A venture capitalist was waiting to meet a founder inside of a Starbucks when a woman’s screen caught his eye. It showed a Stripe account boasting five thousand dollars in monthly recurring revenue. The investor complimented the woman and asked her how long it took to build her small business.
The maker replied with a smile, “Only a little while.” She stood to leave, and the venture capitalist asked, “Going to put out a fire?”
“Oh no,” she said, “I’ve finished working for the day.”
The venture capitalist pursed his lips. But don’t you want to earn more than that? The maker told him she had enough to support her family’s needs. The investor then asked, “But what will you do with the rest of your time?”
She replied, “I sleep in, play with my kids, read books, hike with my husband, and each night I play games with my friends and loved ones. I have a full and rich life.” The investor scoffed, “Listen, I previously was a consultant at Bain & Company, and I could help you. You could spend more time working on your business and hire an employee with the proceeds. With the proceeds from having an extra hand, hire a small team. With the proceeds from a team, you could open an office, and eventually, you would have offices all across the world. Instead of offering your product to consumers, you would sell directly to enterprises. You would own the market.”
The maker asked, “How long will all this take?”
To which the venture capitalist replied, “10–20 years.”
“But then what?” asked the woman.
The investor laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right, you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public. You would become very rich, making millions!”
The venture capitalist said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small town where you could sleep in, play with your kids, read books, hike with your husband, and play games with friends and loved ones.”