I'm probably biased but I've always been a strong opponent of the VC-backed model and the "Silicon Valley" way of doing things - when a big "exit" is the ultimate goal everyone aims at.
Round - Round - Round - Exit.
Angel - Round - Round - Round - IPO
Angel - Round - Downround - Pivot - Round - Exit
No one is trying to build a slowly growing, sustainable, indestructible cash-generating machine to conquer the Galaxy. Instead, everyone's busy inflating metrics for their next pitch.
Don't get me wrong, there is nothing bad about being funded. Moreover, in some niches being funded is your only option - especially when you're inventing the niche. Meaning you have to market the problem first, and then your solution. Just consider this my own professional bias - I hate bosses. Even when they come in a "lightweight" form - as investors.
Ages ago, when I was still working as a hired programmer, companies did not have fancy campuses, free smoothies and a remote work option. Instead we had dress code, toxic meetings, stupid managers, "corporate culture" and small salaries. All of this has developed a huge hostility towards bosses in me - any bosses.
When you're self-funded your only boss is the client. The client is the only person you have to please. The client is the only person you have to report to.
I do not want a "board". I do not want any strangers inside the company. I don't want to pitch anyone. I do not want to survive from one round to another. I do not want graphs, slides and "improving my presentation skills" - is this Hollywood or what?
How about being self-funded, profitable and independent? Like Basecamp/37signals. Like MailChimp. Like ConvertKit. Like Balsamiq. Like Braintree. Like GitLab or even GitHub (the Microsoft's acquisition of GitHub was not an "exit" the company aimed for, but rather "fuck you money" as people call it).
All these companies earn tens, hundreds of millions and not one was created for the sake of an "exit". Profitable and proud.
Alex has founded Jitbit in 2005 and is a software engineer passionate about customer support.