Having a profitable business doesn’t mean squeezing the lemon for every last bitter drop. It isn’t all or nothing. You can be profitable and generous. Profitable and fair. Profitable and kind. These aren’t opposite ends of some moral spectrum. Quite the contrary.
Having fun, exploring ideas, creating, solving, building great things for you and your customers, being proud of your work, challenging yourself, learning, growing, building a self-sustaining company on your own schedule, adding something useful to the world, and working with great people — that’s what this is all about. Not maximization of a metric.
I don’t mind leaving some water in the cloth, some drips in the glass, some money on the table. I like knowing there’s headroom. And once in a while it’s a fun challenge to chip away at that headroom. But that’s not for maximization’s sake — it’s for curiosity’s sake. “Can we do it?” is a lot more interesting to me than “we must do it because that’s what you’re supposed to do.”