Earlier this summer, BlueCat founder Michael Hyatt sat down with Achievers founder Razor Suleman to kick-off the Spotlight Series, intimate one-on-one conversations with Canadian founders on life as an entrepreneur.
Over the past several weeks, BetaKit gave readers short glimpses of Hyatt’s conversation with Suleman about his journey as an entrepreneur.
Today, we’ve published the full video, in which Hyatt touches on raising and turning down money from VCs and changing CEOs at BlueCat, which exited for $400 million in February.
In the video below, Hyatt explains why he wasn’t a fan of VC money when he started BlueCat in 2006.
“I just wanted to own everything, and I’d never built a company before, and I was so focused on doing it myself and having complete control.”
“I just wanted to own everything, and I’d never built a company before, and I was so focused on doing it myself and having complete control…but over the years, I learned that capital builds business,” he says, adding that VC funding can be the “most expensive or the cheapest money” a founder can get.
In addition to explaining why he didn’t favour VC funding in the early days of his company, in the video below, Hyatt also touches on the many ways VCs can both help and hurt young companies.
While Hyatt believes VCs can help young companies with “critical strategic decisions, amazing hires, and big clients,” he notes that VCs can also hurt companies when they’re “not growing fast enough” because VCs are seeking quick returns on their investments.
“If you took off your entrepreneur hat and you were investing your cash…you want a return of your money,” says Hyatt. “So we’re all greedy piggies in a way. They’re just doing the job. They just want a certain growth, growth at all costs. Growth is a thing that’s prime.”
On why he decided to give up his seat as BlueCat’s CEO to current CEO Michael Harris, Hyatt says he wanted to find someone who would do a better job at being CEO than him, while making BlueCat more money.
“My idea is to find people better than me, to replace me, to make me more money,” said Hyatt. “If you could see the transformation that Mike Harris [did], I just sit there and watch it. It’s like a beautiful play.”
Watch the full video below:
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