The "Change the World" Gospel…
- Is it a better balance sheet projected in Year3?
- Is it a backlogged pipeline for 9-month fulfillment?
- Is it complexity to rival the "Microsofts" of the planet?
IT IS NONE OF THESE!
Here are the insights of one of the world's most preeminent "success-spotters"...
----- SEQUOIA's Elements of Sustainable Companies -Start-ups with these characteristics often foretells the success of a business and the likelihood of it becoming a sustainable, enduring company.
We like to partner with companies that have:
- Clarity of Purpose -- Summarize the company’s business on the back of a business card.
- Large Markets -- Address existing markets poised for rapid growth or change. A market on the path to a $1B potential allows for error and time for real margins to develop.
- Rich Customers -- Target customers who will move fast and pay a premium for a unique offering.
- Focus -- Customers will only buy a simple product with a singular value proposition.
- Pain Killers -- Pick the one thing that is of burning importance to the customer then delight them with a compelling solution.
- Think Differently -- Constantly challenge conventional wisdom. Take the contrarian route. Create novel solutions. Outwit the competition.
- Team DNA -- A company’s DNA is set in the first 90 days. All team members are the smartest or most clever in their domain. “A” level founders attract an “A” level team.
- Agility -- Stealth and speed will usually help beat-out large companies.
- Frugality -- Focus spending on what’s critical. Spend only on the priorities and maximize profitability.
- Inferno -- Start with only a little money. It forces discipline and focus. A huge market with customers yearning for a product developed by great engineers requires very little firepower.
MORAL OF THE STORY: Read and re-read. Clip to your mirror. Save in your wallet...