I worked at a software company which has 5 buildings it owns outright, employs thousands of people, and has 300 million+ in annual revenue. In the 70's it was started by one person. I'd have called it a "startup" at the time. It is still private.
The difference perhaps revolves around "startup appropriate for Y Combinator" vs "startup."
Actually, it would be "startup appropriate for any investor". If there is no exit planned, then it's not something an investor wants to be involved in.
It's purely semantics, which is why I specifically said, "according to pg's definition". Your definition may be different...but if you're talking about pg's rules of thumb for "startups", you have to accept his definition of "startup" for the purpose of context.
There are all sorts of investment that don't fit the Silicon Valley VC short-term mold, so appropriate for "any investor" might be over-stating things, even for startups. Investing in cash-cow businesses is not a bad strategy--I wish I could have invested in the private company I mentioned above in the 70's. Jeff Bezos thought 37 signals was interesting enough to invest in. Warren Buffett seems to like cash cow businesses as well.
Buy and hold anyone?