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Description

Today’s guest was running out of money for his startup so he ran 22 business models in 6 weeks and finally found one that worked. You will discover how he ran those tests, how to model your business before you start and really valuable fundraising tips.

Blake Smith is Co-Founder & CEO at Cladwell.

Show Notes

Running Tests for 22 Business Models

Blake came up with 22 business models in 6 weeks and when I inquired how he got all of these tested, he admitted openly that it was so messy. They created buttons that went to nothing; created entire services that didn’t actually exist; created marketing pages which made people pay and they end up giving their money back..it was a mess but it because a defining moment for the company and for Blake himself. He learned that balancing their values and accomplishing their company’s mission can also entail doing difficult things that can make people mad. When they finally chose to go with subscription, they emailed everyone in their 200k mailing list explaining the rationale and the story behind their decision but most brilliantly, Blake placed his personal phone number in the post script. He got over 400 text messages from customers showing support and out of 200k, got only three negative feedback.

Valuable Fundraising Tips

Fundraising is a culture and there are ways that you behave in this culture which can fundamentally knock you off the list of possibilities that are not fully intuitive and that you only learn by doing it or hearing about it from somebody else who has been in that culture. As an entrepreneur, the only thing that you have in this process to get people to move forward is to have other investors. The name of the game is pitching to as many people as possible at the same time, and you need to get them to move along the same stage in their analysis of your company. You don’t want them talking to one another but you want them to be aware of one another. If you have horses all lined up, you’ll want to move the horses all at the same time towards the goal. For Blake, for 3 months, he dropped everything and pitched with a daily average of 4 VCs and angels, face to face. It also is very important to have options running at the same otherwise you will appear desperate and that is not a good negotiating position.

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