The post was originally published in Polish on Szymon’s LinkedIn profile. Szymon kindly agreed to republish what we think is of great value to our readers.
Many of the founders I met were actually unhappy after the exit. Paradox, right? The whole narrative, the whole industry is focused on building something over the years, and finally selling it successfully for big money. And when that success finally comes, it appears … emptiness and confusion. What’s next? Most often there was a longer vacation, buying expensive toys to see what it was like, investing in real estate to generate passive income.
It often turned out, however, that this trip after 3 weeks began to get simply boring, luxury goods do not give much fun, and the rentier lifestyle is definitely not for everyone. As a result, the founder returns to the roots and begins to create another venture from scratch, and everything comes full circle. Start-ups for founders are not a game of exits and the pursuit of money – it is a passion for building with all its advantages and disadvantages.
The comment sections adds:
I recently read a couple of interesting opinions from founders. Both said that their companies were performing so well that the absence of founders would no longer affect the future of their businesses in any way. The conclusion was somewhat sad because both of them had reached the point where, on the one hand, they don’t really have a lot to do there, and on the other hand, for this reason, they feel less needed and even alien in their own companies. An exit is a step forward, but for many, it will be a bad experience. Why?
The founder is not a celebrity, they have a passion for creating and building. They generally don’t create a business to buy a plane. Without it, they will easily survive, but without the satisfaction of creating, making mistakes, and drawing conclusions, they will not.
– Adam Mitura, CEO at inPlus Media
The question is – do we build a company ‘for exit’ or do we build long-term value, with which we also identify as people? I am definitely in favor of the latter approach.
– Ewa Bartnik, VP & CFO at Imker_pl
The founder who returns to building a startup after exit is a different person. Not only do they have the experience, contacts, and a well-developed rapport with VC, but also financial security. I’m not surprised that most of them come back, because it’s a different comfort of work than the first time.
– Tomasz Bartel, Sales Director at Sycope
Another thing is that most people like these can’t do anything but work. And one should also be able simply to live.
– Jan Swist, Full Stack Developer & Software Development Consultant
At some point, it becomes a kind of altruism. Where we look at the growing talent and products under the founders. Where satisfaction comes from new successes, growing income, and investments in people and the company. You can’t live thinking only about the bottom line, it’s a disaster. And the winners like what they do. Then, it’s easier to pass through toil and difficult moments.
Szymon Janiak is an investor and a business-driven Managing Director at czysta3.vc, a Venture Capital fund located in Poland. He has over 10 years of experience in the technology sector. Szymon is also a Member of the Supervisory Board at stockbroker Grupa Trinity S.A.