The Things We Did Not Do While Reaching $2M ARR

Philippe Lehoux
by Philippe Lehoux

A list of things tech startups usually go through that we did not.

Warning: This is not a list of things you should not do; it's simply a collection of things we did not.

  • We did not do a business plan.
  • We did not create a pitch deck.
  • We did not spend money on Google Adwords.
  • We did not move out of Heroku.
  • We did not create a US bank account to save on Stripe fees.
  • We did not grow our headcount past four.
  • We did not raise venture capital.
  • We did not go through an incubator.
  • We did not code a native iOS app.
  • We did not code a native Android app.
  • We did not code a native Windows app.
  • We did not code a native Mac app.
  • We did not spend money on ads.
  • We did not type-check our codebase.
  • We did not switch to a new programming language after launch.
  • We did not hire a PR firm.
  • We were not featured in any noteworthy tech publications.
  • We did not win any prize nor apply to win one.
  • We did not attend networking events.
  • We did not join the local chamber of commerce.
  • We did not devote a % of our days to marketing.
  • We did not pay for a competitor product to try features.
  • We did not focus 100% of our work hours on only one business.
  • We did not buy or use an email list to reach potential leads.
  • We did not use a CRM.
  • We did not track/monitor user behavior in the apps.
  • We did not A/B test anything.
  • We did not sell the company to a competitor.
  • We did not split our codebase into microservices.
  • We did not use AWS Lambda.
  • We did not apply for the government salary subsidies.
  • We did not translate our app or website.
  • We did not have coaches.
  • We did not ask questions at user signup (What is the size of your company?)
  • We did not give discounts.
  • We did not offer yearly plans.
  • We did not order mugs/socks/T-shirts/hoodies with our logo.
  • We did not pay for a LinkedIn premium plan.
  • We did not host a page that asks for email addresses to download a PDF.
  • We did not have mentors.
  • We did not do an MBA.
  • We did not present talks at our alma maters.
  • We did not pivot.
  • We did not setup automated email follow-ups.
  • We did not waste money.
  • We did not hire a human to do our hero video narration. (Suggested here)

Were we successful because or despite of all of these did-nots?

There are presumably many things there that would have made us more successful. And obviously many things we might do soon.

The takeaway? Don't stress over all the things you are not doing but focus on the few you are doing right.

Philippe Lehoux

CEO at Missive
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