Dear SaaStr: Why Would I Start a Startup if I Only Have a 5% Chance of Succeeding?

Don’t do it.  If you only see a 5% chance of succeeding, don’t do it.

With both my start-ups (maybe three, if you count SaaStr and SaaStr Fund) … I was 100% sure we’d succeed.

And I was 99% wrong once I got into it.

  • The first one, we sold for $50m after 12.5 months. I closed $6m in revenue in the first 180 days. But we almost lost all our customers. I almost had to declare bankruptcy to cover the $750k note I put in. We lost our key outside hire, our COO, who we couldn’t do it without. Our odds went from 100% on the model to 1% in the real world.
  • The second, the founding team imploded. Yes, we sold for a lot more this time. But we almost died the first year. And the second. The market evolved in a very different way than we thought. We spent all the venture money. We barely, barely got to $1m in ARR and $2m ARR. (After that, the issues faded).

What I do know, is if I’d had less than 100% conviction — we would have failed for sure.

Of course the odds of success in a start-up are low — by the numbers.

But if you think the odds are less than 100%, I say pass.  The best founders both don’t believe that.  And somehow, somewhat — they bend the odds in their favor.

More here:…

Start-Up Success in SaaS? You Have to Bend the Odds In Your Favor. Some Thoughts on How to Do It.


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