How to Build a Startup Unicorn

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There are just three truths for those of you who desire to be entrepreneurs. You’ll fail, but you’ll learn from it. You’ll stumble, but you’ll get back on your feet. Any entrepreneur dreams of owning a startup unicorn. However, there’s no guarantee of success. Quitting is simple, but armed with first-hand knowledge with more than twenty of the world’s leading hypergrowth companies, you can succeed. Entrepreneurs and business executives have a unique opportunity to alter the game and learn from the best in the industry.

Today, it’s rare that you’ll travel more than an a half-hour without encountering a Unicorn or its close cousin, the Super Unicorn — a Venture Capitalist phrase for firms that have skyrocketed to $1 billion to $100 billion in valuations within five years of opening their doors. The billion-dollar startup unicorn was once a myth, but now they’re commonplace, backed by a bull market and built on new, disruptive digital technologies and innovations that increase their speed of operation, pace of invention, and reach.

You’ve heard of them, and you’ve probably used their products. They’re the new big players, the firms everyone that aspires to be or beat. These are just a few startup unicorn breeds: Airbnb, Beats, Evernote, Facebook, Hailo, Instagram, Jawbone, LinkedIn, Netflix, Slack, Spotify, SpaceX, Tesla, Uber, Whatsapp, and Xiaomi. They’ve shattered the status quo, created new industries, and rewritten corporate standards.

Learn to become a thriving startup unicorn

The Six Stages of Business Development

Regardless of how successful a business is, it tends to follow a same path. The six stages are divided into six categories:

  1. Creation
  2. Development
  3. Commercialisation
  4. Funding
  5. Promotion
  6. Expansion
Stage 1: Creation

The art of invention is a lovely moment, well, I say moment as the most seasoned entrepreneurs can take years, if not decades, to uncover the spark of inspiration. Many people believe that the Big breakthrough — the moment when you realise in your inner self that you have a wonderful vision for a new business – is the most difficult element of starting a business, but they are incorrect.

I’ve discovered that there is a widespread belief that creative people – innovators and inventors – are born, and that only a small part of society is capable of creating fantastic new things, but this is a fiction.

The following characteristics are shared by any startup unicorn:

  1. Their concept is usually straightforward, yet it can be difficult to design or implement.
  2. Their concept addresses a widespread need.
  3. Their product has a clear, tangible, and quantifiable value.
  4. Their product is frequently distinguished in the marketplace, but it is not necessarily unique.
  5. Their companies are all built on digital platforms.
  6. Their user interface is straightforward.

They have vision and come up with the appropriate solution at the right moment.

Fail to develop a vision, and Venture Capitalists will move on by; develop a unique product but overlook the user experience, and it will not be adopted; produce a differentiated product that does not solve a need, and it will languish on the shelf; fail to embrace digital, and your competitors will outpace you; develop a game-changing solution before its time, and it will tank.

Stage 2: Development

The time has come to put your idea into action, but be cautious since here is when anxiousness might set in as this is when the gaps and flaws in your concept start to show — where limitless imagination collides with brutal reality. At this point, one thing is for certain: you’ll iterate your product multiple times, adjusting, perfecting, taking it down, and beginning over.

The following, is shared by any startup unicorn:

  1. They iterate and fail quickly.
  2. The products are simple to use.
  3. They employ lean, agile development methods.
  4. They have distributed decision-making and flat organisational structures.
  5. They put themselves in their customers’ shoes.
  6. They are well-versed in their directly and indirectly with regards to competition.
  7. They are well-versed in the levers and behaviours that drive their target market.
  8. They have an innovation-first culture.
  9. They have complete control over the development process.
  10. They build integrated third-party networks.

Make the process of becoming a startup unicorn easier

Stage 3: Commercialisation

Deferring this phase may have disastrous implications due to the manufacturing costs and sales price having an impact on your route to market, client adoption speed, bottom line, and ability to invest in your business.

Most products on the market today have minimum and maximum price bands that the markets support; therefore, if you want to charge a premium or command larger margins, you must provide extra value that your core market will recognise and accept. It’s critical that your pricing approach is based on reality, no matter how difficult it is.

The following, is shared by any startup unicorn:

  1. They are all price realistically and understand their market.
  2. They can convey the genuine worth of their items clearly.
  3. They have a global pricing structure that is constant.
  4. To safeguard their channel integrity, they shun volume discounters.
  5. Under the correct circumstances, they are receptive to OEM, ODM, licencing, and subsidy partnerships.
Stage 4: Funding

Whether you’re looking to start a taxi company, developing an app, or creating a new Cloud platform, you’ll need money – whether it comes from your credit card company, friends and family, Private Equity or Venture Capitalists, or a combination of the three.

Investors are difficult to live with, but much more difficult to live without, and it’s not always clear what extra value they offer to the table beyond their chequebooks. Everyone has their own idea of what a good investor looks like, but the top traders and investors, are the ones who make the most money have a plethora of expertise, relationships, and business acumen that is difficult to match, but keep in mind that their entire objective in life is to Exit at a premium.

Funding, notably operating capital, is the lifeblood of every business, and you must become accustomed to the never-ending stream of rejections; regrettably, the younger you are, the more rejections you will receive.

The following, is shared by any startup unicorn:

  1. Their financiers insisted on a revenue-first strategy, with profitability following later. 2. The founders maintained a clean, professional appearance from the start.
  2. The majority of enterprises started off self-funded, with funding coming later.
  3. Their financiers wanted confirmation that the target markets existed. 5. The founders’ pitches were mostly ignored.
  4. Their investors put their money into people, not technology.
  5. They were all sponsored by at least one well-known, well-connected mega star.

Make smart decisions in the pursuit of being a hyper-growth startup

Stage 5: Promotion

There’s an old saying. Even if you have the greatest product in the world, if no one knows about it, it will never move. There is a distinction between promotion and marketing, and the two are frequently confused.

Marketing is frequently a planned, structured action, such as a television commercial, that can cost a lot of money, whereas promotion is mostly a loosely structured activity, such as a Flash Mob, that can cost a lot of money. However, the initial fantastic top line growth is frequently driven by investors’ inter portfolio trading — never underestimate the power of a robust network.

The following, is shared by any startup unicorn:

  1. They established close-knit User Communities organised by industry and/or job function.
  2. They used their investors’ insider contacts and Black Books to their advantage.
  3. Their venture capital and private equity investors injected sold goods or services into the rest of their portfolio to generate rapid growth.
  4. Their founders took advantage of every opportunity to recruit new sponsors and champions.
  5. Their first sales representatives was in-house and direct.
  6. They created closed loop marketing and promotion platforms that respond quickly.
  7. They eventually devised new distribution channels.
  8. They relied heavily on digital marketing strategies.
  9. Each of the Founders developed a snub nose.
Stage 6: Expansion

Organizations can now extend into new territories at the push of a button thanks to new international, digital business model.  Despite this, businesses continue to blend the best of physical and digital approaches to sell and advertise their products in new markets because they recognise the importance of human interaction.

The following, is shared by all hypergrowth businesses:

  1. They expanded into new markets prior to actually settling into their current one.
  2. Based on language, law, and demographics, they selected promising markets.
  3. To develop beach heads in other nations, they hired offshore sales agents.
  4. They built solid, specialised partner networks.
  5. They adjusted the product to meet the demands of the new market.
  6. They meticulously managed every part of their business.

Many Unicorns seem to display all of these themes, not just a few, as it is indicated that the DNA of a startup unicorn is made up of them all. While success is never guaranteed, this page will expand over time as new techniques emerge. However, pursue your product or service to be as successful as it can possibly be. Placing so much focus on where you want your end goal to be, will result in forgetting the process of developing your startup along the way.

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