There’s No Shame in Building a Business Slowly

femgineer building a startup slowlyEveryone remembers the tale of the tortoise and the hare right?  Well the moral of the story is despite the hare being fast, its the tortoise who slowly, and methodically makes his way to the finish line and ultimately wins the race!  What’s funny is it feels like most of us especially in Silicon Valley either don’t know this tale, have chosen to ignore it, or just don’t believe its possible.

Instead, we’re surrounded by the need to think of a BIG idea, then aggressively pursue growth, raise a BIG round of funding, so that you can ultimately build a BIG business, and have a BIG exit.  Whew!  What I don’t understand is why everyone is rushing to get BIG and then slowing down…?  Have the founders run out of steam or were they just chasing a BIG exit the entire time?

While the point of getting big might be to outdo your competition, won’t you win out if you have a better product or service anyway?  Seems like we’re all just competing based on size and speed, instead of quality and creativity.

So let’s assume instead of being typical hares, we decide to be tortoises instead, going slowly.  Staying focused on building a product, putting a team together, maybe even focusing on a niche first, bootstrapping the business, taking our time, and oh maybe even charging people to pay for our services.  Would that be so bad?  Maybe not.  Might be just take a little longer and be a bit harder.  Shouldn’t we be embracing challenges?  Isn’t that the point of being an entrepreneur?  Last time I checked entrepreneurship wasn’t meant to be get-rich-quick-scheme…  If that isn’t obvious please see recent stock prices of some of the companies that have tried to grow faster than the rest like this one and here’s another one.

And for all the non-believers out here are some tortoises out there who are “killing it”:

  • Freshbooks
  • MailChimp
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