Think of your startup as a submarine that’s miles below the surface. You have to get to the surface – profitability – before you run out of oxygen. Especially at an early stage, revenue enables you to keep breathing and fighting for the surface. Even if the business is not yet profitable, revenue is a strong feasibility signal, and cash flow helps keep things moving. Revenue also speaks volumes to potential investors who might contribute to help you fight on.
So get to oxygen as quickly as possible. Get a sellable product out there as quickly as possible and see if people are willing to pay you for it. Learn what customers really want and what they’re willing to pay for, and then create it for them. Adapt based on what you learn. Ask for the sale, and breathe life into your startup. It’s only a matter of time before you’re out of oxygen without revenue. As soon as that happens, the game is over.