What do you need? / by Nate Westheimer

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a challenge Darren Herman posted on his blog. The title of my post, and the challenge itself, was "What would you do with 750,000 users?" Fast-forward a week, and Kevin Marshall sees my article in his RSS reader; but, because of some sort of error in Google Reader, all he sees is the question "What would you do with 750,000" -- full stop.

"What would you do with $750,000?" he wrote me? "What an interesting question!" (I'm paraphrasing)

That, of course, wasn't the question, but the question so intrigued Kevin that we emailed back and forth for a while and then he followed up with this post titled "What to do... What to do...," asking his readers:

Now I know the simple answer is to say you would invest it in growing the business...but what I'm looking for is more an answer along the lines of a quick bullet list, breaking down the distribution...

And he goes on to give a expense breakdown for a startup.

While I think that's an interesting and useful way to answer the question, I think Kevin has generated question which deserves a broader set of answers.

You see, the question "what to do? what to do?" asked to an entrepreneur, will elicit an answer 100% dependent on everything from the day of the week and the type of company she's operating -- and especially sensitive to subtle (but seen only by visionaries) market trends.

Therefore, to one entrepreneur, the question about 750,000 users of a web portal is a much different question than that of 750,000 dollars (imagine the needs of an entrepreneur starting a green tech company), or 750,000 acres (consider the rancher).

Perhaps, then, the question should be, "What do you need 750,000 of to succeed?"

How would you jump-start your company? If you can unquestionably identify it, you probably deserve it.