Web 2.0 Expo: Built To Last Or Built To Sell

by Luke Wroblewski April 17, 2007

The Built To Last Or Built To Sell: Is There A Difference? panel at Web 2.0 Expo examined the economical, social, and business impact of building companies to last vs. building them to sell.

  • You need to answer a question for yourself when you start a company: do you want control or success?
  • There’s a difference in how hard it is to built a product vs. build a company. Products can be sold much easier then companies.
  • If you build to sell, you want to take less money up front to enable that.
  • As a result, you should make a decision up front whether to build to last or sell.
  • Surround yourself with people that can help you grow your business.
  • A lot of ideas currently being developed out are just parts of larger business models. That’s why they are open to selling.
  • Venture Capitol economics are that most companies will fail. When a company takes an early exit, that might not be good for VCs. They might not want only want to make a 5-6 times return. A larger return on investment runs their business model.
  • Entrepreneurs are optimists by nature. 39% of people in US think they will be in the top 1% of earners.
  • Optimism clouds your ability to decide rationally when to sell or not. Most decisions are based on emotional considerations and not objective analysis.