What successful startups were launched while the founders worked 9 to 5?

I’m not aware of any huge successes in SaaS that were active side projects while the founders worked at different companies.

But there are a bunch that were side projects at the same company:

  • Mailchimp was a side project while the founders ran a web-design agency. There are many start-ups born out of agenies and consultancies. It can be a tough transition, but it’s pretty common.
  • Hootsuite was also a web-agency spin-off.
  • Slack was an internal tool built when the company was a gaming company. It took off.

Mailchimp is perhaps the most interesting one to me because they took their time until 2007 to go all-in. But once they did, growth accelerated. Dramatically.


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Published on May 12, 2019

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