It was a warm late-spring day in 1999. I sat in my office with a venture capitalist, my lawyer, and my son. The sun beamed in the patio outside my office. We talked about Palo Alto Software and its web subsidiary bplans.com. At one point the VC said:
You wouldn’t be an attractive investment for VCs. You’re too profitable.
I chuckled. I thought it was a joke. We’d grown sales in four years from less than $1 million to more than $5 million annual sales. We had to be profitable because we had no outside money.
That’s no joke. It’s like the Oklahoma gold rush, a land grab, and the assumption is that if you’re profitable, you’ve stopped too soon. You should be spending more to build traffic.
Those were strange times.