As an early stage company there are lots of things that you could be doing, but only a few things that actually matter. One common trap is to care too much about things that make you seem like a Proper Business, at the expense of the things that help you become one.
Finance can be one of those things. Time spent setting up dashboards and building forecasts is time not spent building a product and talking to customers, but the reverse is also true: the startup graveyard is full of companies that didn’t care enough about finance (i.e. they ran out of money).
It’s hard to know how much to care about finance at Seed/Series A, and before the market downturn it was easy not to care at all — funding rounds were huge and the next raise was always round the corner. But not anymore — round sizes have come down and the bar to raise a Series A/B has gone up. Runway matters again.
We’ve written this all-in-one finance guide to help: what you should care about, what you can ignore, and straightforward practical advice based on our experience working with 100s of founders and ops/finance teams at early stage companies.