Be A COCKROACH Not A Unicorn, KIR #4

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You have to figure out how to survive before the money runs out or before something else kills you: you have to be a cockroach.

This post is about one such near-death experience we had in our first year of business. In late 2011 consumer lending regulation changed and we had to acquire a license which costs EUR70k to stay in business. At that time EUR70k was more than our whole balance sheet but we were not ready to quit as that would be the end of our company. Instead we somehow convinced ourselves (me and my co-founder) that we can survive this and then we convinced a friend to lend us the money so we could purchase the licence (I was making the licence payment during my co-founder’s wedding ceremony). And we did not know how things would turn out eventually but with this step we forced ourselves into a no-way-back situation. We believed in it and we knew there is no way back, only forward. Such thinking and attitude allowed us to grow the size of the company several times each year since then and return the loan.

There is no cool entrepreneurial lesson here. We were partly lucky to survive this situation but had we not had the cockroach mentality of surviving and had we not taken the all-in risk with very little certainty about the future, I for sure would not be writing this article today. Below is a picture of the lending licence that nearly cost us our lives.


Yours Sincerely,



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