The spectral signatures of the best companies I’ve invested in are remarkably similar. They usually have most of the following characteristics: compelling founders, a mission that attracts talented people into the startup’s orbit, a product so good that people spontaneously tell their friends about it, a rapidly growing market, a network effect and low marginal costs, the ability to grow fast, and a product that is either fundamentally new or 10x better than existing options.
Like the founder, and like a company, what you should care about is the growth rate and eventual size of a market (I don’t know why most investors are so obsessed with the current size of a market instead of how big they think it will be in ten years, but it’s an opportunity for you).
…hnological change, because their fundamental advantages over large competitors are speed and focus. A higher rate of change gives startups more opportunities to be right and the large competitor more opportunities to stumble.
Startups are likely to happen in many more industries — startups can win wherever costs can be low and cycle time can be fast. Startups do particularly well in industries with rapid technological change, because their fundamental advantages over large competitors are speed and focus. A higher rate of change gives startups more opportunities to be right and the large competitor more …
I look for founders who are scrappy and formidable at the same time (a rarer combination than it sounds); mission-oriented, obsessed with their companies, relentless, and determined; extremely smart (necessary but certainly not sufficient); decisive, fast-moving, and willful; courageous, high-conviction, and willing to be misunderstood; strong communicators and infectious evangelists; and capable of becoming tough and ambitious.