Is having a "day job" in addition to being Founder a plus or minus to potential investors?


Like many start-up Founders, I have not quit my day job. I will be thrilled when I can, but for now having to work double shifts is the only feasible way to make ends meet. This is even more true having gone into debt to develop a product.

I have reduced my day schedule from 5 to 3 days a week and fortunately, my long time employer supports the entrepreneurial effort. The day job is an additional source of steady income and although it squeezes my time, it decreases the odds of my biz prematurely going under because I don't have all my eggs in one basket. That's my logic - not sure if that's investor logic?

When an investor evaluates all the metrics that go into a new venture, in addition to ROI they look at the ability of a Founder or management team to be fully committed. I am, but end up working 70 hour weeks between the two jobs.

Do you believe investors strongly prefer a FT Founder (s), or is working a day job until getting to positive revenue acceptable?



asked Sep 27 '11 at 00:55
Richard H.
175 points
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3 Answers


Investors clearly prefer and demand a full-time founder. But it doesn't mean you should quit your job yet. It looks like you are in a great position, because currently you have infinite runway. This is extremely valuable: it gives you the time to iterate and find market fit. Once you call tell that your startup is starting to take-off, then quit, accelerate and pitch investors.

answered Sep 27 '11 at 01:17
Alain Raynaud
10,927 points
  • Agreed: if you find a serious investor(s) at that time it may require you to go full time. What you have sounds like a good deal for now! – Ryan Doom 12 years ago


I understand your situation as mine is somehow similar. Well all I can say, include this into your pitch to a potential investor as an argument why you want to get funded - so you can commit to this full time and being able to get by till you business kicks off. Good luck.

answered Sep 27 '11 at 01:36
Peter K.
194 points


If you can keep ties to a steady job, and build the company, I think you're in great shape - because it's the viability of the product and the significance of the traction that'll convince an investor more than impoverished heroics. The results will count for a lot.

answered Sep 27 '11 at 01:23
840 points

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