Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.
Most likely, this Bill Gates quote refers to building businesses. It can take a lot of effort and persistence. Building a SaaS business is a 10-15 year journey.
I would like to extend this to developers.
Most developers overestimate what they can build in 3 months and underestimate what they can do in one year.
When I started writing code for Archbee in December last year, I thought if I go full-time and perform my best I can build a decent product (compared to competitors) in 3 months.
After 3 months, I had a product made of tangled code, barely working, low feature, buggy, not even friends wanted to use.
Almost 6 months in, first paying customers, I almost had to beg not to leave due to still buggy and no features. Good people, but still, the product didn't deserve it.
9 months in, some early signs of traction, the product in ok shape, but 55k lines of still tangled & messy code. But looking way better from the outside.
I took the next month rewriting almost everything and not worrying about new features as the product was at 95% parity to my competitors. And some extra ones they didn't have 💪.
11 months in, I saw some companies choosing my product over big competitors. Mature competitors. VC-funded competitors. Bootstrapped competitors.
This is a reminder to developers that they can go build businesses for themselves. You don't need connections, venture capital or anything else. The only requirement is a strong mind. It's mental more than anything else.
When you do decide you want to get investment, your company will be a beast in their eyes. Because you deserve it.
You went through all the adversity necessary to earn the respect of investors and make them believe in you without saying one word. Your MRR and MoM growth tells the whole story.
If you decide to keep bootstrapping, you're still in very good shape having been in the trenches for so long. The longer you stay bootstrapping the more valuable you become because you don't need anybody and anything.
Do it.. there is nothing you'll regret more if you don't. Imagine yourself. 45-50 years old, knowing you've been through the golden age of SaaS and you did fucking nothing.