Keeping On the Blade: How Successful Startup Founders Persist To Discover Hockey Stick Growth

Bobby Martin

July 13, 2016

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"Coverage of the supposedly meteoric revenue growth of a number of Silicon Valley startups—most recently Uber, Snapchat, and Instagram—whose hugely ambitious and driven founders had genius ideas and attracted massive amounts of venture funding, has fueled unrealistic notions: what a good idea looks like; how fast a founder should expect to be able to attract investment capital; and how quickly, even with a really great idea, growth will take off. If we use unicorns as a guide for our own startups, it appears that success springs up fast and out of the middle of nowhere. This mythology can lead founders to abandon their efforts too soon because they're not seeing rapid revenue growth and can't get funding. They haven't planned in a realistic way for the first three or often more years of false starts, missteps, and market resistance which are generally required before growth takes off."

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