Growth is the defining characteristic of a start-up. A company not set on rapid growth is not a start-up, but just another company trying to keep status quo by optimizing for safety. Growth is the only way to convince (fool?) investors, acquirers, or stock markets to invest in you. Yahoo hasn't bought Tumblr for $1.1 billion because of $10 million in revenue that Tumblr has now, but because of the potential for growth in user base, revenue, and product that Tumblr has demonstrated. If your start-up isn't gaining traction, if you don't see growth potential in your product, or if the target market isn't expanding, stop fooling yourself. You can't squeeze blood out of stone anymore. You must kill what ain't working to have time to focus on building something with a growth potential. Everything else is just death by thousand cuts and a waste of everybody's time. You might still build a low-growth lifestyle business and probably be perfectly happy. But you don't need investors to build such business. All you need is lack of ambition!