> In retrospect when you're sitting on a rocket it might make sense to buy more gas and light up that bad boy.
I can identify with this. I started a Facebook game in early 2008 that picked up a million users in its first year.
Back then all the stars were aligned and if I would have had a bigger vision for it there’s no reason it couldn’t have turned into a massive company.
I remember reading the TechCrunch article about Zynga raising 100 million in VC and laughing because “why would a Facebook game company need that much money? I’m really profitable being completely bootstrapped!”
Don’t get me wrong, the lifestyle it has allowed me has been amazing. And it’s still going strong 10 years later (we have users who have been paying $10/mo for their premium subscription for that whole 10 years). But the opening to grow it into something huge was only available for a short period of time. Now users are too expensive, organic traffic is minimal, and most users on the platform are locked into their existing games and resistant to trying new ones.
Zynga rode that into becoming a multi-billion dollar publicly traded company. “Think bigger” is a take-away I’ll definitely bring with me to my next venture someday.
So, were I presented with your prior circumstances and had I capitalized on them, would my convictions have caused the company to fail, or steered it a less profitable path, or possible have been compromised through a slow erosion, greed, or a combination thereof?
For another take, if the Zuckerberg of 2004/2005 was presented with what Facebook would be in 2019, extreme success, billions of dollars, social problems, and increasing questions about what role it does and has played in Democracy and an informed populace, how do we think he might have thought of all that?
If Zuckerberg knew in advance how successful Facebook was going to be and how the product would look today, that could reduce focus and derail everything. The product evolved through multiple stages with different goals in mind. The path would definitely be different.
And for good reasons; on the one side he's the CEO of one of the biggest companies in the world, and any slip-up he makes will cost the company billions in lost stockmarket value. On the other side he has a family who are at constant risk of abduction and / or murder by people that want ransom or who he or his company have pissed off.