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Swinging for the fences  

Dan Shipper on swinging for the fences:

For a long time I accepted the "leave school and raise money" argument because I assumed that "swing for the fences" and "scale as quickly" as possible were inviolable tenets of company building. But it turns out they're not inviolable. They're not even tenets. They're just a common way of thinking about how to do a startup.

Common (and successful) in the valley. Almost everywhere else, it's deadly. Paraphrasing Paul Graham, "Somehow, it's as if most places were sprayed with [swinging-for-the-fences] startupicide."

Dan continues by analysing why he's not interested in homeruns:

And so my goal is this: to be able to do those things sustainably, for the rest of my life.


Now let's get back to homeruns. Homeruns by definition aren't sustainable. They're not predictable. Sometimes you hit one, but most of the time you don't. That part of things is mostly out of your control.


What I'm spending my time doing now is this: learning how to build a real business. And by real, I mean a business that has money coming in the door from day one. Businesses that make money can be started in any investment climate. They don't go out of style.

If more startup founders subscribed to that philosophy, I think everyone would win - more businesses, more jobs, more value creation, more opportunities fulfilled, and so on. Of course, that's not the Valley philosophy, but then that philosophy is not the only game in town, and shouldn't be.

More from the library:
How many VCs should you have?
All startup advice is wrong?
A startup escape path