May 2011

Startups: Risk, Growth and Friction

When I work with a startup, typically one of the first exercises I help them go through is a visioning exercise that starts with a simple question:

“How big do you want to be five years from now?”

What matters in the answer is not the first digit of the number, but the quantity of zeroes after it. The mindset of companies that aim to grow to $5M, $50M or $500M in revenue after five years is totally different. They indicate different points in the risk/reward continuum and imply very different requirements for growth speed.

Applications, Platforms and Layers

Over the past 15 years we have evolved into the growing Digital Neighborhood. I think a particularly interesting effect is the transformation of applications into platforms, and platforms into layers.