Martin Rue

I build things on the internet.

Growth Is Not The Goal

In the startup world we hear a lot about growth. Startup accelerators focus on being the facilitators of quick growth and the term is thrown around like it's universally a good thing.

A startup is a company designed to grow fast – Paul Graham

But what exactly is growth? If we're talking about profits, then sure, I think we all agree there. But more often than not, growth also refers to the size of the company.

We tend to figure that growth is good because hiring more people means we'll have more capacity and ultimately make more money. Whether this is true or not is beside my point, because the interesting thing here is the assumption that the goal of a company is to make money.

In my own startup, I want to make enough money – and that's not the goal, it's the prerequisite. The goal is to create a sustainable environment where I am happy. The goal isn't to make as much money as possible, and I think there's a surprising number of founder hopefuls who are exactly the same.

Being happy is quite personal, and everyone has different conditions. What makes me happy is working in a small team of awesome people I know well and having no rules – no "place of work", no "9-to-5" – just complete freedom to be as creative as possible and work the way I want.

The idea of growth as a good thing for all companies is wrong – some companies want to be small, they embrace it, it's part of their culture and it's how they are awesome. Simply growing larger for the sake of it would destroy that.

Small is not just a stepping-stone. Small is a great destination itself – Jason Fried