LC055: If you had $100 million to build a new startup, what would you do?

launchpeer - August 10, 2018

Today’s question:

Today’s question comes from from Tanner. Imagine you found an angel investor willing to pay you $100 million, with the condition that you have to use it build your own startup. Where would you put that money to ensure success? Your goal doesn’t necessarily have to be profit maximization. For example, some may be interested in sales or growth maximization while others may be interested in social welfare. Another goal could be to sell to a large corporation. The question is, what would you do in that situation?

Jake’s answer:

Given that is clearly a hypothetical that would never actually happen, here’s what I would do…

1. Come up with a great idea

The goal for me would be to maximize profit. I would want to make money. With $100 million, I could do pretty much anything I wanted to come up with a great problem to solve. And the first way I would go about that is to hang out on places like Reddit, Quora, Twitter, etc., to see what kinds of issues people are having the most trouble with.

2. Narrow your focus and get feedback

After talking to as many people as possible, I would focus in on the to two or three problems to solve in the market that interest me.

Next, I would connect with influencers in those markets to get even more specialized feedback and chose a direction.

3. Build an MVP

Once my direction was set, I would build an MVP. What $100 million, it might be a little more elaborate, but it would stil be an MVP

4. Get my first customers and expand the MVP

This is one of the hardest parts, but getting those first customers is critical. I would talk to the people from whom I received the initial feedback and try to get as many paying customers as possible.

5. Hire a sales team

Next, I would start hiring sales people as fast as possible. Specifically people who are experienced in whatever tactics we used to get those first customers.

5. Focus on growth and expansion

Finally, I would focus on scaling, growth and expanding from there.

Remind you of something?

What does that process sound like? It sounds like every normal startup. The point is that regardless of how much money you have, ever startup has to go through the same process. It doesn’t matter how much money you have. You cannot skip the processes that make a successful startup.

It doesn't matter how much money you have. You cannot skip the processes that make a successful startup. Click To Tweet

If you look back at the history of some of the world’s most successful startups, they didn’t create their success because of huge amounts of cash. The created success by continuing to show up every day and do the work. And they went through all the same steps we talk about every day on this show.

The beginning is always hard. There are always going to be setbacks. Cash-flow is going to be tough. The important thing is that you push through, don’t make excuses, and go through all these steps to the best of your ability.

Ask Your Own Question

Got questions about startups and/or startup culture? We’ve got answers. Head over to and record your own question to have it featured on the show.

Stay in Touch

Ask your own question
Follow Jake Twitter
Check out Jake’s articles Medium
Jake’s personal site
Check out Launchpeer
Follow Launchpeer on Twitter