QUESTION: What do these companies have in common?
- Open Table
ANSWER: They are all Gorillas of their space. They dominate a new market. They own a category. They are Number One in their segment. Some are already public IPOed enterprises, the others will be soon enough. All of them have wonderful lessons for you, the budding entrepreneur.
5 STARTUP TIPS FROM RECENT GORILLAS (FOR ENTREPRENEURS):
- DO NOT ATTACK THE GORILLA. Attackers of Gorillas are as likely to succeed as a hiker attacking a mother grizzly bear with cubs.
- INSTEAD FIND AN UNCONTESTED NEW MARKET CATEGORY TO FLANK INTO. The Gorilla will not attack you, it will be having too much fun hiring celebrity chefs for its campus restaurants. It will ignore you.
- FOCUS EVERYTHING ON THE NEW CATEGORY. Drop all other efforts. Do not diversify. Pour all your resources (people) into the race to become Number One of the new category ASAP.
- SURPRISE EVERYONE. In deepest secret prepare your launch. Tell no one. Use disguised names like South San Francisco Fork Lift Inc. Prepare. Prepare. Prepare. In secret.
- WOW! EVERYONE. What you announce when you launch must lift people out of their seats. "Better-faster-cheaper" is death. "WOW!" is life. What you offer to people has got to have WOW!
When you combine those 5 Tips from Gorillas, you will have the ingredients to aggressively power off the starting line and get your new enterprise into The Race: to become The Gorilla of the new category, the new space, the new market. Meanwhile several of your competitors will be persistently attacking the ever stronger Gorilla with the pool of blood around them growing. You will not be in the red pool. Instead you might even get a few grudgingly complementary remarks from The Gorilla about your and your clever new enterprise.
MAIN POINT: The Prime Objective for your startup is to become The Gorilla of a new category. Watching how other startups get to IPO status reveals what you have to also do.
The Gorilla's go IPO before the rest of the pack who are struggling to survive, let alone catch up. Number One owns at least 30 percent share of the new market. One or two remaining startups will have a chance to become The Chimpanzees. The rest are doomed to remain among the many starving monkeys. You want to aim to become The Gorilla.
BOTTOM LINE: The Prime Objective of the smart entrepreneur (e.g. serial entrepreneurs) is to find an uncontested new market to dominate so the startup can become The Gorilla of a new category. You can learn about that by studying the track records of recent Gorillas who have or will so be IPO public corporations. They have figured out what the startup game is all about. So can you. When you do, you'll be on your way to building the unfair advantage that powers you to become The Gorilla of the new space.
I wish you The Best on your Adventure!