The bet for the startup is time, since a startup lacks money and is by definition going out of business. Time, speed, and creativity are its primary resources, though it also is spending its limited cash supply.
That’s why startup founders must be so judicious in their own use of time. It’s the resource they have to gamble with. And frankly, it’s probably why under-resourced startups with “just enough” funding seem to make the most sense. (There’s a rule of thumb that no matter how much you raise, it’s gone in 12-18 months.)
At Pinwheel, we bet the time of the last 8 days setting up an internship program INSTEAD of any growth activities, and managing a team this summer, is of greater value. If we can find the right people who are switched on, get it, and want to contribute to the next milestones: raising a million bucks or so, and getting a role here later.
So the interns and startup are betting time, not money. The startup has a cliff (our runway), and the intern has an opportunity cost of everything else to do that summer.
(Shout out to Olivia for prompting this post)