Monday 15th July 2019

    Investor Herd Dynamics

    The biggest component in most investors' opinion of you is the opinion of other investors. Which is of course a recipe for exponential growth. When one investor wants to invest in you, that makes other investors want to, which makes others want to, and so on.

    Sometimes inexperienced founders mistakenly conclude that manipulating these forces is the essence of fundraising. They hear stories about stampedes to invest in successful startups, and think it's therefore the mark of a successful startup to have this happen. But actually the two are not that highly correlated. Lots of startups that cause stampedes end up flaming out (in extreme cases, partly as a result of the stampede), and lots of very successful startups were only moderately popular with investors the first time they raised money.

    So the point of this essay is not to explain how to create a stampede, but merely to explain the forces that generate them. These forces are always at work to some degree in fundraising, and they can cause surprising situations. If you understand them, you can at least avoid being surprised.

    Continued here