The Unicorn Club

The article [Welcome To The Unicorn Club: Learning From Billion-Dollar Startups] written by Aileen Lee has been shared by many. I read it and it certainly worth your time. Here are some of the findings that I have thoughts on.

But enterprise-oriented unicorns have become worth more on average, and raised much less private capital, delivering a higher return on private investment.

This is why I love building a business around B2B, simply because the business model is much more clear cut than those consumer-focus startups. I’m not saying that consumer-focus startups are no good, because there are several in the list too. I just like to keep business model simple.

It took seven years on average for 24 companies on our list to go public or be acquired, excluding extreme outliers YouTube and Instagram, both of which were acquired for over $1 billion in about two years since founding.

Together with my co-founder, we have now a little success with Intraix but sometimes when reality sets in, people starts to compare. Since I’m from business school, there are many networking sessions to strength our alumni relationship. These are the kind events where you meet fellow schoolmates and most people share how successful they are in the their industry (mostly banking). Sometimes, I start to think would I be much more successful if I had stay in the trading line.

But when I return to office and sees my team. My thoughts changed. Your team-mates trust you to bring Intraix to a whole new level plus starting up is never easy. It’s not just a marathon race, it’s a ultra-marathon race. Sometimes you might DNF but you always try again until you reach your goal. Thank you, team. You are awesome

Ninety percent of co-founding teams comprise people who have years of history together, either from school or work; 60 percent have co-founders who worked together; and 46 percent who went to school together.

Darrell and I worked together and went to school together 😀 Here’s an amazing letter that you should send to your co-founder now.

The vast majority of all co-founders went to selective universities (e.g. Cornell, Northwestern, University of Illinois). And more than two-thirds of our list has at least one co-founder who graduated from a “top 10 school.”

I experienced this when I attended a founders meetup in SF. Most of the founders I met came from prestige schools. A founder I talked to also shared with me that the benefit of coming from prestige schools is the alumni network you can tapped on and this makes funding raising so much easier (how true is this?, I do not know but reading this article it also seems to increase the success of starting up)

We are not yet in the unicorn club but we aim to be and we have a long way to reach there.