Competition

What the greatest technology investors say about Competition

Successful Entrepreneurs have these Qualities

Mark Suster Partner Upfront Ventures and former entrepreneur

 Suster believes successful entrepreneurs have these qualities:  “1. tenacity, the most important [].  2. street smarts []” including “[] know[ing] [] how customers buy and how to excite them [], [an ability to] spot opportunities that aren’t being met and [] design products to meet these needs. []”. “3. ability to pivot []” which “[] might just be a totally different business model.[]”  “4. resiliency  []. 5. inspiration [].  6. perspiration [].  7. willingness to accept risk []. 8. attention to detail [].  9.  competitiveness []. 10. decisiveness []. 11. domain experience []. 12. integrity  []”.    Mark Suster, Entrepreneur DNA, December 15, 2009;http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/entrepreneur-dna/ What Makes an Entrepreneur (2/11) – Street Smarts December 16, 2009

http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/2009/12/16/what-makes-an-entrepreneur-210-street-smarts/

What Makes an Entrepreneur (3/11) – Ability to Pivot December 17, 2009

http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/2009/12/17/what-makes-an-entrepreneur-310-ability-to-pivot/

 

 

No Great Science to Determining Valuations

Mark Suster Partner Upfront Ventures and former entrepreneur

 “There is no great science to [how prices (valuations) are determined].  The earlier [one] invest[s] the higher the chances the company won’t work out and thus [one] pay[s] a lower price than later-stage investors. [An investor tries] to pay the appropriate price for [his] perceived risks of the company succeeding and protect [himself  if] it isn’t quite as valuable as [he] had hoped.  As the risks [] get eliminated the higher the valuation investors are prepared to pay.”  These risks over time are “[first] product [], [then] market [], [then] growth/scale [] and [finally] monetization/competition [].”    Mark Suster, Why Startups Should Raise Money at the Top End of Normal  June  5, 2011;  http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/2011/06/05/why-startups-should-raise-money-at-the-top-end-of-normal/

Social Proof is Powerful

Naval Ravikant angel investor, Co-Founder AngelList and Venture Hacks and former entrepreneur

“[Ravikant] measure[s] four dimensions [in startups for AngelList]:  Traction, Team, Social Proof and Product.” (AngelList is “a closed private social network [where] startups and angels [come] together.”)

“[] social proof refers to who else is involved [] as an investor and/or advisor. Which person has already given them the thumbs up is really important.  If any one of those people who is associated [with] the company is phenomenal it [the startup] passes the filter [selection criteria] [].

[] Social proof is [] powerful []. [] Get one great person to commit to your startup and you will have more control in raising your round. This is a tactic I have seen many startups use to start a bidding war or get the funding process rolling.”   Naval Ravikant, Naval Ravikant and AngelList: The Match.com of Funding [Interview] by Fatema Yasmine, February 17,   2011;   http://thenextweb.com/entrepreneur/2011/02/17/naval-ravikant-angellist-the-match-com-of-funding-interview/

 

Achieve Big Success: Be Contrarian and Right

Reid Hoffman angel investor, Co-Founder & Executive Chairman LinkedIn and Partner Greylock & Ben Casnocha entrepreneur

 “Warren Buffett [the acclaimed investor] has a mantra:  “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”  It’s a competitive edge for him. [] In public market investing, as in many things, you achieve big success when you’re both contrarian and right.”  Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha; The Start-up of You book,  pg 183

Entrepreneurial Hustle: Get Resourceful or Die

Reid Hoffman angel investor, Co-Founder & Executive Chairman LinkedIn and Partner Greylock & Ben Casnocha entrepreneur

“[Entrepreneurs’] ability to [hustle] well can comprise a competitive advantage.  Entrepreneurs, forever operating with constraints, are the kings and queens of hustle []”. You can’t study in a textbook the “[] entrepreneurial opportunity-generating strategy of [] hustle.”

The founders of Airbnb a short-term property rental marketplace hustled to raise cash by selling cereal, while determining how to scale the business.  “[Investors were impressed with their resourcefulness, enabling them] to raise outside financing, including a Series A investment [Hoffman led at Greylock].”

When Internet radio service Pandora’s business model was threatened with federally-mandated unsustainable cost increases, it organized a lobbying campaign in Congress to buy time to renegotiate royalty payments.  Despite almost 10 years of “lawsuits, unfavorable legislation and [bankruptcy threat], [] resilience [] kept them [alive].” Pandora eventually raised additional Greylock-led financing and completed an IPO in 2011. 

“Both [Airbnb and Pandora] were [] at one point operating with severe resource constraints, [lacking] money,[] know-how, [] connections, [] employees, advisors [and] partners.[] When you have no resources, you create them. [] Caterina Fake the co- founder of Flickr says that the “less money you have, the fewer people and resources you have, the more creative you have to become”.  Get resourceful or die.”  Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha; The Start-up of You book (pg 162-167)