At this stage we dig into your business model, research, compartmentalize and structure your output algorithm. This is the stage where the initial operational relationships are developed for the next phase. In terms of funding you should be focused on friends, family and business associates. Exploration is time consuming and extremely risky, so you should not be responsible for family income and your initial investors are taking such a huge risk they could be considered doners!
If you are here it means that we have come to the conclusion that your hypothesis is feasible, the market has a need, your product can fill it, you have the network to make this happen and the tipping point of profitability is within an acceptable timeline of potential investors. Now it’s time to commit, raise the money to launch and don’t look behind. Your life will never be the same.
The commitment stage may be quick if your idea is a viral success and the cogs line up in such a way that there is little to no friction. Most likely you will validate your model within 18-24 months, depending on what metrics you consider success. If you have proof of concept it is now time to go big or go home. You have raised some additional seed rounds, but now is the time to fund this operation to ride it to you exit.
With all the blocks in place it is time to aim for your ultimate goal by scaling through your sales funnels, through acquiring and de-fragmenting your market and increase profits or explode your intellectual property, distribution influence or user base to create intrinsic value for an the merger into another entity.