Also, let's not confuse "startup", a single project requiring one's all, with "ventures", a diverse portfolio of small businesses seeded with one's capital but managed and run by domain experts.
Personally, I think the finger in many pies approach is far more interesting and rewarding, since you're hedging your bets.
The companies that go for mid/high 8 figures are all apparently VC-funded, most for multiple rounds, meaning that any given founder might be hovering near single-digit points of equity.
Going after a "fuck you" $50MM payday seems like an awfully bad idea. It's not going to happen.
Plus you get to control your own destiny, which humans really crave.
"I eventually want to be rich, so I'm going to move to Ann Arbor to go to Michigan for law, instead of staying with my friends in Phoenix."
"I eventually want to be rich, so I'm going to join a major firm after law school, not a nonprofit."
"I eventually want to be rich, so I'm going to find out what the merit comp scheme is at my law firm, and put extra effort into doing that stuff."
"I eventually want to be rich, so I'm going to work 80 hour weeks to impress the partnership selection process".
etc, etc, etc.
Was that what you wanted to know?
In my experience everyone who got rich did it by owning a significant stake in a business (not necessarily a startup or even anything high tech.) I'm aware there are people who got rich from writing bestsellers or becoming movie stars but I don't know anyone like it and I think such people are extremely rare. And I may be wrong but I would be inclined to classify hackers who got promoted to VPs and CTOs together with the movie stars.
I don't really know much about the ownership structure of law firms, but I always assumed becoming a partner is a big deal because it means co-owning the firm in some sense, and getting a share of profits directly, not through salary and bonus. So that's why I figure this is different.
I don't know anybody that you know who became rich, and so that whole second paragraph sails right past me. Especially when it concludes with a suggestion that hacker VPs are as rare as movie stars.
As for the partner track at law firms, uh, fine. Substitute MBA -> investment banker, or CPA -> CFO, or Med School -> Anesthesiologist, or any number of other careers that don't have partner tracks.
Even if your salary never breaks $110k as a dev, you're still fantastically lucky to get that in any career, and perfectly capable of becoming a millionaire. So, I guess, cry me a river about how hard it is for techs to succeed without starting entirely new businesses?
Finally, let me just leave you with an uncomfortable truth: it is a safe bet that you will never get rich starting a company, or any number of companies.
I freely concede I could be wrong with respect to directors and partners. I work at a software company and my girlfriend works at a law firm.
I absolutely agree with you that the odds of getting rich by starting a company are low, all I'm saying they're better than the odds of getting rich by other means.
It was pretty obvious to me.
>> "I eventually want to be rich, so I'm going to be a lawyer, not an artist."
Of course, it should be possible to "get rich" making >$100k year. All it takes is money management.
> In my experience everyone who got rich did it by owning a significant stake in a business (not necessarily a startup or even anything high tech.)
Partnership is "a stake". It can be significant in dollars even if it is insignificant in percentage (and the reverse).
But it's just a conversational rat trap. Unless your definition of "rich" means "owning a private jet", you never have to come close to being a VP/Engineering to become rich over a carefully managed career. You just have to be good with money.
Sure the real estate market is in the dump right now, but that doesn't mean that a home isn't a solid investment.
A home may devalue a bit, it needs upkeep and so on. But it'll never 'crash'.
A home is only a solid investment if you're living in it. The real value of a home is in that it gives you something you want and need: a roof over your head in a place you want to live.
But if you're paying a home loan on a second home, it's an investment asset just like any other asset and is just as vulnerable to market fluctuations.
If you can buy property and then have other people pay the mortgage for you, now THAT is a solid investment.
The best thing about this strategy? It can happen slowly and sequentially with minimal risks.
*possibly very very long-term.