In praise of running parallel ventures

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As you probably know, I don’t run just one project. I run several projects, you might say I run a portfolio of tech startups.
I already explained a number of reasons about why I do this, here and here.
Today, I wanted to talk about the benefits of doing multiple things, in parallel.
I recently picked up a book called “The Parallel Entrepreneur” by Ryan Buckley. In it, the author explains that a serial entrepreneur runs one venture after another, whereas a parallel entrepreneur runs multiple ventures at once.
In reading it, I drew many connections to another book called “How to Be a Capitalist Without Any Capital” by Nathan Latka. In it, the author says that he runs at least 3 things at the same time.
So, why is this important?


For me, the first reason is practical: convenience. Since I own 100% of my products, I can easily share resources between them.For example, here are some things that are shared between my products:
  • Team: support people are the same for all my products. This costs less in terms of time spent training people and also money.
  • Some software is the same for all my products (i.e. why should I have another Mailchimp account when I already have one for Angage?)
  • I try to use the same stack on all my products
This also means that I can have shared stats (for example I have 1 Graylog instance to monitor cron jobs on all of my software instead of 6).
Basically, the more profitable software I create, the more convenience I get.


The second reason is: multiplication. With multiple software running at once, you can easily multiply by subtraction (as I explain here) or even cross-sell software. For example, my Treendly customers might be interested in getting Groouply, and viceversa.
Also, my learning curve is multiplied. Since I use almost the same stack for all products if something improves on one product, I can quickly and easily apply the improvement to all of the other products.


The third and final reason is: luck. The chances of having a profitable product are low and luck plays an important role. The good news is that you can create your own luck.
By having multiple things, I’m doing exactly that. I’m setting up myself to have more luck. If we compare it to a lottery, in this way I’m just buying more tickets and increasing my chances of winning.
Happy parallel shipping!
Mike Rubini

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Mike Rubini