Issue 143 - 05 | Keeping On the Blade: How Successful Startup Founders Persist To Discover Hockey Stick Growth

By Bobby Martin
Published July 13, 2016 10:00 a.m.
“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.”

About Bobby Martin | Bobby Martin is the author of The Hockey Stick Principles. He has cofounded two successful startups, one of which, First Research, a leader in sales intelligence, was sold to Dun & Bradstreet. He’s deeply involved with five other startups as an angel investor and advisor. Martin is chairman and cofounder of Vertical IQ, a leading provider of sales research insight for banks. He speaks frequently about entrepreneurship at universities around the U.S. and at corporate events. In 2006, he was the recipient of the Triangle Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” Award in Raleigh.

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