David Heinemeier Hansson, a founder of Basecamp and creator of Ruby on Rails, has an excellent blog post about his thoughts on success for startups and small businesses. David argues that too much of the spotlight is on fast growth, big funding, and changing the universe, when smaller companies are just as successful. Check out the post for more of his thoughts:
So first you take a lot of money from angels desperate to not miss out on the next big unicorn. Then you take an obscene amount of money from VCs to inflate your top-line growth, to entice the investment bankers that you might be worthy of foisting upon the public markets, eventually, or a suitable tech behemoth.
And every step along this scripted way will you accumulate more bosses. More people with “guidance” for you, about how you can juice the numbers long enough to make it someone else’s problem to keep the air castle in the sky inflated and rising. But of course it isn’t just guidance, once you take the money. It’s a debt owed, with all the nagging reciprocity that comes with it.
Independence isn’t missed until its gone. And when it’s gone, in the sense of having money masters dictate YOUR INCREDIBLE JOURNEY, it’s gone in the vast majority of cases. Once the train is going choo-choo there’s no stopping, no getting off, until you either crash into the mountain side or reach the IPO station at lake liquidity.