Your next move

The problem with including shareholders in your company is that they will push you to the middle of the curve, to the average, where you’ll hear stuff like let’s do this, because companies like us do things like this.
There are tons of examples of big companies that started with great promises to change the world. We all believed them, but in the end it’s the same story over and over. Check the latest big tech companies. They started with a promise, and right now what they sell is something totally different.
Let me be clear here, what they sell is you, that’s their product, you. They didn’t started their companies to make your life better, you’re not the center of the equation as you might you think.
As Jack Ma, founder and CEO of Alibaba, says small is beautiful. Referring that when you let shareholders to take a chunk of you cake, that generates conflicts. And that occurs when you mix interests. They want to be sure that the money keeps growing and growing.
There’s nothing bad with the fact of making more money, but the fact of selling the soul of your company to these people it is a problem.
I really like the philosophy folks at Basecamp have. They grow when is necessary. If in any moment they see that with a particular action they are not going to add value to the customer, they rethink it. And that’s why they limit the entry of shareholders.
Any time you mix interests you’ll be pushed to the middle of the curve. But you didn’t start it just to be there, right? You want to be on the extreme of the curve, where innovation and real value is added.
Whether we are talking about companies, careers or your personal life, any new person you let to entry in your life will define your next move.
Knowing where your line in the sand is will help you to decide who you let to enter in your game.
Your interests should remain in time, that’s why you start it. So be careful when mixing interests, they can push you to the middle of the curve.