We are a group of repeat Silicon Valley founders. Before Strings, we founded and worked at startups that raised a bunch of money from top VCs. While that has its advantages (hire lots of amazing people, spend money on ads and nice offices…) it also puts a company on very narrow success path. You easily lose control over what matters to you and your team. Everything you do is driven by the need to grow as quickly as possible. It’s very binary, since venture investors have a binary return profile (they only succeed if their investments sell for billions). So we decided to do it differently this time. Where growth isn’t the only goal of a company. Where you fund the business with the money you make and not borrow from your hypothetical future.
Venture capital has become a widely overused tool. Many founders who raise large amounts of capital may feel regret as they experience the burden of heaps of preference shares and the disillusionment of how little control and ownership they actually have over the business. The VC marketing machine has been optimized to attract the best founders and skews the attention to “their way” of building a company. But there are many incredible founders who have proven it can be done differently. We’ve been inspired by the teams at Basecamp, Zapier and many others who grew their companies steadily with little outside funding. It may take longer and we’re ok with that. Maintaining control and independence is more important so we can build the company we want.
We love what we do: designing and building great products. But our work isn’t the only thing that defines us. We’re not trying to create some semi-cult to get people to work here. We simply enjoy building useful and beautiful software for our users.
Our goal is to help our users spend less time on the things that are tedious, repetitive, boring, and soul-crushing. The more time they spend on what they love doing and they were hired to do, the more successful they and their organizations will be.
We believe in the power of software that can be built by few and help many. It’s a way to keep organizational complexity to a minimum, spend more time with our users and build a better product. We all work as individual contributors. We design, code and listen to our users. We avoid meetings, layers of management and bureaucracy. We enjoy working in a small team with others who are proud of their craft and do great work because they love it not because they are ask to.
Working in a centralized office is a relic of a time before technology allowed us to work from anywhere. It was shaped by management’s desire to supervise, direct and (micro)manage employees. With all the technology available, we can work from anywhere. You can live where you want, not where the office happens to be. You can save time and stress commuting. And spend more time with your family and friends on the things you enjoy.