If I’m Being Honest, I Didn’t Have What It Takes To Be A Founder


Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the privilege of working closely with some incredibly accomplished founders. Among them, one was a former three-star general, another had received an extraordinary ability visa from the U.S. State Department, and yet another held a doctorate and a multitude of patents. These exceptional individuals serve as a reminder of the caliber of talent that venture capitalists (VCs) encounter on a regular basis.

Key Takeaway

Fundraising for startup founders is becoming more challenging, with a greater emphasis on perfect founder-market fit.

VC firms are constantly on the lookout for groundbreaking startups that have the potential to disrupt industries and captivate markets. Entrepreneurs with innovative ideas, impressive prototypes, and remarkable backgrounds often march through the doors of VC firms, seeking investment and support in the competitive startup ecosystem. However, what I’ve observed recently is that fundraising has become increasingly difficult for those who lack perfect founder-market fit.

The Quest for Extraordinary Startups

VC firms are driven by a constant quest to discover extraordinary startups. They seek out those rare gems that possess the potential to revolutionize industries and reshape the world as we know it. This pursuit unveils a constant influx of impressive entrepreneurs armed with compelling pitch decks, groundbreaking prototypes, and impressive resumes.

As a result, founders aspiring to secure investment often find themselves questioning whether they possess the necessary qualities to attract funding and thrive. This self-reflection becomes increasingly important as the investment landscape becomes more discerning.

The Reality Check

Reflecting on the current fundraising landscape, I can’t help but evaluate my own startups. Based on the expectations and standards prevalent today, I can confidently say that none of my past ventures would have stood a chance at raising capital. The scrutiny placed on founder-market fit has become a significant determinant of fundraising success.

Being a founder is no longer solely about having a great idea or even a remarkable prototype. It now requires a level of alignment with the market, a deep understanding of customers’ needs, and the ability to position oneself as the perfect solution to a problem. This alignment serves as a critical factor when VCs consider investing their capital.

The Rising Bar

The increasing emphasis on founder-market fit presents a formidable challenge for aspiring startup founders. It requires a careful evaluation of one’s strengths, expertise, and unique value proposition. From the perspective of VCs, the perfect founder-market fit ensures that the startup is well-positioned to seize opportunities and deliver exceptional value to customers.

While the evolving landscape may seem discouraging, it also serves as a motivator for founders to refine their vision, hone their skills, and continuously adapt to market dynamics. Fundraising is no longer a mere pitch; it demands a comprehensive understanding of the market, a compelling strategy, and a relentless pursuit of excellence.


Raising capital has become increasingly challenging for startup founders who do not possess perfect founder-market fit. The expectations and standards set by venture capitalists require entrepreneurs to align themselves closely with their target markets and demonstrate a deep understanding of customer needs. Aspiring founders must be prepared to navigate these challenges and continuously fine-tune their strategies to attract funding and gain a competitive edge in the startup ecosystem.

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