"When we started searching for investors, we had incredible faith in our idea. But we were a little naive about the dynamics of raising money.

"We statred this venture by relying on our savings, and we worked without paychecks for eight months. Finally, an investor came forward, and we landed a $10 million infusion. But after four months of negotiations - during half of which we were bound to a 'non-shop' term sheet protecting us from talking to other potential investors - the investor bailed.

"We owed nearly $200,000 to our employees and our landlord. I'd spent my savings, my 401K, my two mortgages, and $60,000 on credit. But my co-founders and I rallied. We called everyone we knew. Within a week, we had lined up enough resources (using convertable debt) to breathe. Eventually, thanks to Benchmark Capital and other major investors, we turned that debt into equity.

"What I did learn from all of this? It's true what people say: Cash is king. As one investor told me, you don't really have a business until you turn a profit. We pay much more attention to financials now. A good idea is the base of a successful business. But without proper funding, and idea won't go anywhere."