2 months ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=28806500
18 months ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23739381
4 years ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13905777
The Berkshire Hathaway of the Internet (2017) - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=28806500 - Oct 2021 (42 comments)
Andrew Wilkinson and Tiny Capital - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23739381 - July 2020 (16 comments)
Berkshire Hathaway of the Internet - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13905777 - March 2017 (112 comments)
The experience was positive and re-enforced my understanding of important growth metrics and product storytelling.
Rejection does not have to be harsh. "I don't think we're a good fit," is easy to say, hard to argue with, and provides no concrete mistake for the rejected party to feel bad about, if that's something you want to avoid. (Personally, at least after sufficient time has passed, I prefer someone actually tell me what they didn't like, but not everyone feels safe doing that.)
Also maybe you dint see the future is as bright as the buyer. Lots of reasons to make a move.
You would, perhaps, sell to a PE firm like Tiny when you believe you've exhausted growth.
That, or the traditional 3 D's: death, debt, divorce.
It is a little hard to judge what is "Tiny" when things called "Pre Seed" ( What is that anyway ? ) that goes up to millions.
It's listed at the bottom of the page along with 3+ years operations, high margins, simple business, unique, and ethical.
Thanks. Somehow I completely missed it.
But Wow that isn't tiny at all to be honest. $30MM profits is massive.
> important growth metrics
> product storytelling
Yup. Everything that's wrong with (predominately US) modern business culture.
Product doesn't matter, storytelling is. Nothing matters, inflated growth metrics do. Profit doesn't matter unless it's high (for some definition of high), but even that doesn't matter if you have hyperinflated growth metrics.
You're confusing "business" with "investment".
Business is the act of making money right now. Buying stuff, selling stuff, providing services, and making enough money to keep the lights on. That's really important stuff. That's how we pay our mortgages and buy food and XBoxes. When you're running a business that stuff should always be front and centre. It's what's important to employees, and the economy, etc.
Investment is the act of using money now in order to increase the amount of money you have in the future. Profit, product, and metrics right now are much less important if you're thinking about what happens in 1 or 2 or 5 years time. A company with a good-but-not-great product today could be the next Apple if they're able to realize the potential of the market - that's what investors are looking for. They don't really care how much a business is making today if they're thinking about where it could be in 5 years time.
No idea what type of business you're running. Businesses always looks ahead (unless it's a scam-and-run operation, of course). And investment is also business.
However, the incentives have now been twisted beyond all recognition.
It doesn't even matter if the business will have profits, it matters if the business will look to future investors like it will have profits.
"Dude! We could make so much money if we made X!" - but do you actually care about X? Why is money the only reason people are setting up business and solving problems? It should be secondary, a happy side effect of solving hard problems (which people will thank you for with money.)
Are you upset that the gas station operator doesn't have a hobby about gas?
To wit, I'm not going to be upset if tech support takes 3 minutes to process my question and reads out an answer from a pamphlet in monotone if it is indeed a solution to my problem. And there is some software that I use _despite_ its pain points because it solves problems I have.
They didn't build the business. They're an employee.
 actually there is. It’s called “academia” and from what I’m told it’s pretty miserable to be in
PS: have not heard a good word about academia from numerous friends in it. Might be regional (EU) but still...
Who said anything about hard problems or "big investments"? I never said that. Why are you saying that?
That's the wrong reason to set up a business, but the right reason to simply get a job.
> “Hard problems”
Who said anything about hard problems? Are businesses only designed to solve hard problems?
Product storytelling doesn’t mean smokes and mirrors.
They’re buying businesses so it seems like criticizing them for caring about high profit is misplaced.
Feel free to email me on email@example.com if you want to discuss it further.
Don't know if they might be registered elsewhere though. They probably are.
Convince me this is a bad idea.
If you are able to make the right pick and the size of the deal is something you're comfortable seeing go to zero, it may be a good learning experience.
However, you'll be learning to acquire and keep a business alive, not start a business through this. Some things may remain the same depending on the stage of the business but if you're looking for experience starting a business, I think starting on and failing will be better training (and free)
Interesting note about "acquiring and keeping a business alive, not starting a business", I am under the impression that these two skills are related, if not the same.
It's not that the stuff you would do isn't relevant to starting your business but that it's not the complete picture.
If you buy a business, you have the opportunity to scale and fix issues (code, business model and otherwise). Starting something from scratch involves a lot more work and skills.
Starting vs. buying/scaling requires a different set of skills and perhaps different work, but roughly the same amount as starting. Source: I've done both.
How does Tiny manage to stay non-interventionist as they claim?
It's interesting but I think there has to be more than what's pointed out here going on
I just cannot imagine selling my business if everything was pointing upwards like that.. but people are different I guess
The best kind of serial entrepreneur :-)
> You've got early employees, investors, or a co-founder who wants to leave or cash out. You want to swap them for a friendly new face who can add value and help you grow the business.
This is common in professional groups (like law firms or medical practices) when a partner is looking to retire.
That is certainly true. When people have a ton of money and sell out for even more money, that's always somewhat looked down upon I guess? Either its Joe Rogan or Notch, it almost seems sad to see people want to get richer when they're already absurdly rich.
The strangest thing about wealth (or power) is that once you get it; you seem to loose control completely. From that point on; all you want is even more money or power.
There are probably many examples of people who managed to give up power or money, but the majority seem to want hang onto it...
There have to be processes in place to manage the business's day to day operations, and a good management team that looks to the future. You can't maintain a business at that level while still being dependent on a single person so the business at the time of sale has to be capable of continuing on without that person present.
A company that requires them to build a leadership team or hire replacement talent to maintain doesn't sound like what they are looking for.
If needed, the founder should do that first.
They find ATMs, upgrade their software and case, and then let them run. Over time, if you're good at it (they are), you build a portfolio that is consistently cash flowing vs. a bunch of lottery tickets like the traditional VC model.
Please try using #3f51b5 or something similar. Other than that, love the design.
> You've got early employees, investors, or a co-founder
> who wants to leave or cash out. You want to swap them
> for a friendly new face who can add value and help you
> grow the business.
E.g., an early employee takes a moderate salary plus X% equity.
Normally that person is stuck waiting until a liquidity event (like an acquisition, IPO, or late-round funding where some private shares can be sold).
But if the startup has shifted from hypergrowth mode to realizing that it's going to be profitable and stable, then that liquidity event won't ever happen.
So Tiny is basically saying, hey, if you've incentivized your people with equity, but you're no longer on the VC exit path, you can set up a deal with us where those people may choose to sell us their little slices of equity, which gives us some ownership and gives them the financial windfall they were originally hoping for.
I guess that is exactly the kind of stuff you'd expect a SaaS PE firm to do, but it still feels a bit sleazy to me. IIRC the founder reported that from his perspective, they handled the purchase well though.
Principles are ideals you adhere to or uphold. They are also concepts used to implement a design. Principal and principle are homophones, and they are commonly mixed up.
hmmm - not a bad payday just to be a referral
Now I'm left wondering what would be needed to piggyback on the spotify success, though. A marketplace for in-podcast-advertising? A (digital) agency that helps musicians sort out "all their Spotify administration, artwork, etc" so they can focus on making music?
Curious about what kind of ARR multiplier they use.
Not looking for IAC, but smaller upcoming companies.
Tiny is explicitly modeled as a mini Berkshire Hathaway for tech (they also, as a sideline, sell bronze busts of Charlie and Warren). An easy exit for those who don't want to see their work dismembered. They also part-own WeCommerce, a canadian public company doing the same for shopify apps/themes/agencies. (disclaimer, I also am a shareholder--no advice)
I'm not affiliated with the company. Just stumbled upon it a few weeks ago and was curious about the deals stats (size of companies, stage, etc.).
It feels like I'm more likely to find something vetted and legit at a reasonable price through a broker like FEI.
More to the point, the people that are generally visiting their website are not the sort of people that would be wasting their time moaning about the colour of a website.
If someone moaned about the colour to them, I'd wager a bet that they'd know to never do a deal with that person.
Maybe they even feel that discomfort, but the rest is enough to keep them going.
If it lives up to the message, this would grow into a massive fund, just as Apple grew into a trillion dollar plus company, and like Apple, this capital would enable this company's to realize its vision at a global scale.
The free market is a beautiful thing.
I see it everywhere. It feels very generic most of the time. Some graphic artists do it well though.
If the product is still on a growth trajectory or needs a specialised team I think it's a very case-to-case basis. Cost cutting is one tool in the toolbox, and it's usually only used when the owner thinks the product is already dying and wants to squeeze value out of it. From what Tiny says they might not be buying products like that.
That said, I feel like the Baremetrics emails started getting a little more spammy and frequent once they were bought, but I might be mistaken, it was a while ago. It's possible there's a growth hacking team that Tiny has that takes over all the products.
Also, how small the businesses are? What if you're doing 7 figures ARR?
I know companies all jump on design bandwagons, but this one of these hideous illustrations of amorphous blob people is not only one that every company has been riding for the last few years, but should have never existed in the first place.
Not to mention the egregious usage of 90s HTML hyperlink blue. I get it, that ugly is ironic and cool, etc, but I'd really like to just pass through this phase of ironically self-aware, ugly design.
Most of the sites I see using this nowadays just slap them there like font icons, i.e. just to look cool with the graphic having absolutely no relation to the text.
This use is what linguists call a "generic intensifier". It is somewhat less bad than misused "exponentially" or "literally".
Do they accept NFT projects?
Without some background and/or numbers that really is "calling out things". Could even be considered gossip or slander.
I'd never heard of GirlBoss before, but I put it on my podcast-list just now because the topics look very interesting.