What did Billion Dollar Companies Look Like at the Series A?
Tod Francis

Thank your for the post. It is great to see more discussion around causality of success and failure among startups. One is almost led to believe that success/failure is unpredictable.

I think the 5 points you raise are especially useful from the pov of an investor. For the entrepreneur a different set of criteria are relevant. Based on my own research of highly valued startups (failures and successes), the most predictive criteria for success or failure is solving (or failing to solve) a real, valuable and large pain point. Successful startups have superior products that address a very valuable pain point. This is essentially your #3 (and #1), and also what enables #2.