when it comes to advice, tech likes standardization. Startups are often told that there are certain metrics to meet, deadlines to meet, timeframes to measure against.
Examples galore: This is the ideal amount to raise during your Serie A round; here’s how many employees you should have before hiring this executive; here’s what stage to hire legal advice; and, most recently, this is what percentage of the workforce you’ll have to lay off if you can’t access more funding.
(The answer is 20% of the staff, depending on who you ask).
There is a response to some of these general statements: Startups are complicated and one size is definitely not right for everyone. But still, these startup standards push companies in the right direction, at some point they become the status quo.
That’s why when entrepreneur Paul Graham, the co-founder of Y Combinator, suggested that: he sees startups with 20 years runway thanks to huge fundraisers in 2021 it caught my eye. Isn’t the common advice that startups should have a three-year runway? And if we are in a more bullish market, 18 months?
My delayed response to this August tweet aside, let’s talk about the runway. As you can see from the headline of this piece, I think the ideal runway length is a myth – alongside other startup myths like more money equals more growth. By the end of this piece, you can agree.