Why you should NOT burn your boats, bridges, or escape routes - Digital Tool Factory blog

Why you should NOT burn your boats, bridges, or escape routes

I recently came across the blog post “Founders: Burn Your Boats” on Hacker News and found it to be the exact wrong advice.  The logic behind the argument is that by removing your escape routes (boats) you are committing totally, and focusing your attention on your startup company, and you will of course be happier. will be more successful.   A good example would be not doing consulting work while working on your startup.  “Burning boats” works for marriage, where “forsaking all others” is one of the main points of the whole endeavor.

However. if you have a startup company, you’re only trying to make a product.  Total commitment is, at best, a necessary evil, not a virtue.  Sure, you’re showing commitment to other people, but why not just show them an  awesome product?  By “burning boats” the only thing you’re doing is putting yourself in a weaker negotiating position with venture capitalists, and looking good instead of doing good.


Editor’s Note

This blog post originally appeared on the Profit Awareness Blog – as that app is up for sale, it has been consolidated into the main Digital Tool Factory blog.


Written By Steve French


14 responses to “Why you should NOT burn your boats, bridges, or escape routes”

    • Actually I’ve been in business for nine years now.

      I’ve never found reducing possible and current income streams to improve my bargaining position with anyone.

      Nor have I found doing so to actually make choices. All you’re doing is removing price tags from your labor which, in my case anyway, does not help in doing what actually needs to be done. Knowing that the cost of Feature Z is not five hours, but the XXX dollars that five hours of consulting work would bring in is an excellent way to prioritize.

  1. Not everything is a hard and fast rule, but I think you might have completely missed the point of the post.. It has absolutely nothing to do with showing commitment to other people.. And how exactly would you be in a weaker negotiating position with VCs? It’s pretty ubiquitous that VCs won’t even look at your company unless you are all in 100%. If you’re not willing to invest yourself first, why would anyone else?

  2. After reading your blog post I browsed your website a bit and noticed you aren’t ranking nearly as well in Google as you could be. I possess a handful of blogs myself and I think you should take a look here: http://dominateseowithwordpress.com You’ll find it’s a very nice tool that can bring you a lot more visitors. Keep up the quality posts

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