The Many Ways Founders Are Creating Valuable Software Companies

Here’s my biggest surprise after interviewing 46 successful practical founders on the podcast in the last year: When you aren’t raising big funding from outside investors…

There are as many ways to grow a valuable software company as there are practical founders.

They need anyone’s permission to start and grow their companies. They don’t need to join a club or follow an investor’s template.

They can create a software company that works for their customers, their employees, and most importantly, themselves the founders.

I expected to see more trends or biases in the characteristics of the founders I interviewed so far on the Practical Founders Podcast, but I didn’t.

These successful SaaS founders and their companies were:

  •  Both men or women, young or old
  •  Vertical or horizontally focused
  •  Based in the US, Canada, Europe, India, or Australia
  •  Tech founders or non-tech founders
  •  First-time founders or serial entrepreneurs
  •  Some started from a services business, others from savings, and others from time coding it themselves
  • Sales-led, product-led, or marketing-led, high touch or low touch
  •  In-office or remote
  •  Sold successfully or still growing
  •  Profitable or not, fast growth or slow

This is exciting and encouraging to me.

It shows that you can build the company you want—in your own way—when you make customers happy and don’t have to listen to big investors.

These successful practical founders could have raised funding too, but they value their INDEPENDENCE more than anything.

They found leverage in their businesses first. They chose to stay off big funding drugs, at least early on, when outside funding is impractical.

It’s just me on the podcast this week. It’s a year-in-review recap where I share:

  •  What have I learned from all these interviews?
  •  What am I seeing and what’s surprising?
  •  What’s working and not working for practical founders?
  •  What’s going on in the world of practical founders?

It has been an honor for me to spend time with all of these practical founders on the Practical Founders Podcast.

I’m grateful to each of them for sharing their stories, allowing me to dig in, and making them available for other practical founders.

I hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoy interviewing these entrepreneurs. I love what I do.


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