Bottom line, for me is that financial security makes me sleep well at night.
My original startup also gave me insight on what I loved to do in a startup and what I didn't love. I personally joined a startup as employee #1 and helped grow the company to where we are today.
You didn't mention the size of your team at the time of the sale, was it just you? You and a co-founder? How did they feel one way or the other about the choices?
As far as our team, we were small. CraftJack was owned by the first company I started, Tribe9 Interactive. I owned the majority of that, but I brought on a CTO a few months in to CraftJack and he has a share of Tribe9 and my first employee has a small share as well. But that was it. I was careful to get both of their approvals before taking the deal (although I didn't have to legally as I owned the majority), but I wanted everyone to be on board and would be happy with the move.
Also, the fact that they still own part of Tribe9 means they have equity in future companies we start or invest in (we already co-founded and invested in one called Mystery Tackle Box, http://mysterytacklebox.com, which is off to an amazing start growth wise). It was important to me to make sure everyone was game.
"Or you can stick with the baseball bat approach..."
As a side note, is "jack" a new domain name trope (like omitting vowels, or sticking the letter 'r' after some verb)? This month I've been introduced to CraftJack.com, SweetJack.com, and JackThreads.com, and I don't completely understand the significance.
Hit the road Jack
Jack of all trades
I just jacked this car (stole it)
Can you help me jack my car up (raise it)
In Xero's case, the CEO Rod Drury started his first successful company, Glazer System, in 1995 and sold it in 2000; he finished undergrad in 1987 so he must've been around 30 when he started it and 35 when he finally had his first taste of success. And he was around 41yrs old when he started Xero (I'm basing this all off of his LinkedIn profile: http://linkedin.com/profile/view?id=122232).
We read that Ross is currently 29yrs old. And he seems like a smart guy and a capable entrepreneur. I bet you CraftJack definitely won't be his last venture, and who knows, we may very well see him working on a "Xero" a decade or two from now. This game only gets better with age and experience.
Any advice to someone trying to setup this kind of platform in another country? I've been trying to do this in a market that lags far behind in this type of lead generation. I don't have the skills/resources to build a backend from the ground up. Is there a solid, basic software package out there? Would CraftJack ever license its platform to other markets (countries)?
Also, while the brand (CraftJack) was a year old, I had started some of the properties we used to generate leads 1-2 years prior to that so was able to build some revenue from there.
On the one hand he can sell his start up for a thus undisclosed amount of money, on the other he can continue on and have some expected payout (could be 0 could be a lot). If `expected sell amount` < `continue amount when sold`, continue, else sell. Certainly you have to consider time value of money, the future opportunities of having financial security.
Given the stats presented (2% of comp sell for > 2 million) we could deduce a lower threshold for what he sold for assuming the above behavior... but really he did what was best given the circumstances...
His story is a good example of balancing risk and opportunity. Early VC money will just give you some job security, while selling out when you 1) have a qualified buyer, 2) your company looks good and 3) you have little or no wealth outside the company can give you a big head start on life.
100% right. Although a lot of the technology we built for our service providers was new, the business model was not new at all. There are dozens of leadgen companies in the home improvement space as well as dozens of lead management tools, but none of them are providing an integrated product that both sells leads to service providers and then improves the way they follow up with those leads (thus increasing their satisfaction with the leads, which increases spend and lowers attrition).
Will you be getting out to Denver often? Drop me a note next time you're in town. (I'm in Boulder.)
Stopped reading right there. I want to build a life time business, not something to sell after a few years then move onto something else. The likelyhood of building even 1 successful business is small, it's obviously even harder to do it again and again.
I'm curious about the mind-set that says "Stop reading, I didn't agree with this sentence." Do you read part of a lot of articles on HN? Since you don't know what you're missing I guess you can't answer this but do you think this is a sound strategy for learning anything?
You are right in the sense that before you start a business you are less likely to have multiple successes than you are to have one success.
You're optimizing for the wrong things.
It's about building a well oiled machine and being proud of it, not just build-and-sell.
The sentence I quoted basically says I should be thinking "I'll just launch a startup and it'll be easy to sell it for $xx,000,000"
We should not be thinking like this, we should be thinking that if we are lucky enough for our little idea to actually make a bit of money then we should hold onto it with both hands!
Why is an exit defined as success? Success should be building and maintaining a business that can annually bring you in a ton of cash, keep you relatively sane, keep loads of people from your country's economy in employment and above all provide goods or services that will make someone else's life/work a little easier.
You want to make a business of selling businesses, fair enough but I disagree that that is what we should all be doing.
>Success should be building and maintaining a business that can annually bring you in a ton of cash, keep you relatively sane, keep loads of people from your country's economy in employment and above all provide goods or services that will make someone else's life/work a little easier.
Selling my company allows me to do all those things (although my cash is coming in up-front, for the most part, which means I can likely grow that money a lot faster than I could have if I got it over many years).
To each his own...