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Opinions & thoughts on tech, business and random bits between, from the founder of Appenate.

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Freedom, Purpose, Relationships

At Microconf this year, Rob Walling gave an interesting retrospective of trends he’s seen in the bootstrapped SaaS space.

While techniques have come and gone over the years, the one constant for Rob was the combination of key motivators driving bootstrapped founders:

  • Freedom
  • Purpose
  • Relationships

Rob’s succinct summary resonated immediately with me (and likely most other attendees), and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

It’s funny how three simple points can explain why I quit my job, started my company and have been on the less-travelled bootstrapper path ever since.

I think that most founders would name this trio of reasons when they first set out to start a business. We all want to chart our own course, doing meaningful work with great people.

However, decisions and circumstances along the way may demand that we sacrifice some of these goals. To my mind, this is where...

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How much success is enough?

Sam Altman’s new blog post titled “How to be successful” pinged a few times on my Twitter feed this morning, so I took a look.

It’s a typical Silicon Valley sermon: outwork, outskill, outscale. The path to the good life, sponsored by your friendly neighbourhood VC.

Before you put a laminated copy of Sam’s words on your mirror, first ask yourself: how much success is **enough**?

If you define success as becoming the next Elon Musk, then sure, go do what Altman says. You’re shooting for the moon (Mars?) and it’ll take everything you can muster just to get near the launchpad.

But what if you have less lofty aims for yourself?
What if success means paying off your house, getting a nice car, advancing social justice, taking care of your family, being independent, having enough to be comfortable?

Then Altman’s “compound yourself” advice will likely disappoint. His words set you up for...

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