Billion Dollar Startup Advice Startup Unicorns

Lessons To Learn From Billion-Dollar Startup Unicorns





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Notice: This publish has been visitor authored by Andy who is a UK native, dwelling and learning in Copenhagen since 2017.  Having lived as an expat most of his adult life, Andy has an interest in geopolitics and intercultural communications. He is at present learning a Bachelors degree in Advertising and Worldwide Sales and works as a content material creator at, a company connecting useful resource robust corporates and enterprises with agile startups.

With the development in the direction of personal corporations and the reluctance of founders to offer in to the temptation of an acquisition, there is a rise within the number of ‘startups’ which have a value of greater than a billion dollars. In fact, this phenomenon requires speedy progress and vital disruption to the market, however it’s attainable for a select few.

These corporations are generally known as unicorns. Some personal corporations are so profitable that they reach the price of ten billion dollars, and these are often known as decacorns. As of immediately, there are greater than 300 unicorns around the globe, with a far smaller number of decacorns and even hectocorns (startups valued over $100 billion) in enterprise.

Corporations like Uber, Facebook, SpaceX, Airbnb, Pinterest, and Toutiao are all examples of unicorns. These billion-dollar startup unicorns all have certain issues in widespread that permit startup founders and company CEO’s to study lessons from their success stories:

1. Innovation on a small scale:

Startups are referred to as hubs for innovation when in comparison with firms that sometimes have a rigid and strict organizational construction. Although there are some profitable corporations working with tried-and-tested enterprise models that have labored for decades. These are true exceptions to the constant churning of the market and shopper tastes.

Corporations with immense reputation and success are these which are all the time ready for innovation even if it’s on a small scale. For example, in 2009 when Airbnb was on the verge of bankruptcy, the company observed something small that utterly modified the view of its clients. The corporate changed all the novice photographs with skilled, high-resolution ones, something Airbnb attributes it’s success to.

Now Airbnb holds vital market share and is extra worthwhile than the normal journey businesses it disrupted. Consideration to and willingness to change small particulars within a company’s enterprise model is likely one of the cornerstones of recent innovation for giant firms, as it is these small details that generate worth for shoppers, and finally, develop market share.

2. Begin a mission-driven tradition within the company:

Most unicorns have a clear mission assertion that’s relatable to their goal clients. WeWork is a superb example of this, the workspace startup has workplaces in 20 nations the world over and in 20 cities in america. When you go to any WeWork office you will see an indication with the words: “Do what you love”.

The mission-driven company culture has proved fashionable at inspiring shoppers on an emotional degree, and it is this tailored, focused emotional communication that influences clients extra considerably than different elements. Within the case of WeWork (and others), starting with a focused mission statement signifies that every action the company takes might be carried out with this in mind. This has allowed the WeWork to grow rapidly and it is presently valued at around $20 billion.

Photograph from Unsplash

3. Privacy coverage of your company shouldn’t be ignored:

The privacy policy of your company is indicated within the form of a small print on the bottom of your website and principally no one bothers to read it. Nevertheless, the privacy policy shouldn’t be ignored and one ought to stick with it it doesn’t matter what.

For example, Snapchat claims that the photographs and clips uploaded by users are deleted permanently. Once Snapchat was confronted by FTC as it violated its personal privateness coverage. There have been hundreds of thousands of customers who complained about privateness and leaks of private knowledge. Just as there are constructive classes to be discovered from unicorns corresponding to Snapchat, their failures on issues corresponding to privateness can train just as much about what not to do.

four. Treat your staff nicely:

A company with out its staff is nothing and the sooner one realizes it the better. Experience-sharing unicorn Uber suffered from a lawsuit because of the misclassification of its staff. Uber drivers need to be handled as staff as an alternative of unbiased contractors, because of the associated benefits. It’s in the company’s curiosity to look out for his or her staff’ interests, with a purpose to retain prime talent. Certainly, not doing so is among the commonest mistakes startups CEO’s make.

Pinterest lately did one thing unique, permitting its staff to collect equity on higher terms. Pinterest staff might hold shares for seven years without accumulating equity on them, and this transfer proved profitable. These kinds of perks encourage your staff to work more durable, as they really feel appreciated and valued at work.

5. Design something that clients love:

When individuals love a product or service, they advocate it to their household and associates. Even a small group of loyal clients that love your services or products can lead your company to success. So, when designing, keep in mind to keep your buyer’s preferences in thoughts. This is called consumer expertise design (UX) and is confirmed to enhance sales considerably.

When Airbnb was struggling, the CEO was given the recommendation that it’s better to create a product that folks love really, as an alternative of going for one that folks only like. The CEO then started working on the precept that it’s better to create just a few products that folks love as an alternative of many merchandise that folks like.

Spending the time to find out what your clients truly want through the design part will finally prevent time and money in the long-term. Creating something that has the functionality that matches perfectly together with your target customer will produce an offering that clients love and will increase brand loyalty.

Photograph by José Alejandro Cuffia on Unsplash

6. Know when it’s time to take action:

Taking massive selections is crucial to the success of a company. You must all the time be prepared to pivot to be able to adapt to the ever-evolving market and your cut-throat rivals. Atlassian design well-liked teamwork software program similar to Confluence and Jiri utilized by individuals the world over. Trello (beforehand Atlassian’s most important competitor) designed a well-liked administration device for teams who needed better arrange task of duties.

Nevertheless, Atlassian was bold and took fast determination in 2017 to accumulate Trello for $425 million before it might seize Atlassian’s market share. This acts as a cautionary tale for startups: huge business has an ‘eat or be eaten’ tradition. Huge selections have to be made and acted upon on the proper time, or the results could be dire.

7. It isn’t essential to be the primary to market:

There are numerous examples of unicorns that have entered a well-established market and succeeded. Solely 30% of unicorns have been the first to market, many others entered markets with a big number of rivals.

Timing also performs an necessary position. For those who’re too early no one will perceive the significance of your services or products. Then again, in case you are too late most people might be conversant in those already out there.

When it comes to innovation, new know-how typically allows startups to disrupt present markets. However an revolutionary know-how requires society to catch up to the point where the product is commercially viable, and understanding when this shall be is a talent in itself. Inside firms, this is among the tasks the chief innovation officer (CIO) is answerable for and requires a information of shopper tendencies and market forecasting.

Photograph by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

eight. You don’t have to be financially robust:

It is a widespread misconception that a startup wants substantial liquidity in an effort to enter the market with stability. Though most Venture Capitalists (VCs) search for financially robust corporations for funding. It is estimated that around half of the unicorns presently current in market weren’t financially secure when beginning out.

Buyers use many elements to assess the value of a startup, and while it will be unfaithful to say they don’t care about funds, there are different elements at play. Highlighting your successes, and showcasing the options of your startup that greatest characterize the growth potential of your startup is more likely to affect a possible investor.

9. It isn’t essential to be a consumer-facing company:

To enter the billion-dollar startup membership, you shouldn’t all the time look to turn into a consumer-facing company. Actually, area of interest markets also can show to be a fantastic concept. There are numerous unicorns which are working for different businesses to help them develop. The names of many unicorns wouldn’t be recognized to the typical shopper.

Twilio is a company that operates within the B2B market and facilitates communication between businesses and their clients. Netflix, Uber, and Lyft are using this know-how to ship automated messages to customers. Twilio provides voice and SMS know-how to its clients (businesses) to run their operations effectively.

Twilio is a unicorn and is proof that a B2B may also grow to be as successful as any consumer-facing firm. The company has a value of over $2 billion. It designs top-notch merchandise that tech geeks and software engineers idolize.

10. Having a technical CEO doesn’t all the time make you successful:

There are numerous companies whose founding CEO was technically minded, and these startups produce extremely technical area of interest services. Examples of industries through which that is widespread are SaaS, cellular apps, and biotech startups. Nevertheless, it isn’t necessary to have a technical CEO to turn out to be a unicorn.

There are lots of successful startups which have business-minded CEOs, with examples similar to Pandora Radio, whose CEO was a musician, and Airbnb, whose CEO was a designer. A CEO with the information of the know-how that the corporate is utilizing or constructing is, in truth, not sufficient to steer it to success.


Billion-dollar unicorns are inspirational for any aspiring startup CEO, but they will also supply studying classes. Learning from their failures as much as their successes are essential, as it can be straightforward to fall into the pitfalls widespread when starting out in business.

Keep in mind these startups might have been in the suitable place on the right time, their success may be repeated. All it takes to disrupt the market is a good idea and numerous onerous work.