Dear SaaStr: What makes a startup a huge success?

My definition of “success” has changed over time. Yours may well too:

  • At first, just being part of something “successful” was enough. Just being part of a hot start-up working with great people. That was all I wanted at first. This was my first start-up job. It was great.
  • Then, I just wanted to be a founder and build something successful and have an “exit”. My co-founder and I didn’t think we’d ever be able to be … founders. But we did it, and sold the company for $50m after 12.5 months. That felt like a success.
  • The third time, I wanted to … make real money, and more on my own terms. That wasn’t the only goal. The main goal was to get back into the internet and do something cool. But this, time money mattered for the first time.

But now … now it’s not enough.

Now to me, for me — and this is just me — “a big success” is building something iconic that lasts 30+ years. Something generational.

You can do this in SaaS, in enterprise software. Not just SAP and Oracle. But Salesforce is still growing like a weed as it runs up to $20B in ARR. Twilio is growing 60% at $1b in ARR. Shopify is accelerating.

Success is whatever you define it to be. Building a great product loved by 1000s or millions is amazing. Making enough money to take care of your family is incredible. Being on the journey with amazing co-founders is life-changing.

But for me now, success is building something generational.

And you can do this in SaaS. Now we know.

A bit more here: The $1 Billion+ ARR Club | SaaStr

The $1 Billion+ ARR Club


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