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Building a Company, not a Startup

February 3, 2022

Everyone likes hyper-growth companies. Journalists like to cover them. Investors like to invest in them. Employees like to work at them. Founders like to run them. These are the companies that people read about and admire. The founders' friends and families go "wow".

Yet there are downsides. Crazy growth means adding risk to the company. You're no longer answering only to yourself, but also to investors. You always need to succeed with your next investment round to survive.

Some incredible companies have grown with little to no external financing. It sets the path for a very special kind of company culture. It is up to the founders. Jotform is one such company. Basecamp another.

Both ways can be great ways to succeed. But I see founders trying to fund their companies in ways they shouldn't and for the wrong reasons, like getting sucked into the startup game or simply impatience. If I ever move from the investor side to the entrepreneur side, I will seriously consider not taking any funding at all, if I can.

It's easy to get sucked into the startup game. But it's not for everyone. For some, it's just about building a company.