Jim Clarke was an internet genius. In the heady days of the dot com bubble, Jim successfully launched three $billion startups. The story goes that he raised a ton of investment for Healtheon (later becoming WebMD) by simply drawing a triangular diagram. No business plan, no MVP. That’s how many companies raised funds in the 90s.
Healtheon / WebMD survived the crash in the early 2000s but many did not, the most famous casualties being Pets.com and WebVan. Before it all came tumbling down, Investors were feeling bullish by the incredible hype around dotcom businesses and pumped money into companies that had vague concepts or far reaching ideas, no working demos and no plans to generate any revenue. Sound familiar?
Initial Coin Offerings / ICOs are enjoying a similar level of hype right now and for the first time have raised more funding for startups than early stage VCs have. But nobody seems to be talking about the quality of the investments. With so many ICOs out there having hit their targets without a working MVP (minimum viable product) or feasible concept and no mention of how they intend to generate revenue. I’ve pitched a few angels and VCs before and I can attest that they have learnt their lesson from the dotcom days: you need to come prepared with a tight business plan, a growth plan, a revenue plan, a solid team and importantly a working MVP.
MVPs are really important when assessing the viability of a tech business. It shows that the team is cohesive and driven enough to launch a working product on a low budget, it shows that the concept is feasible and it also explains the concept far better than a pitch deck or white paper ever could.
As the hype around ICOs settles down and the winners are separated from losers, crypto investors just like the VCs before them, will start to demand more from the companies raising funds through crypto. Good plans and MVPs will become the norm. This is why we at team Cove have insisted on launching our ICO with a working MVP. It will have a good starting feature set at the start of the pre-sale and we have an aggressive roadmap in place to build out some incredible features and our young, agile team is delivering on this daily. If you’d like to try out the MVP when it launches or get our white paper, sign up on our ICO page.
On a side note, if you’re interested in the history of Silicon Valley like I am, I highly recommend reading more on Jim Clark in The New New Thing, watching Pirates of Silicon Valley and checking out Halt and Catch Hire.