No, Really. How Is Your Startup Going To Make Money?

Four questions founders need to ask right now

Joe Procopio
3 min readApr 3, 2023
image by freepik

I swear. It’s the most important question I ask — the most often — which returns the least specific answer.

How is your thing going to make money?

I mean, it’s not like I ask the question and get blank stares back. In fact, it’s the opposite. I usually get a wry smile and a rehearsed explanation about product-market fit, TAM, and disruption models. But that’s not what I mean. Here’s what I mean.

  1. A thing has a price, but that’s just a suggestion of what the people who sell the thing think other people should pay for it.
  2. A product does a thing, but that thing almost never justifies the price on its own.
  3. A market has money, but how money will be made from that market is almost always glossed over by the people selling the thing.

I know. Those are a lot of words that seem random.

But somewhere within that word salad, money has to be created. Yeah. Out of thin air. This is what separates products that make money from really cool products that fail.

Just so you don’t think I’m making this up, here are some simple examples of how money gets created out of thin air:



Joe Procopio

I'm a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. NLG pioneer. Building & GROWERS. Write at and More at