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I've been on both sides as well, having done many lifestyle projects and businesses as well as building startups including successfully getting acquired and I have the opposite view.

I strongly believe that the main reason the author claims he prefers a lifestyle business really boils down to financial reasons and freedom of time associated with running a simple lifestyle business. But if you're in a position where finances are no longer an issue, it boils down to what you really want to do. For me, having been through both and having both do well enough to financially secure me for life, the concept of doing a business to "allow me to live life now" doesn't really apply. I can technically not work by choice and just enjoy life to the maximum extent doing whatever (financially related or not) or do projects on the side to fill up time if that's my hobby.

Instead, I find that I have a tremendous passion in doing startups, where the lifestyle IS the life I want and I don't really care about doing all the other so called "living life now" junk because this is living life at its best in my definition. I am the type that would rather not travel, hit up happy hour, or do other leisurely things in lieu of running my startup doing something cool or what I want to do. I rather focus all my spare time building a startup anyway. So to me, to some extent, it seems like the authors decision is base on the fact that financial, no matter how small of a factor it currently plays, is still a determining factor nonetheless (read associate of time included). The OP can feel free to correct me if this isn't so.

It also doesn't help that it seems the OP only has one startup experience to relate to and its one that didn't succeed (not counting the experience portion; which can be considered success or not separately) and ended up making him and his cofounder split ways (which even on the best of terms and all could still have some influence). Just my two cents.

After all is said and done, it also reflects how many people consider getting into doing a startup under the notion of either not wanting to work for somebody else or because of financial wins, less so because they just have a strong passion for doing startups (similar to people who do open source projects that aren't commercialize to an extent). I'm not saying the OP is like that in any way, but as the old mantra goes, do what you love. And if you love doing startups, freedom/finances isn't going to change your love of the game.

Side Note: I lived in SF for over three years before moving down to the Valley (Mountain View) in favor or startup life over city living. While SF is still very tech centric, in my personal honest opinion, it doesn't hold much of a candle to the Valley itself and majority of the people I've ever talked to arguing in favor of living in SF, are to a large extent, arguing for a life outside of the startup world. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that but the distinction should be made for non-Bay Area residents who may not understand the difference. (Again, personal opinion)

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