There is no guarantee that any software will stay around indefinitely.
Companies often either shut down because they cannot get to profitability, they can't grow quickly enough to ensure more funding, the founders have a fall out or because they get bought by a larger company and then shut down.
Larger companies like to acquire smaller ones for different reasons:
- to take a competitor out of the market to become market leader
- to acquire talented people that will now work for them
- to acquire some technology they don't want to build themselves
- to gain access to a large user base
Marvin is self-funded
We are a self-funded company, meaning we did not take on any outside investment to build Marvin. This means we are growing purely by reinvesting our profits back into Marvin. This means slower growth but much more stability for the company.
Why there is less risk of shutdown for a self-funded company
It is a common misconception to see being self-funded or a small team (which goes hand in hand, especially at the beginning) as a risk factor and means there is a higher chance we won't stay around for long.
But the opposite is actually true.
When a company is funded they have a responsibility to make large profits for their shareholders. The ultimate goal here is usually an "exit". Which means going public or being bought. Most of the time being bought is a more realistic outcome.
If a company gets bought it doesn't mean the tool will shut down, but often it does.
The other scenario is that a funded company cannot reach profitability (most of them never really do) or doesn't grow quickly enough so the company folds. A funded company works on borrowed money and to sustain growth they need more and more money. If something doesn't go well, investors won't give more money and the company is in trouble as they can't sustain themselves on profits yet most likely.
A self-funded company often has very different goals. In our case, Mark and I are living directly from Marvin's profits. We don't have investors and therefore don't need to grow at a breakneck speed. We are happy to just improve our product and grow our revenue so we can hire more people to make Marvin even better etc.
We are already profitable, so there is no risk of shut down because we run out of funds. We also require very little money to keep Marvin going.
Not a great buying target
Since we are not growing very fast and don't have a free plan (which is a tactic to acquire a large market share) we are not very attractive for potential buyers.
Relying on Marvin personally
I use Marvin personally (I built it for myself originally) so I have a vested interest to making sure it stays around.
Another big reason why new companies fold is conflict between the founding team (the number 1 reasons startup close actually).
We don't see this as a risk as Mark and I have been together for more than 14 years and married for more than 10. We are best friends and have gone through a lot together.
Marvin brings us closer in many ways.
In the event of a shutdown
We want Marvin to stay around for as long as possible. In the unlikely event that we both died (we aren't risk takers and huge health nuts ), Marvin will remain up for business and maintained by capable individuals.
But even if all of our servers went down and there is no one to keep Marvin alive, the desktop app you downloaded can be used indefinitely as it does not rely on any servers if you don't use cloud sync.