Why $10 Is Better Than $1M For Your Startup

Here’s why we should change the way we think about money for startups

Ten dollars is, of course, a nominal amount. But, the point is that if someone – anyone – is willing to invest even the smallest amount of their own money on your product, then you know you’re onto something. The bigger implication here is that money for startups is, most of the time, synonym to investment when money for startups should mean support; so stop searching for that big paycheck and go find what will really boost your startup.

Many startups have been successful by charging for their product from the very first day. Although that may not work for every startup, charging upfront means more than just having incoming revenue, it means receiving support from people who care. Another way to get support straightaway is through crowdfunding, where every contribution counts no matter how big or small because it’s the power of the community that makes a difference. This means, again, receiving support form people who care.

Besides being a great way to validate your startup idea, charging for your product or asking for contributions will get you real, genuine support as opposed to an investor looking to make a quick buck off your idea. Bootstrapping might not be a possibility for every entrepreneur, but startups should pay more attention to alternative opportunities for growth. While a large investment might help market the product and increase user base, a small number of paying users can help improve the product itself and strengthen communication.

One million dollars is a dream, a mirage in the desert, and worst of all, it’s a distraction. An entrepreneur has to think about every dollar cent his startup earns – and to fight to earn it. With every cent comes great support (yes, I’m borrowing from Spider-Man) and you would do well to collect all the great support you can because it will make a huge difference for your startup. Your customer is your biggest supporter and when you do cash out, it will be more fulfilling knowing that people have supported you along the way than filling your pocket with money.

What would you do with $10 (from a loyal and recurring customer)?