Tonight I’m giving the keynote address at the Founder Institute (FI) graduation. FI is “the world’s largest entrepreneur training and startup launch program.” I’ve been a mentor and speaker throughout the current class and I’m excited about getting them pumped up about graduating tonight.
As I’ve been reflecting on what to say, while at the same time going through a very pivotal moment in Dragon Army’s young history – we launched our first game last week – and I’ve come to one HUGE realization.
It doesn’t matter how great your idea is, how amazing your business plan is, how vast your network is, or how bright your smile is…if you don’t give yourself enough runway to build your business then your chances of success are minimal.
It took me six years with my first company to hit $1 million in revenue. Six very tough, hard-fought years. After that, we doubled for four straight years and had a very successful acquisition. Then with the next company, it took four years to figure out how to build that business and we sold two years after that.
With Dragon Army, the most important thing I can do as CEO is ensure that we are going to be able to last long enough to crack the code on mobile gaming. And while we’re off to a great start, it might take six or seven years to truly figure the space out. Building a business is hard stuff. I’m watching some of the startups in the Atlanta Tech Village that have been plugging away for three or more years just finally start to achieve significant momentum.
So if you’re starting a business, or have recently started one, the most important thing you can do is ensure that you’ll have enough time to make it happen. My guess is at a minimum you’ll need two years to get to profitability so the business is self-sustaining. But you’ll need to run the numbers and figure out what makes the most sense for your business. Either way, its an exercise I think is critical to realizing your dream.