Seizing Opportunity

What the greatest technology investors say about Seizing Opportunity

Go “Fat” after Hitting Product/Market Fit

Mark Suster Partner Upfront Ventures and former entrepreneur

“[Suster] believe[s] that most companies can exist in the experimentation mode for 3-4 years. They should start “lean”.  If they hit a product /market fit (meaning you suddenly see a massive uptick in usage and/or revenue) then these companies need to go “fat”.  [Otherwise] industry titans around them will eat their lunch.”  Mark Suster, Changes in Software & Venture Capital- Part 2 of 3, June 29, 2011;  

http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/2011/06/29/changes-in-software-venture-capital-part-2-of-3/

Note:  ‘Lean’ means minimizing resources as in the Lean Startup strategy espoused by Eric Ries author The Lean Startup.  ‘Fat’ means allocating significant resources to fulfill the mission.   

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)