Be the cockroach update: I wrote “Be the Cockroach” v.1 3 years ago. I wanted to modify the definition and add the NUCLEAR amendment.
Fascinating Characteristics of Real Cockroaches: Cockroaches can live a week without their head. They can hold their breath for 40 minutes. A one day old cockroach can run as fast as a parent. They can live without food for one month. They are good at collaboration.
Boost VC’s mascot is a cockroach. It is the most adaptable creature in the world, and in a world where everyone aspires to be a unicorn, a cockroach is an identifiable feature of an entrepreneur.
In the startup world right now, everyone aspires to be a Thunder Lizard, a Black Swan, or Unicorn, but the only way to identify one is after they have evolved into a Thunder Lizard, Black Swan or Unicorn. But what were they before? You can never identify a unicorn before it is a unicorn. As insects, cockroaches are gross, and are akin to dirty dishes, however I have backed founders who I admire who have similar personality traits to cockroaches. I have grown fond of Cockroaches. You might not be able to identify a unicorn at the outset, but you can definitely identify a cockroach. And some cockroaches… very few… are nuclear.
A Startup Cockroach: A startup comprised of resourceful founders who iterate to survive. They iterate on themselves and their product. They adapt and collaborate. They empower communities.
A Nuclear Cockroach: A startup comprised of resourceful founders who iterate to thrive. They iterate on themselves and their product. They adapt and collaborate. They empower communities. They are overlooked until they have taken over your house, your city and your world. They do not merely want to survive, they want to conquer.
The first company that we ever invested in was named Favor (Anything you want delivered), they are the perfect example of cockroaches, in fact we used to refer to them as cockroaches, we were never worried about the company going under. To date they serve 50 cities in Texas, with more than 8 million deliveries to date. They are in the crowded market of the on-demand food delivery space, but have carved out their ownership of the space outside of California. Before they had any semblance of success, they lived in every office they had, ran out of money four times, and every time we connected with them, we weren’t sure if they were headed in the right direction, but we always would say “But they won’t die.” And that’s when we started calling them “Cockroaches.”
We quickly realized that they took pride in being cockroaches, and suddenly we took pride in calling our companies cockroaches.
“We’re like cockroaches and the funny thing about cockroaches is they are really hard to kill and no one likes them in their space”
— Ben Doherty, Co-Founder of Favor
Being a cockroach means that no matter what, your company will be here in the future. You are passionate and committed to solving problems and changing the world.
This is especially true in Sci-Fi and Deep Tech. Founders in the emerging tech industries will be tested for longevity over the next years. When entrepreneurs are betting on market growth, but the timing of adoption is impossible to estimate, the best plan is a plan for survival. The best plan is to be a cockroach until you choose to ride the wave and go nuclear! Be the Cockroach!