When my friend Vinny Lingham told me the ICO had just done for Civic was the hardest thing he had ever done I was a a bit skeptical. Since he had built a number of startups and recently sold Gyft.com for a good exit.
From the outside he had money, prestige and credibility and the fact that he had been a leading figure in the crypto currency space for a number of years seemed to set him up perfectly for this.
Civic when on to raise $33M and Vinny continues to be a leading figure in the ICO and Crypto currency space.
Then I did an ICO and went through the process of creating a white paper, establishing a team, building our ICO pages, a team for the white paper, speaking to investors etc. Our ICO was not as successful but going through the journey Vinny’s words rang true for me.
I have built startups from scratch and have done this as a single founder which is arguably a very hard journey.
What I found makes the ICO so difficult is the sheer emotional roller coaster.
This comes from an expectation of how much money is at stake, how life changing it would be to do a successful ICO, how public it would be to win or to fail, what legal implications there could be, how you could make a technical error and lose everything, all the things that could go wrong, all the things that could go right and more.
The highs and lows of an ICO are those of an exaggerated startup as the time frame of an ICO is much shorter than that of a conventional startup journey before you raise millions of dollars. Putting this into perspective it would usually take you +1 year before you could entertain multi million dollar investments for a startup but in an ICO this number can be +$10m before you have even built your product.
I found this journey to be tough even for an experienced entrepreneur and ask that you brace yourself for the journey ahead and don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
This is the new and exciting frontier of initial coin offerings and it is the most exhilarating and frightening thing I have experienced so far in my entrepreneurial career.