A Wolf meets a Dog.
The Wolf is skinny and starving, reduced to skin and bone, covered in debts. The Dog is chubby and stout, strong and tall, owner of a cool penthouse, a fast car, and a summer cottage.
“What made your life so fulfilled?” asks the Wolf.
- You could be as fat and fortunate as I am, answers the Dog. You should leave the woods for good. All the wolves I have seen are so miserable and wretched. They are all starving. That’s no way to live! You had to fight for everything you have. You should come with me. You will see, your life will get much easier, and you will share a better fate.
- What should I do? asks the Wolf. What is the work required in this place?
- Almost nothing, says the Dog. Protect your master, flatter him, please him, and you will be rewarded.”
The Wolf begins to dream. Life would be so comfortable basking in the sun. But all of a sudden, he sees the Dog’s neck bare.
“What is that? he asks.
- Oh, almost nothing. All you see is worn-off hair. That’s because of the collar I am tied up in.
- Tied? cried the Wolf. You cannot run wherever you will?
- No, not as I please. But it’s okay. The compensation is worth it.
- Is it really? Honestly, I don’t care about your sumptuous fare, for I wouldn’t ever give up my freedom.”
And the Wolf runs away.
The moral of this story is that no entrepreneur who has appreciated the taste of freedom would ever become an employee manager, whatever the cost.
Our VC advice: Be a wolf, bootstrap your business till your cashflow leaves you free to choose your path and be independent. Don’t worship those who run after fund raisings beyond their capacity to manage risk and develop their business. They are just another dog in disguise.