Last Spring my wife had a miscarriage, and it was hands down the worst experience of our lives. We had hundreds of questions, and the doctors seemed to answer them with acronyms and paperwork. We felt like pariahs as friends all around us announced successful pregnancies.
A significant contributor to our experience and feelings was that we had followed that confounding social custom of not revealing the pregnancy until after the first trimester for precisely the possibility of a miscarriage. As such, our families and friends had no idea what we were going through – we were isolated and without our support network.
My wife and I are gregarious, known as the “TMI couple”, and we could not keep even this extremely personal event private for long (please see: this post). We initially broke the news to family, but then to a broader reach of friends -- we adopted (no pun intended) the position that as the topic was brought up in conversation, we would be honest and open about it (“Can we expect the stork to be visiting YOUR house soon?”). We found people were grateful to us for opening the door to this verboten conversation, and they unleashed a wave of stories, advice, experience and support. We discovered miscarriage occurs frequently (anywhere from 10 to 50%! of pregnancies), and while we still felt awful about the situation, it did make us realize that it is common and normal and that we were not alone in this experience.
The final feeling we experienced in our roller coaster of emotion was frustration: If this is so common, why the hell don’t people talk about it and support each other more?!
I have never had the opportunity to raise debt for a business (but have had the “pleasure” of taking out loans), but I talk to entrepreneurs about it every day. What I’ve heard in those conversations inspired the idea for this blog post. Raising financing is emotional, stressful, confusing and the information is disaggregated or even inaccurate.
For whatever reason, raising a big equity round is press-release- and champagne-popping-worthy. Debt, on the other hand, has a negative connotation, despite the fact that it is cheaper, non-dilutive, requires no loss of control, has associated tax savings and can increase firm value.
While everyone loves to talk about equity rounds and who’s-who in VC (and who they know that they can introduce you to), the negative connotation surrounding debt leaves entrepreneurs without that same supportive social network (“Oh, I’ve got this great loan shark you should talk to… he’s faaaaaaaabulous”).
Well screw that.
We’re making raising debt news-worthy.
And we’re opening the door to THIS verboten conversation and bringing the social support network into raising debt as well.
Andy, Randall and Drew demo’ed our new funding application process, which incorporates and leverages elements of your social network, at the Financial Innovation Conference in Manhattan on September 24th. A beta version of this application is also live on the Lighter Capital website. So come, apply for funding for your awesome company with Lighter Capital – and bring your support network to ease the process and help you along the way.
My wife has approved this message! Love her!