Founder & CEO, Keynote Speaker, Entrepreneur, Recipient of Comparably’s Best CEO ’17
July 29th, 2015
As Hootsuite’s Chief Revenue Officer, Steve Johnson is responsible for the social scheduling company’s overall revenue and customer success.
From freemium upgrades and online pro revenue to HootSuite University and international revenue, Johnson has seen and handled it all when it comes to developing and managing monetary streams.
With his esteemed background, also including high-level positions at Constant Contact and Mobify, we sat down with Steve and asked him what advice he would give upcoming tech organizations about raising funds.
Here’s what he had to say:
“There’s a surfer, a board, and a wave. The surfer is the founder and/or team, the board is your product, and the wave is the market.
If the wave is big enough, companies can get lucky and get funded without really nailing the rest of the model. Same applies if you’ve proven to be a great surfer in the past. While the waves might not be great, investors know great surfers will go and find the right beach and build a great board,” but in most instances a solid business model is needed before you seek funds.
On a Reason to Exist
“I think you need a model that makes sense before you raise funding. You need a reason to exist.
Who cares if you go raise money if your model isn’t driving any revenue. Raising money isn’t going to solve anything. You only go after the money after you’ve really nailed down the business model. Now money makes sense and you can accelerate scale.
If you receive funding before having a sound model, you’ll burn through money and wind up nowhere. ”