Bear with me as I promise not to conflate startups with the slow food movement* or any other such nonsense. Rather, the whole nature of growth and its impact on startups has been on my mind recently. I wrote a comment last week on Rob Go’s post on the topic of hunches in the tech industry:
It was heartening to see someone put to words the thoughts I couldn’t coherently formulate while reading Paul Graham’s (great) piece. I just couldn’t say I felt 100% confident saying you weren’t a startup without pursuing growth in that way.
I liken some startup investments to bonds. Bonds are an important part of any investment strategy. Are they sexy? No. Are they safe? Usually. And they provide solid, dependable, albeit lesser returns. Less risk, lower returns. but returns nonetheless.
I have found myself often angel investing in companies that I know won’t change the world, but that make real revenue, and are profitable from the start. I like these companies. I respect them. They do grow, just at a lesser pace. Are they not startups? When reading Graham’s piece, I couldn’t come up with a consistent alternative definition to startup than the one he proffered, but I still couldn’t shake the feeling it was too focused on one factor. This is the alternative definition I was looking for.