This is so timely, DHH.
I’m in year 5 of a fast growth, fully bootstrapped company. We are nearing 11,000% 5 year growth rate. Turned down more than $3 million in potential investment.
Because we like what we do. It makes a difference in the world. And we see an infinite horizon of possibilities ahead of us.
In contrast, at year 3 I was thinking maybe I wanted a seasoned, respected CEO to take the reins and navigate the next growth phase.
I knew him well. I’d actually raised investment for him in my prior life, working for local Angels/VC’s.
He had taken 3 companies from funding to exit.
When he looked at my books, you could see both stars in his eyes, and confusion. “Why are you keeping this profitable? Why not drive it 10x with investment. Run it in the red for a few years and dominate. Then go for acquisition at 7–8x multiple or better? Do you realize how much money you could make!?!”
And I realized: his success was not predicated on building successful, profitable businesses. It was on hypergrowth that met investor projections. And the inevitable, often necessary liquidity event that more often then not drives the company and technology into oblivion.
I really like growing this thing organically. Raising our employees to contribute and learn and thrive. Keeping a sense of balance, even when working weekends. And making work, fun. And rewarding.
You and your partner have made a contribution to this thinking as well. Your approach to business has informed what we do at WebNutrients. So thanks, David. A tip-o-the-hat to doing the right thing, the right way.