The 6 Things The Old Me Would Tell The Young Me, 5 Years In

Young Me, 2011: $100m ARR seems very far from our $10m ARR today. Very far from today.

Old Me, 2018: But it Compounds. In 2018, that same business will be doing $140m ARR. Possibly much more.

Young Me, 2011: But what if we can’t IPO?

Old Me, 2018: There will be other options. You will be able to sell to PE like Vista or many others that will emerge in the coming years, or do a secondary sale of some of your shares. Don’t worry.  Also, once you cross $20m-$30m or so, new acquirers will get interested, even if they seem unlikely today.

Young Me, 2011: I don’t really want to do another round. That will be 3 VCs on my board.

Old Me, 2018: Just hold out a bit to $15m ARR. Raise at a $150m, don’t give up a board seat.

Young Me 2011: The competition just raised $50m+. They will outspend us.

Old Me 2018: That is stressful. But even if they do, as long as your customers remain happy, your revenue base will still compound. You will still get to $100m+ ARR by 2016 at the latest.  120% net revenue retention at $10m ARR will drive you there.

Young Me 2011: But a lot of my team is tired.

Old Me 2018: I know, I know. Recruiting is hard. Push through and go find a great COO or SVP to help you. Just one more. It will refresh the team. And you.

Young Me 2011: The other CEOs around me, like Box and Veeva and Yammer, are doing much better.

Old Me 2018: I guess they are. But it doesn’t matter. You are doing plenty well to build a unicorn. It will just take you a bit longer. It won’t really matter in the end.


Published on November 30, 2018

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