So we're a bit of a weird company. We don’t hire a lot, are 100% founder and employee owned, and are funded with our own money and profits. This may be antithetical in our world of hypergrowth and historically cheap money, but we think it's the best strategy for Column and our customers. As a bank and a critical partner for our customers, we have more than just a fiduciary duty to deliver a service. If we don’t do an incredible job, real people may not get paid, not have access to their money in a time of need, or not be able to plan for their futures. To do this excellently, we need to minimize the amount of parties we’re optimizing for — our customers, regulators, and for everyone at Column. That’s it. If something goes wrong, we take 100% of the risk – there’s nobody else to fall back on. If we add more stakeholders into that mix, incentives get perverse and we can’t do the best job for you.
This will mean that we may not grow as fast as we possibly could, or maybe investors will get fomo and go fund a competitor! However, we think these tradeoffs are more than worth it. We are in it to build a loved and long-term company, and our cap table and funding shows that.
This is not a knock to investors or people who take a different path. In fact we think our approach is the wrong approach for a majority of tech companies. Our customers could not survive without external investors, and our previous companies (which enabled us to do this) would never have been built without investors. But this time around we’re going to try something a bit different.