Growing a Profitable Software Company to Get Big Slowly

Every software founder understands that if they build a valuable company, they can win a big financial prize if they sell it someday.

  • Work hard for many years.
  • Be frugal and invest wisely.
  • Do the right things. Get the SaaS flywheel going.
  • Don’t stop improving.

Sacrifice now to win a big prize in the future.

Like the famous marshmallow experiment with young kids: “Don’t eat this marshmallow for five minutes and I’ll give you two later.”

Think of all the marshmallows you’d have if you saved them for ten years!

Work hard and sacrifice for a long time to win one big prize someday, right?

Is that the best way for practical founders to win their big prizes—and maximize the impact of these prizes on their overall happiness?

Michael Roberts is the CEO and founder of SpyFu, a popular competitive SEO and PPC research tool for marketers and entrepreneurs.

SpyFu has been profitable and successful for 18 years, with no outside funding.

Mike thinks differently about a lot of things, including the idea of sacrificing for years and winning one financial prize when you sell your company.

He took a different approach and it has been working for him for over ten years.

Mike is a pretty wise dude and he’s one of the happiest founders I know. Surf’s a lot, too.

As Mike describes on the Practical Founders Podcast this week:

“The better way to continuously be happy is to ‘Get Rich Slow’–if you’re going to get rich. We’ve been profitable from day one. Very profitable. That’s a very different game.

“If you want to maximize your happiness, getting one big payoff doesn’t work very well. Like winning the lottery, you’re really happy for a month, then you adapt to it, and the happiness goes away.

“Getting rich slowly has happiness benefits because you get a win and then you get another and then another. It’s way better for that to happen many times over 20 years versus only once.”

This is another way to do it that may work for you. Or it may not.

There is no playbook that you have to follow when you don’t raise big outside funding.

Do what works best for you.

Listen to this podcast interview with Mike Roberts on the Practical Founders Podcast.


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