I got this (unsolicited) email a few weeks ago from a relatively well known investor.
It stung, playing right in to my own insecurities and the imposter syndrome I’ve been feeling lately. If anything, it echoed what I spend a lot of time thinking about: why are we only 50% of where I had hoped we’d be at this point?
It highlighted one of the hard parts of running a transparent startup: everything you do is up for scrutiny. Some (most) days it’s great. The pros far outweigh the cons. But on days like that one…it just didn’t feel good.
It also highlighted something that I think startup culture glosses over: most companies aren’t doing nearly as well as you think they are. It’s easy to look at buzz around a startup or a few high-profile logos thrown on a marketing site and think: “they’re crushing it”.
Well you know what? 90% of the time that startup that you look up to, envy and try to mimic…they are in fact NOT crushing it.
But therein lies one of the core reasons we started operating as a transparent company: nobody wins thinking everyone else is “crushing it”.
So, let’s clear things up. Yes, Baremetrics is “only” making ~$50k MRR and no we aren’t profitable yet (though we will be within the year).
My hope is that in the coming months we can be even more transparent with how we operate, along with our successes & failures. Baremetrics exists to help businesses and operating in a way that reduces hype and sets realistic expectations is a win for everyone.
Just remember: we’re all winging it.