would spend $100,000 to buy something that I made myself for $1000.
	They did it saying “we need the very best,” but it didn’t improve anything for the customers.
</p><p>
	Never forget that absolutely everything you do is for your customers.
	Make every decision — even decisions about whether to expand the business, raise money, or promote someone — according to what’s best for your customers.
</p><p>
	If you’re ever unsure what to prioritize, just ask your customers the open-ended question, “How can I best help you now?”
	Then focus on satisfying those requests.
</p><p>
	None of your customers will ask you to turn your attention to expanding.
	They want you to keep your attention focused on them.
</p><p>
	It’s counterintuitive, but the way to grow your business is to focus entirely on your existing customers.
	Just thrill them, and they’ll tell everyone.
</p>
<a href="/a" title="Anything You Want — by Derek Sivers"><img src="/images/DerekSivers-AnythingYouWant-318x450.jpg" alt="Anything You Want — book cover" title="Anything You Want — by Derek Sivers" /></a>

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