Key takeaways from this HBR piece http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/07/reversing_the_decline_in_big_i.html
- Pop and Mom Entrepreneurs - Founders who don’t want to change to world. They just want to make enough money to provide for their family, buy a car, or earn their freedom. These people are just more technologically leveraged and profitable than their brick & mortar predecessors. Instead of starting restaurants and hairdressers they build coupon apps that are used by thousands of restaurants and hairdressers. The startup ecosystem’s inability to differentiate mom and pop tech entrepreneurs from high growth entrepreneurs ready to build the next billion-dollar company wastes a lot of people’s time and energy.
- Engineer+ Sales Guy - Billion-dollar companies do not happen if the founding team is not extremely well suited to the market (now called “founder/market fit”). Combine a lone technical genius with a mesmerizing sales guy and you had the DNA for a billion dollar technology company. In the past, the magic formula was two engineers or an engineer and a businessman. Most of the big successes followed this pattern. Hewlett and Packard, Jobs and Wozniak, Gates and Allen, Ellison and Miner, Larry and Sergey, Thiel and Levchin, the list goes on.
- Design - In the last seven years it became clear that a technical genius and a mesmerizing sales guy weren’t enough. A new competency started to appear in the DNA of this generations successful founding teams: Design. Design is everywhere. Design thinking. Design Conferences. Designer Funds. Design Celebrities. And if you need a few successful companies who consider design a key competitive differentiator you don’t have to look hard: Mint, Square, Quora,Asana and Path, just to name a few. Design at its best is more than just a beautiful interface, it synthesizes complex technology with a deep understanding of end users’ motivations and abilities into a unified, intuitive product experience.
- Domain Expert - the missing piece from the DNA in the founding teams of transformational companies is now the domain expert, who has deep insight into the industry they are trying to disrupt.Without a domain expert, attempts at disruption are unimaginative and incremental at best.