Lifestyle Business

This is an interesting concept I discovered some weeks ago: “lifestyle business’.

Being on Twitter and to some extend in the programming/startups culture of the Bay Area, mosts dicussions centers around sucessful Angel-backed startups.

I was therefore shocked to learn about lifestyle business, a concept I wasn’t familiar with, although it represents more than 90% of all businesses1.

What’s more, the business type I am more familiar with represents less than 1% of all businesses. Talk about loud minority.

Some people make do by quietly pulling $10m/year in profit with a team of 25 in a city you’ve never heard of, making actuarial software for funeral homes.

It’s unfortunate, but not surprising, hat venture capitalists have been mocking the term, using it as a pejorative catchall to dismiss any entrepreneur who isn’t thinking in terms of “growth” and “big exit”2.

One critic that seems to often comes up is “how can it be a real business if you are not putting the hours?” but as David Heinemeier Hansson puts it:

It’s been a long time since there was a direct correlation with the number of hours you work and the success you enjoy. It’s an antiquated notion from the days of manual labour that has no bearing on the world today.