By David Frankel

💰 You finally find the right CMO

🌅 The market wakes up to what you’re offering

📦 Steady product releases compound advantage

🛣️ Shifting market needs drive people to you

These are just some of the things that can happen between years 5–10–15 at a startup.

Stick around.

This advice can be difficult to follow given that we’re in a moment where NFT projects are minting hundreds of millions of dollars of value in months if not weeks.

Grinding away at a startup for a decade can feel like a fool’s game.

Stick around.

It’s wonderful to see new areas of tech inflect quickly, but it creates a terrible sense of FOMO and unrealistic expectations that most startups won’t be able to meet.

Don’t believe the lie that, “Good lemons ripen early.”

Building great companies takes time.

Stick around.

I’ve been involved with companies that “exited” and ended up enjoying more growth *after* that artificial endpoint than prior to it.

I can’t think of many investments where I wouldn’t have been better off holding onto stock than selling.

Stick around.

One example — a founder has been at their startup for almost a decade and is doing ~$20M in revenue.

In the current environment, many would see that pace of revenue growth as underwhelming.

My advice?

Stick around. They might be surprised at what the next 5–10 years bring.

Many founders simply get antsy and want to be part of the hot new trend.

While the grass looks greener in new fields, often by the time that it becomes clear the land rush is over.

Compounding existing advantages is often better than joining the herd.

Stick around.

Obviously, if your business is…

📉 Losing value

🤯 Creating unmanageable levels of personal/financial stress

💸 Not exhibiting sustainable revenue growth

…try to find an exit.

Otherwise, stick around.

Over the course of my investing career, I’ve seen companies that didn’t seem like they were going to make it became solid earners.

Anachronistic SaaS startups became unicorns.

Compounding interest applies as much to time as money.

Stick around.