They say that getting to $10m in revenues is the hardest stage for a B2B company. Why is that?

Well, it’s a combination of factors. In the early days you’re still tinkering with your business model. You’re still figuring out product-market fit. You’re not sure what to concentrate on, to whom, and where. You can’t reap the benefits of scale.

Perhaps most importantly, though, you’re in a real life situation, and subject to the normal pressures of working with other people, both in your company and outside your company. You’re trying to develop something that’s going to have the right appeal to a sufficiently large enough market, yet you probably have a small number of customers who exercise a disproportionately large influence on you, in terms of how they want you to develop your products and services.

You’re torn between giving the paying customers what they want, which is essentially something that’s customised to their requirements, and developing something that does the job for the maximum part of your addressable market, but which doesn’t immediately translate into positive cash-flow. This is especially true in software.

Any company can sell an idea and get funding, possibly running into the millions. Any company that can get from 0 to 10 million – in revenues – and beyond is a different proposition, an animal that has risen above 90% of the other animals and proven itself. It will still have challenges, but it’s done what many have tried and failed to do. It’s a player.

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