Should You Focus on Growth or Profit? | Summary and Q&A

YouTube video player
Should You Focus on Growth or Profit?


Growth is crucial for demonstrating product-market fit in startups, while profitability requires a compelling story that shows how the business will be profitable at scale.

Install to Summarize YouTube Videos and Get Transcripts

Key Insights

  • 📈 Growth is the signal of product-market fit and differentiates a startup from a small business. It shows that you've created something valuable that people are willing to pay for.
  • 💰 Profitability needs to be plausible at any stage of your company. Don't rely on scale alone to fix margins, but rather demonstrate a compelling story of how your business will be profitable at scale.
  • 📊 De-risking your profitability story is important, especially as you approach an IPO. Continually update your model, ask hard questions, and factor in real-world scenarios and edge cases to ensure sound assumptions.
  • 💡 Seek feedback from experienced individuals who can poke holes in your profitability plan and point out potential pitfalls. Don't have a blindly optimistic view, but rather address challenges and build them into your story.
  • 🔁 Continuously invest in growth and prioritize it over profitability, particularly in the early stages of your company.
  • 💪 Build a track record for growth by consistently increasing your user base and revenue. Growth is what differentiates a startup and allows for reinvestment in innovation.
  • 💪 Demonstrate growth through concrete numbers. Showing tangible growth is more convincing than any other factor in proving product-market fit.
  • 💼 As a founder, it is important to balance growth and profitability. While growth is crucial, it should not come at the expense of sustainable profitability in the long run.


hey everyone i'm divya and i'm a visiting partner here at yc i'm a two-time yc founder so i've done two startups been through yc twice over the last 16 years and today i'm here to talk a little bit about growth versus profitability startup is all about growth feeling really good about the nature the profitability for this company let's compare the ... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: Why is growth considered the true signal of product-market fit in startups?

Growth is the ultimate validation that a startup has made something that many people want and are willing to pay for, distinguishing it from small businesses.

Q: How does profitability differ from growth in the startup context?

While growth demonstrates market demand, profitability requires a well-defined and compelling story that shows how the business will be profitable at scale, without assuming that growth will fix margins.

Q: Why is it important to continually update the profitability model and consider real-world scenarios?

By accounting for real-world edge cases and potential challenges, a startup can build a more robust and sound profitability story, increasing confidence in investors and stakeholders.

Q: When does de-risking the story about profitability become more crucial?

De-risking the profitability story becomes increasingly important as a startup approaches an IPO, as investors and the market will demand a clearer understanding of how the business will generate consistent profit and growth.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Growth is the ultimate indicator of product-market fit and sets startups apart from small businesses.

  • Profitability needs a plausible and well-defined narrative of how the business will be profitable at scale, rather than relying on assumptions of growth to fix margins.

  • De-risking the story about profitability becomes more crucial as a company approaches an IPO.

Share This Summary 📚

Summarize YouTube Videos and Get Video Transcripts with 1-Click

Download browser extensions on:

Explore More Summaries from Y Combinator 📚

Summarize YouTube Videos and Get Video Transcripts with 1-Click

Download browser extensions on: