The best way to grow your startup? It always depends.

I talked to software founders last week in Ireland, Salt Lake City, El Paso, Dallas, Phoenix, and other places.

I didn’t recommend the same thing to any of them about funding and growth. There is always “it depends” with many paths.

Some people are religious about their approaches to growing a software company. Especially about their funding approach.

But I’m more practical. It always depends.

I see there are many useful ways that founders are growing and funding their ventures.

That are useful for founders first. Not funders first.

The How of growing a startup into a valuable company is a practical sport.

There is no one right way to fund a startup that works for every founder, startup, or growth phase:

  • You can bootstrap as a moonlighting developer, then fund with customer revenues, then get bigger funding much later.
  • You can grow a software product and business out of your services business and run it forever as a separate profitable business.
  • You can scrap together a software business with a couple of founders and get it to $1M ARR and then sell it. Then do that again.
  • The founding team can quit their jobs and live off savings long enough to have enough revenue to get the right kind of outside funding.

It’s OK to change your mind once you find something that works better.

To be unusually NOT STUBBORN about HOW you do things until you find something that works best, for you, for now.

Changing your mind quickly when you find something better is a superpower of startups.

Beware of those who recommend big funding or bootstrapping or any one approach before they know anything about you, your vision, your market, and your traction so far.

There are no right ways that always work for everyone.

But there are best ways.

Best for you. For right now. Compared to the alternatives.

It always depends.

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