Paul Graham has articulated so well what I always used to feel when I started on my own in 2004.
Another advantage of ramen profitability is that it’s good for morale. A company tends to feel rather theoretical when you first start it. It’s legally a company, but you feel like you’re lying when you call it one. When people start to pay you significant amounts, the company starts to feel real. And your own living expenses are the milestone you feel most, because at that point the future flips state. Now survival is the default, instead of dying.
For a very long time, it felt as though I was lying everytime I told people I “owned” a company – it still does sometimes!