Listen to this episode if you want to hear about a founder who has a product and users and paying customers … and is trying to figure out how to take his company to the next level and grow faster.
If you’re in Austin for SxSW, come say hello between 10:00 and 2:00 on Saturday, March 8. We’ll have an open lounge with food and coffee at our World Headquarters.
It’s an easy 5 blocks from the convention center, so there’s no reason not to hang out with us for a while, an oasis amidst the craziness.
People say the end of the year is a terrible time to raise money or sell a company, because “everyone’s only thinking about the holidays” and “people with money are away skiing in Aspen.”
Except, my previous company Smart Bear was sold on Dec 20, 2007. And we completed our Series C round here at WP Engine on Dec 23, 2013. And no fewer then three other companies I was previously an investor in also raised a round that closed in December of 2013.
You may have seen these metrics defined before, but this is the best visualization of their effect that I’ve ever seen.
Scale causes rare events to become regular. Things happen with 1000 servers that you literally never once saw with 50 servers, and things which used to happen once in a blue moon, where a shrug and a manual reboot every six months was in fact an appropriate “process,” now happen every week, or even every day.
Given that all of these are selfishly useful — concerning your happiness and productivity — it’s amazing how we persistently ignore these facts as we navigate our daily lives.
The conclusions are simple, and obvious.
One task at a time. Don’t allow arbitrary people on email and twitter dictate your attention or use of time, because they’ll demand it all. Be mindful of the present moment. Use regular downtime and rest to stay healthy and happy.
Does that paragraph describe your life?
Maybe you and the other reindeer should have THOUGHT ABOUT THAT while you were calling me Pinocchio for the past 18 years. Maybe you should have THOUGHT ABOUT THAT while excluding me from every game of kick-ball and Parcheesi and Cards Against Caribou.
That’s great of course, because in a new startup everyone needs to be either making stuff or selling stuff — there’s no room for managers and executives and strategists. But this also produces a natural weakness, and when I look at what made me a successful entrepreneur — not just a great coder — it’s that I acknowledged and overcame that weakness.
There’s a saying that a great developer is 10x more productive than a mediocre one.
That’s not true.
They’re better than an infinite number.
You can’t put 100 average designers on a committee and get a fabulous design, right?
I feel for the journalist, because I see in them the same geekery that inhabits my fellow software developers.
We developers should revel in what we have.
A metric summarizes lots of data and processes into a single number. But it’s a two-edged sword.
It’s powerful because it lets you reason about the performance of a complex system, especially how it’s trending. It helps you focus on what’s important at a macro level.
But it’s dangerous when it combines so many disparate and disjoint processes and effects that the number loses precision. Because then you think you understand something that you don’t. That’s how bad decisions are made with confidence.
Its tough for a growing SaaS business to ascertain whether or not it’s truly profitable.
Here’s a way to do it.
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- The unprofitable SaaS business model trap
- 10 things successful startup founders don't say
- Never say "no," but rarely say "yes"
- The unfortunate math behind consulting
- Color wheels are wrong: How color vision works
- Rise of the "successful" unsustainable company
- "Stealth mode" and other f'ing brilliant strategies
- Impostor Syndrome - Why I feel like a Fraud
- Business advice plagued by survivor bias
- Your idea sucks, now go do it anyway
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