On these days of summer, one of my main ways of leisure is watching movies and documentaries on Netflix. If you follow my twitter account (skullsbcn), I usually review some of the movies I watch with a simple “sucks”, “amazing” and so on (yeah, I know, Twitter doesn´t allow me to develop further my amazing english written skills). One of the last movies I watched is “Something ventured”. There are two options when thinking, and creating a brand: Wether you have some money and a plan, or you have a plan and no money.
Both options are completely valid, its all up not on where you want to go, but how you want to get there.
“Something ventured” on netflix is a documentary that shows how venture capitalists and start up companies have worked in the past.
The documentary shows examples like Apple, Cisco, Powerpoint… and how the relationships between small companies and venture capitalists can help create, evolve and how these relationships might go tremendously good, or bad.
It is a really interesting example on how certain companies get funding to be able to “exist” or to “grow”. The main difference with that era, as the documentary is centered on the 70′s and 80′s, is that most of the companies that the documentary focuses on, existed before the injection of capital, and weren´t just a business plan. Its sad to say, these days few companies begin without funding, or without the idea to being “bought”. yes, its great to make quick money, but the joy of creating something from scratch is quite forgotten, and the diamonds and Mercedes are too in mind of nowadays kids.
Its quite interesting to see the CISCO example, on how a company founded by 2 people, got big, with a huge investment and a board, and in less than 18 months, both founders were fired. 45% of company founders are fired or out the companies they created after the investment has been set. Yes, they leave with money, most of the times, but they also see something they created gone.
There are certain examples on streetwear that show the same success and disasters that the documentary shows. Examples of brands who accepted investors and got the founder fired time after, or brands who got huge in “3 days”.
You can choose to get money to do your project, loose freedom, or having less money, slower growth and maintain the freedom and goofiness of your thing. Your choice. Look around the brands you know, and wonder how many brands are still maintaining that fun appeal you once knew, or maybe that brand that all of a sudden changed for better (or worse) creating more products, having booths on the tradeshows. There are really successful examples out there. And also bad ones. Study, learn, and balance. Be smart.
Its a great documentary to watch, and that might give you stuff to think about if you want to do things in life, wether with an investor, or without it.