$1 Billion Startup “Unicorns”

Assuming the landscape of startups is like watching wildlife, this article via TechCrunch peers into the lives one of the rarest animals, the unicorn.  Check out “Welcome To The Unicorn Club: Learning From Billion-Dollar Startups, Aileen Lee” (see the article on TechCrunch).

Quotes I liked most:

Swing for the Fences?

“Takeaway: it’s really hard, and highly unlikely, to build or invest in a billion dollar company. The tech news may make it seem like there’s a winner being born every minute.”  So, David Heinemeier Hansson was right,

“I think we’d be better off with less of a focus on [swinging for the fence] and more of a focus on practical solutions to less grandiose problems.” [1]

Market to Businesses or Consumers?

“Consumer-oriented unicorns have been more plentiful and created more value in aggregate, even excluding Facebook.”

“Companies fall somewhat evenly into four major business models: consumer e-commerce, consumer audience, software-as-a-service, and enterprise software.”

Get Rich Quick?

“It has taken seven-plus years on average before a “liquidity event” for companies, not including the third of our list that is still private. It’s a long journey beyond vesting periods.”

Founders by Age, Location, Gender

“Inexperienced, twentysomething founders were an outlier. Companies with well-educated, thirtysomething co-founders who have history together have built the most successes.”

“Probably not a surprise, but 27 of 39 on our list are based in the Bay Area.”

“No unicorns have female founding CEOs.”