The “Get Rich Slow” Exit Strategy

  • Build and sell your company for millions, or,
  • Build your company and take it public for billions.
  • Venture capital can be a superpower. VC provides leverage that no other form of funding can match. Though it’s much derided by bootstrapping zealots, almost every startup of consequence has taken capital at some point in its journey.
  • Recruiting and retaining talent can be tougher. Founders no longer have the carrot of a potential six or seven figure payday to tempt talent. This kind of company needs to be more thoughtful about things like profit-sharing.
  • All successful startups are subject to reporting. Even if you don’t plan to list on public markets, there are points at which the government will require financial reporting on par with what’s expected in financial markets. This gives competitors an insight into your business without the benefit of being able to access public capital markets.
  • The market might change rapidly. The benefit of a sale or IPO is the opportunity to take financial risk off the table. If you sell a company and the market shifts, the gains have been realized, whereas running the company long-term creates financial risk. This can be mitigated by taking a higher salary, or profits in the form of bonuses, but it exposes the team to more variability.

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