The case for a phat startup

Lean Startup is so overrated and trendy. All these acronyms like MVP, ARRRR, P&L just get your head in the wrong place. Who wants to be pirate anyway? They all had scurvy. I think Lean Startup causes more problems than it solves. I’d rather run a fat (phat) startup. I’ve done it many times before, and I liked it while it lasted. So, I’m going back to doing that.
  1. My favorite reason for running a phat startup was that I could delude myself. As much as I wanted. I could paint visions in my head, without actually needing to think. I think self-delusion is a great experience. Somebody should productize that. Unparalleled.Why hire a PR company? You can spin your own yarns, since you believe so much more in your own vision than some–hired guns. Yes, delicious delusions are the best, with lots of delicious money. You don’t need to confront day-to-day reality then. Or learn anything. Just execute.
  2. Speaking of delicious, the next reason I like running a phat startup is the hors d’oeuvres at cocktail parties and events. If you’re running a phat startup, you can go to these events and hand out designer’y business cards.Those cards have your name, phone number, and the title “Founder” on them, or even better, “Co-Founder”. That means you’re part of a hip team.It’s lots of fun to show off and make friends, even though they aren’t your customers, in your industry, or potential funding providers.I still hang out with some of those friends from my phat days…even became a godfather for one of those friend’s children.
  3. Another reason to create a phat startup: you can build anything you want. Ignore those pesky customers and what they want. After all, who are they to tell you what you should build? What do they know?Customers or prospects have a well-meaning way of deflating your vision. They all say they want something different than what you do.I mean, they’re good people and all, it’s just better to avoid them when you’re working on your idea. You wouldn’t want them to screw it up.
  4. On to the next part. Since you’re out building your idea, you get to play with lots of techie toys. That’s my favorite part of being a phat founder. Nobody tells me what technology I can’t play with. I can sign up for lots of websites and software.I can tweak things so that I really get my product to be polished and perfect before showing it to anyone.Even though I probably spent a lot of time playing Xbox as a phat founder, nobody needs to know that. My cocktail friends thought I was trying out the latest javascript framework, the one that makes coffee and writes a book for you at the same time.
  5. If you’re running a phat startup, you can just focus on raising investor and shareholder money. Fund a lavish startup lifestyle. If you run out, you can always raise more. Diluting your stake doesn’t really matter, as long as you can find someone else to give you money.Some founders just don’t get it. Why try to keep as much equity as you can? I mean, you wouldn’t want to be risking your savings or anything. That’s not the point here. You want to be living the good life now, not after your exit.
So that’s my case for a phat startup. I hope you see that I’m onto something, and that these Lean Startup guys have it all wrong. Stop getting canvassed. Go phat. [image: Kevin Harber]

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