Credit: Sunny Studio /

Ode to the Contrarians

It now looks like an obvious success. It is also the most notorious of all the contrarian venture-backed companies: Airbnb.

As investors, we should all look back to remember the successfully contrarian companies that paved our way as investors. They are the ones that truly matter, they remind us why we do what we do, the humility and candid attitude that we need to keep in order to fuel our hopes, cope with uncertainties and take foolish bets against an almost crushing consensus.

That’s how we reveal extraordinary outliers.

As opposed to making risk-averse investments or to taking moderate and consensual decisions towards optimisation rather than maximisation.

I couldn’t emphasise enough how thrilled I feel whenever an entrepreneur successfully demonstrate that it only takes one initial believer to change the fate of a company. It obviously takes a lot more than just commitment or trust, it requires excessive, thorough efforts and positive energy from their supporters towards breaking the walls of doubts, pushing the boundaries of death and spreading the words so that more and more people agree and commit.

It’s easy to say that the incumbents are too strong, that too many players compete in the market, that many companies tried and failed before, that it sucks to be the last mover, that expansion will be a challenge…

But when a company has cracked product-market fit, that the team is really strong with operational excellence and care at their heart, with great cohorts through a neat tech/product, on a market that is ridiculously huge, what should we do? Certainly not find where the model could fail but instead understand how we can empower this team for them to win big.

We can misjudge someone from their pitch deck or their clumsy attitude, but we can’t be wrong about all the revealing facts that show that:

  1. They know their market incredibly well,
  2. Executing with excellence & precision,
  3. Towards a clear, ambitious vision,
  4. Supported by a clear focus,
  5. Delivered through solid values.
The best startups just radiate quality end to end.
Marc Andreessen
Aug 7, 2014

It’s great to see the next wave of contrarians founders build incredible ventures. If you have vision, focus and values, that you deliver with commitment, precision and excellence, nothing should stop you from succeeding.

Just find one really strong initial supporter alongside you.

What about sharing this post by mentioning one company that few people seem to talk about & that you believe will become beautifully huge ?