[Seaside] Congrats to Dabble DB raising ~$2M

Avi Bryant avi.bryant at gmail.com
Tue Jun 27 22:03:12 UTC 2006

On Jun 27, 2006, at 7:30 AM, Boris Popov wrote:

> Exciting times for Smalltalk indeed, good job guys!
> Forgive me for asking all the wrong questions though, but I  
> couldn't help
> wondering how your pitch about bootstrapping the startup at this  
> year's StS
> plays into all of this?  It certainly sounded like a well-thought  
> out plan
> (and very close to being realized), did something change that you  
> weren't
> anticipating perhaps? Something that others considering a similar  
> approach
> should be preparing for?

It's just a matter of timing.  Taking VC earlier - before we had a  
working product and paying customers - would definitely have been  
"premature optimization", as we said in our talk.  There's also no  
way we would have gotten the same terms we ended up with if we hadn't  
bootstrapped most of the way.  Doing without it entirely would have  
been possible but painful.  Like any optimization problem  
generalities only get you so far; you have to profile the specific  
case.  We did.  One relevant note: support costs are, say,  O(log(N))  
in the number of customers but revenues are O(N), so those low values  
of N are expensive...

I intend to write a blog post about this, but ultimately we look at  
this as "make it work, make it right, make it fast".  We spent a long  
time in those first two stages (pre-beta and then beta), we're now  
into the third and the cost/benefit ratio of taking some money (as of  
optimizing) is quite different.

Finally, we just genuinely liked Paul Kedrosky and David McIntyre at  
Ventures West much more than we ever expected to.  For a couple of  
VCs, they're great guys (how's that for a backhanded compliment...).   
Personal chemistry plays a huge part in building a company.

Nonetheless it was pretty funny giving that talk knowing that this  
was coming - we had prepared the abstract well before, of course, and  
were bound by confidentiality agreements so couldn't change it.


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