No. You need two things typically but today I guess I’d add one more thing. And these are all either or aspects.
You have money.
Your product made money- that seems like a win at first but its not. It has to reveal how you made money and often raises more questions that can actually kill investment too early if folks get spooked on the notion of how you scale. Sure you made money, but how hard was it to make money? You’re pelted with even more analysis- cost of customer acquisition, which every newbie has no idea how to answer well, even the pros suck at answering this question.
In a lot of ways making money is exactly what you don’t want to do early on.
You have eyeballs.
This the metric that defined much of the web 2.0 era of growth. You have netted influence. Sure you haven’t converted them into a dollar yet, but you have thousands and thousands of eyeballs on what you’re doing. Then as a bonus you have data about those eyeballs, how they get there, how often they hang out, how the share you with other eyeballs, what they love to use, what they hate, etc. Eyeballs is where its at these days, its the pinnacle metric of winning in a startup.
But yer screaming inside right? Dude we need to make money- true, but netting a ton of eyes yields you a kind of infinite number of lives you have to find money.
Data is what you have and its the holy grail of nearly every web 2.0 like concept. The generation of data that can lead to new directions that every day get reinforced with more data confirming the trajectory of use, true use, not your biased opinion of use of the said product. This is power. This is what gets you millions before ever making a dollar- at least on the west coast, in the midwest, this still means basically nothing.
Perceived lockout protection.
Your startup has a secret. It can lockout the competition even before its really manifested to build its own empire. Its got some field of protection right outa the gate. This can be a patent in some cases but actually in many cases its a person, or a group of people.
Investing is an emotional sport of sorts. People can be bluffed into thinking you’re the ticket to be. We want the facts of an investment yes, but we want the brag-ability, the excitable notion that we’re on the gold, we found it. The key is to know your biz and why it should be next, but then know who you’re talking to, and knowing how they think and what they need to hear to part with the cash you need.