Want to raise a million bucks? Get some traction.
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Funding
Greg Kumparak summarizes the findings of venture hacker Ash Fontana:
You may note that “Product” and “Team” are crossed off at the top of the slide. This is from earlier in the presentation, when Ash reaffirmed just how important traction seems to be. Assuming that we’re talking about an average team with an average product (that is, unless your team has a very well-proven entrepreneur or two on its roster, or you’ve built some truly hardcore, one-of-a-kind tech), traction is everything.
These numbers, of course, aren’t concrete. In fact, they’re very much ballpark figures. You shouldn’t expect to hit your 100,000th download and suddenly have every VC in the valley bangin’ on your door. If you’re able to get your stats up in these ranges and can score yourself some meetings, however, you probably won’t have too much trouble sealin’ the deal.
You WILL have trouble sealing the deal.
Don't believe the hype.
Here's what AngelList's Nivi says in the comments:
There's one more thing that obviates the need for traction: social proof. If Marc Andreessen is investing in your round, the round will get done, it doesn't matter what your product, traction, team or technology look like. To raise money, you really only need to be exceptional in one of these categories (product, team, traction, social proof). Since everyone thinks they're exceptional, here is some calibration by way of analogy: it is the equivalent of getting into Harvard or getting 1600 on your SATs. That's the bar to get funded. The bar for success is 1000x higher.