Why growing quickly is your company’s only hope for survival, why unit economics matter and the power of public commitment.

Happy Saturday.

And hello from DC this week where I’m on a two week staycation between tour stops (read: I’m trying to catch up on email).

While in Port Huron, MI last week, I met the Hulabed team and replaced my mattress with one of theirs. You should too, seriously.

As the 2016 tour starts to wind down, I’m starting to think about the 2017 edition. What do you think I ought to be doing?

Reminder: I’m giving away a free DJI Phantom 4. Seriously. Enter here to win (it takes less than 10 seconds, I checked).

1. “If a software company grows at 20% annually, it has a 92 percent chance of ceasing to exist within a few years.” [Link] [Tweet]

As I’ve been touring around the country, one of the common arguments for not raising money is so that founders don’t feel so rushed to build a large company. The data, however, suggests that growing fast is the only way to survive regardless of whether you raise money.

2. “We should pause and stand in awe of Uber’s pace of execution and the scope of its ambition” [Link] [Tweet]

The bottom line on the Uber-Didi deal is that Uber’s still going to own 20% of new combined entity. They’re still going to “win” the Chinese market, they just don’t have to do the actual work anymore.

3. “On-demand delivery is dead. Long live on-demand delivery!” [Link] [Tweet]

Repeat after me: unit economics matter.

4. “I carry the value of co’s that I invested in at the negotiated term sheet regardless of how the company is doing.” [Link] [Tweet]

I’m absolutely convinced that encouraging angels (and angel groups) to do a quarterly markup/markdown of their portfolio would result in better returns. Someone ought to build a free spreadsheet, I’d share it.

5. “As soon as you tell people what you’re up to, an amazing effect comes into play. You become committed.” [Link] [Tweet]

Yes. So much yes. This is the #1 reason why you should never do anything in “stealth mode.”

6. “as a founder, *you* are the one that creates the value.” [Link[Tweet]

When I speak to angel investors along the tour, I always ask them one rhetorical question: where do you believe venture returns come from?

My answer: the default state of every company is failure and the only people that can turn that around are on the founding team.

7. “I still have Imposter Syndrome. I doubt I’ll ever get rid of it.” [Link] [Tweet]


8. “a company growing at 15% monthly over four years will be 8x larger than one growing at 10%.” [Link] [Tweet]

Compounding growth is sexy… but not many people realize it.

9. “business model innovation is more disruptive that technological innovation.” [Link] [Tweet]

As a founder, your goal isn’t to build a better widget from the outset. It’s to sell a widget better than the incumbents.

10. “Few people will tell you to stop trying to raise money.” [Link] [Tweet]

If I could impart one piece of advice to all the mentors and investors I’ve met along the tour this year, it would be this: sometimes the best thing you can do for the founders in your community is to tell them to stop trying to raise money.

In business, you should kill off anything that isn’t working within 30 days. Including fundraising.


You can get the full stream of the things I read, it’s all on Twitter — follow me: @paulsingh. Sometimes I write stuff too. You can always find me (and the rest of the Results Junkies community) in Slack, apply to join.

Have a great weekend!