A Friday series exploring Startups and the people who make them go. Read all If the Shoe Fits posts here
Amongst all today’s hype about unicorns Andrew Wilkinson stands out as a beacon of light and a voice of sanity for many entrepreneurs.
He launched Flow in 2011 and has been growing ever since sans outside investment.
Although he has had talks with angels and VCs over the years he has no interest in taking money and has been publicly vocal on the subject.
He talks about being a horse, instead of a unicorn.
Meanwhile, there are thousands of internet businesses out there, quietly making tens, and even hundreds of millions of dollars, who have taken the same path as In-N-Out. They don’t need to be first, second, or even tenth, in their space, and have instead chosen to focus on a small percent of a massive market. They answer to customers, not investors, and focus on making their employees, customers, and themselves happy.
SAS was founded in 1976; in not-quite 40 years it has grown to 13,660 employees who produced $3.09 billion in 2014 from 75,000 customer sites in 139 countries.
Whether the drive stems from the demands of the investor world or the need for instant gratification, Wilkinson’s attitude is a breath of fresh air.
Raising venture money is a high risk commitment to go big or go home, and it isn’t for everyone. It certainly isn’t right for me, but neither is the surfer lifestyle business. I’m somewhere in the middle, with the Snyders of the world. I’m not a unicorn, I’m a horse.
Give it some thought or, to paraphrase an old commercial, “try it, you might like it.”
Image credit: HikingArtist