Richard Valtr, Mews
"We’ve always been quite careful, and we like to be custodians of the future we are building, rather than just going out for the big buck."
Quote from Richard Valtr, founder of Mews, in an article on PhocusWire this week on the complexities of fundraising for travel startups.
Each Friday, PhocusWire dissects and debates an industry trend or new development covered by PhocusWire that week.
It is perhaps somewhat refreshing to hear a company founder (in this case, Richard Valtr of Mews) to speak about not going for the "big buck" with his company.
Startups do, rightly, more often than not have a grand vision for their businesses and talk a good game about how product X or Y is going to - at the very least - have an impact on their particular segment of the industry.
Some even suggest that it's a game-changer and the sector will never be the same again.
The latter ones are few and far between, let's face it - but that's a subject for another day (not every startup can genuinely be the next Airbnb or Uber).
Grand visions do not neccessarily correlate to making a pile of revenue (and, in turn, potentially large profits), at least not immediately - nor should they.
This is where the role and relationship with the investor becomes paramount.
The smart and most valuable ones will be those who encourage founders not to be fixated on the money but, rather, figure out what is best for the growth of a company.
Covering costs (especially salaries) is obviously a core requisite for the healthy progress of a company but what to do with those early profits is far trickier to manage.
Hopefully the days of creating fancy office environments are over (does anyone really need giant inflatable balls to sit on?!), as well as other items that could be fairly described as luxuries for a new business.
So, out with the ostentatious investments on image (at least what you want competitors and the press to consider as benchmarks of success) and, instead, reinvest in product, research and development, IT and streamlining financial operations.
PhocusWire's editorials examine a trend or development highlighted in an article during the week.