The answer to that question is “yes,” but that’s why it’s the wrong question.
Large companies don’t acquire small companies for their financials, because small company revenues won’t mathematically affect the growth or value of the acquirer. Rather, small companies are acquired for strategic reasons, and understanding how that works is the key to understanding how small companies are sold.
“You must be so proud of what you created” — the reflexive conclusion delivered by visitors to our building at WP Engine, struck by a beautiful place teeming with energy and activity, coming upon the little office of the founder.
“What we created,” I always respond. It’s not false humility. I didn’t create this. There are over four hundred people creating it even as we speak. I haven’t even been the CEO for three and a half years.
If you write your code in a public github repo, others will judge your code, with a broad definition of “quality” that includes everything from file and class organization, documentation, tests, avoiding placing API keys in code, eliminating your reliance on “security by obscurity,” and even that artful quality which like the proverbial US Supreme Court definition of pornography is impossible to define but “you know it when you see it.” In this sense, building in public forces you to create quality, artful code.
The force at work is as simple as it is universal: Ego — your desire to impress others.
Can you redirect the same force to create even more valuable outcomes?
We all see patterns, even when there’s only noise. And we like a good story. If the story makes sense, and the pattern isn’t complete nonsense, we see the story as truth, and the pattern as verified.
Maybe that’s the case with the idea that things in startups come in 10x increments.
But I think it’s actually true, or true enough that it’s an excellent rule of thumb that should be assumed until proven false. Here’s a bunch of examples to guide you.