A Twitter thread by Patrick McKenzie.

One of the biggest themes in software right now is the increasing professionalization of the software *company* supply chain.

Previously there were a few geographical markets which had some pipeline to take one particular type of company (venture-backed startups) through several rounds of professional money and then exit opportunities, but the intake process for that was "a little YOLO."

These days increasingly I'm seeing persistent networks across firms in the same way that there appear (to this outsider) to be persistent networks in e.g. real estate or Hollywood.

Products increasingly derisked, sometimes by expertise and sometimes by network, prior to code.

The exit opportunities for traditionally backed VC companies are generally heavily bespoke: companies are bought not sold, acquihire is (despite the reputation) generally not a planned-for outcome, and IPOs are difficult to predict by nature.

The new system increasingly contemplates "If by year N it is a profitable SaaS cash machine, *someone wants to own it.* Possibly it remains the founders, but if not, stick your hand up and PE will happily take you out."

And there are people planning for that 3~5+ years out.

"Planning for how?"

Like, shareware was mostly written by software professionals who were business amateurs. ("Bookkeeping? What's that?") Many early SaaS companies, including successful ones, were largely the same; making it up as they went along.

Increasingly, there's just... more professional competence early? The SaaS model is thoroughly proven and widely distributed. There are multiple overlapping ecosystems for supporting the company. The engineers are highly likely to have worked on a similar system before.