This is a continuation of the startup styles cheat sheet. I noted that you need to know your poison and pick the poison.
Right now I’m in the midst of launching a new startup. The company registration is in process. Early customers had lined up as well. There’s also partners providing financial and technical firepower. To some degree this particular venture is akin to an intrapreneur setup. (Something my ex-mentor said I’m particularly suited to as opposed to full blown entrepreneur)
However, I still need to make some critical decisions regarding the foundation of the startup. As duly noted by Peter Thiel, a wrong founding move will significantly hurt the startup and haunt it forever.
What’s certain is I’m avoiding hyperscale startups. It’s a big no since it’s inherently unsustainable. Just look at the recent Lyft IPO and the upcoming Uber IPO. There’s also no possibility for work-life balance which is a big deal for me as a family man.
Hyperscale companies hurts society mainly by exploiting people and accelerating inequality. Hot money usually leads to a scorched earth. It’s problematic to say that you need to attain monopoly to do the right thing. It indicates a broken society.
I would say artisanal SaaS is the ideal. Fully bootstrapped with paying customers from day one. Perhaps supported with some consulting projects here and there. The SaaS product become the calling card to market the consulting so to speak. This will lead to small headcount and high margin.
The middle road of Enterprise Software could really hurt as it’s not much different from working at any medium-sized corporation. Furthermore, the pay might even be less! All the stress without any glamour nor perks associated with MNCs or the hot startups.
Aside from being unprofitable, outside ownership is another major source of stress. Your objectives and welfare are rarely aligned with theirs. Thus, the key is to find creative ways of financing this. Perhaps an Artisanal SaaS product funding an Enterprise Software company?