Two Lives

Apr 29th, 2024

Everyone has two lives. The second life begins when they realise that they only have one.

I fortuitously heard this quote in a TV show several months ago and it's been at the top of my mind ever since.

Recently I was at a crossroads, where Metorik had received some acquisition interest and for a moment, I had to contemplate Metorik's future and our part in it. Had the 3 of us taken Metorik as far as we could alone? Was this the next logical step for us?

As a profitable company, we have control over our destiny, and optionality in our decision making. While that optionality is certainly a blessing, it can also be a curse. The freedom to choose which path you take comes with the caveat that you must choose. And in these moments, it can be best to pause, reflect on the decisions made so far, and consider what our purpose really is.

Image of salary man sitting at desk - image by Nick. Image of salary man sitting at desk - image by Nick.

When I started Metorik back in 2016, it was hard to escape the shadow of venture capital. The entire tech world was obsessed with growth, trapped in a relentless cycle of customer acquisition at any cost.

That pathway didn't really speak to me. It felt like trading one master for another, and I could see that the freedom I was searching for wouldn't be found at the bottom of a seed round.

So bootstrapping or self-funding was the only option left, and I was glad to take it. Faced with a limited runway and a blank code editor, I had to be intentional with every hour and every dollar I had, conscious of how finite each one was.

The bet paid off and a couple of years in, Metorik was profitable and paying me a few times my previous salary. The desire for growth was there, but it was born out of purpose, not for the sake of it. Profit equaled freedom, and freedom was the ultimate goal. So instead of hiring as soon as I could afford to, I prioritised sustainable growth and only made our first hire when there was a purpose in doing so. That line of thinking continued and just 6 months later, we made our second hire.

Our purpose has never been to grow as big as possible. Our purpose has always been to provide freedom and control to both our customers and ourselves. That purpose was clear on day one and now, 2809 days later, it's even clearer.

Illustration of salary man sitting at desk - artwork by Nick. Illustration of salary man sitting at desk - artwork by Nick.

When faced with the option to sell, some thought was given, but ultimately we decided to remain independent. The freedom we had gained through building a sustainable business allowed us to determine our own fate.

We realised that Metorik only had one life and we weren't quite done yet.

In that moment, our first life ended and our second life began.

- Bryce