The Twitter stories about when they’ll turn profit is starting to ring hollow. At this rate it may never turn profit (perhaps it should have sold out to Facebook when it had the chance). At the start Biz and Evan didn’t have to really worry about the cost of living at the time.So to all out there with startups, especially my good friends in Belfast. It’s about profit, money in the bank. It’s not about Invest NI giving you between £5,000 and £75,000 to just get you started and then see where it goes (chances are you’ll be back within the year asking for more). When the money is someone else’s then your outlook changes.Last year was pretty much hell and a startup came out of that desperation to actually make some money. Unemployment though does some very nasty things to your head and you have to be very careful not to sell your soul just to get the minimum. By taking some risks that were uncharacteristic of me (public speaking, organising events, getting my big fat arse and DOING something) the doors opened, not with money but with network and opportunity.If you open the door then there’s someone waiting at the other side, sometimes.Startups are businesses but some start without know really what business is, to be honest it’s simple.“Business is a very specific, limited activity, whose defining purpose is maximising owner value over the long term by selling goods or services. Accordingly business is not an association to promote social welfare, spiritual fulfillment or full employment; such organisations are legitimate, but they are not businesses” Elaine Sternberg – Just Business – Business Ethics In ActionWe seem to have got caught up in the way of worrying about the money later in the hope that someone else will come and invest. It’s okay to take investor money with the evidence that what you have is going to work and hopefully return the money. If you are good at programming then you don’t need the money, just the dedication to get up early do #JFDI (just f*cking do it).Please don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with taking investor money as long as you have a VERY defined plan on how you are going to spend it. I do remember the story of the 1998 startup who got $8M and spent $4M on a sliding roof cos it looked cool. Guess what, they didn’t last long.