What advice would you offer to startup founders trying to build businesses today?
I’d give you maybe one bit of advice, at least in SaaS: Take your time. First, whatever you do, make sure you get the right team. As we’ve talked about, going it alone is really tough in SaaS. I think it’s impossible. If you’re good but your cofounder isn’t great, take a break and slow down. I know it seems like there’s a lot of competition and the world is moving quickly. But stop, find a better cofounder, build a better team. A great idea, a great beta, even a great MVP cannot fix a suboptimal team. If you have to wait, even if it seems like the market is escaping you, pause anyway, otherwise you’re wasting your life.
The other part is some folks should not do SaaS. There’s no quick wins here. It’s going to be a 7 to 10 year journey. The good news of recurring revenue is it recurs. Once you get to $10 million in ARR, I know you’re going to get to $20 million. It may take a while to get to $100 million, but you’ll get there. It takes a lot of time and energy to speed up the hill. If you’re not willing to commit to 10 years, go try to do an Instagram. Don’t do SaaS.
(1) “Whatever you do, make sure you get the right team.” Cf. The best thing you can do for your team.
(2) “It’s going to be a 7 to 10 year journey.” Cf. How committed are you as a founder? A simple litmus test.