I see dozens and dozens of technology startups and yesterday I sat back and jotted down the similarities between my clients that manage to raise money. Disclaimer: it is not scientific, it is not conclusive, and in many cases I actually do not get updated on whether the fund raising round was successful or not.

Here are some similarities:

  • More than one exceptional team member, the company is not just carried by one strong CEO
  • Straight to the point discussions during the briefing meeting, no buzz words, no vague marketing frameworks, no empty discussions about flow in the absense of substance
  • A positive and happy working environment. Supportive feedback, respecting people's time instead of negative comments all the time, insisting on unreasonable deadlines, making people wait a long time, calling in person meetings to communicate something that could have been done in a phone call. These are places you want to do your best
  • People are open to reposition, change things that are pretty fundamental to the company. 
  • Taking advice and input form people the right way. Some people get listened to, others ignored.
  • A realistic awareness of strengths and weaknesses

OK, you need to have a good business concept. But looking back at the above points, these are companies that designers like to work with (and presumably investors want to work with them as well). There is a contagious, positive energy among them.