The single biggest reason why start-ups succeed | Bill Gross



Bill Gross has founded a lot of start-ups, and incubated many others — and he got curious about why some succeeded and others failed. So he gathered data from hundreds of companies, his own and other people’s, and ranked each company on five key factors. He found one factor that stands out from the others — and surprised even him.

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42 thoughts on “The single biggest reason why start-ups succeed | Bill Gross

  1. He may sound right to certain degree of retrospective, however the PETZL analytics perspective would have proven not on favor.; scientifically. Because on his view a reference from his own personal experiences, that is only related to specific market; tech companies. Worse yet he could not predict or forecast most of these mentioned businesses Uber, AirBnB in his graph meet failure. So were their start-up at the right time? Most business in Tech industry were not a success based on timing as if they founders were sitting at a bus stop of opportunity.

    AirBnB 4:24 was not because a recessionary gap. We also need to see Supply and Demand, as it happened to Singaporean Companies Booking (1996) and Agoda (1998) focused on Hotels only, because Hostels were not profitable, they were too traditional and saturated, someone said "let's change the trends".

    Why AirBnB was passed on? Investors saw it coming… it was a risky Business to try to mess with Real Estate Industry.

    UBER 2:52 a USA transportation company with the " Ride Sharing " idea was not new, this concept was already used in Panama City C.A and in the Bronx, New York among gypsy Cabs.

    In respective, the automobile was the result of the steam engine from the Concept Create The Necessity and definitely not a success story from Timing, We see it in the Home appliance industry they produced then take to market. Ok let's suppose timing is the main factor, but Funding is the motivating factor without funding Timing is not important, ' the bus is coming, i don't have enough change '.

    Then Skilled team, we see many great project fails (see TechCrunch) due to the scarce of capability in the Tech Industry universities are not producing qualified and skilled tech (data mining) students fast enough. Thinking that Timing is more important than the others, think again, such idea may place your mind at a standby mode, imagining Clint Eastwood telling you * "ask yourself , Do i feeling Lucky.. Punk" * over and over. Belif and Risk are more important, investors take risk based on faith all the times, even is is not the right time.. yet, and with the right management and Sale proposition the chances of success are greater!

  2. This TED talk description does not do him justice as an authority in this topic.

    FYI, Bill Gross is the ONLY person in history to have started/ incubated 7+ Unicorns (Companies that exceed 1 Billion dollar valuation). Elon Musk barely has 3.

    I know him from Tony Robbins' Business Mastery. So much respect to him.

  3. It's not about the right timing nor the right place but the right process, perfect time for god sake will never come you have to manipulate and modify your business according to the ecosystem and environmental

  4. Listen to Tony Robbins podcast on this guy. This guy is unbelievable. Check it out: https://www.tonyrobbins.com/podcasts/unicorn-founder-bill-gross/

  5. This video is significantly important and a must watch for everyone considering startup. Each factor he mentioned has its significant important after thinking through it. I always thought idea will be a high important among all when considering startup, since without idea one cannot even dare think of startup. I guess idea will mean nothing if not executed right. Indeed, timing is the most important because it will help you determine when the market or technology changes, and the right time to acquire the most customers with specific prices. For team, you can not realize your vision without the team. Hiring the right team is extremely important for any startup, because it is the team that plays a key role in understanding and executing the vision. Then follow with idea, business model and funding which I strongly agree with.

  6. Timing: People needed extra income as a result of the recession, which is why airBnB and Uber succeeded. That makes sense to me. Where I lack clarity is why did those very same people that needed extra income to choose to start spending again, and not only spend again, but spend (1) on new and unproven business service sectors and (2) in a category of spending, vacation/travel and taxi/travel, respectively, that I think is trivial and associated with play. Anyone have any insight?

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  8. These are good insights. The timing part is of particular importance. Of course, from Bill Cross's point of view, success means:
    – IPO
    – Profitable sale to a large company
    – Privately held company with decent profit margins
    This is standard VC thinking. I am not saying that is wrong. There are actually a lot enlightening parts, especially about timing. Microsoft tried the tablet first and failed because the technology was not there yet. Apple succeeded because together with the hardware manufacturers brought the technology to the acceptable level. The iPad was thin enough, fast enough, and its screen resolution was great for people to buy. Apple of course added the design, which they are famous for, to make it a winner.

    By contrast, Steve Job's criteria for success:
    – People just LOVE the product
    – The product is 5 to 8 years in front of anything else currently on the market
    – Idea is something the customer has never even thought was possible
    And specifically on the last one, Job's famously said that when you create a product you cannot just rely on what prospective or current customers think because they are not experts and don't know what's really possible. With this type of thinking IDEA and TEAM are probably at the top. Is Apple a successful company, and especially during Steve Job's time at the helm. You bet it is. It is the most expensive company in the world in terms of market cap.

    So the truth is somewhere in the middle, I guess. And sometimes it is not that easy to differentiate between an idea as a general direction or a product idea, and ideas that directly affect how the product is built. For example, the idea about the electric car is not new, but the ideas behind Tesla's take on the electric car are quite unique.

    My personal take is that ideas and timing should be on par, that is of course, if we want to combine the Bill Cross's and Steve Job's approaches into one. I kind of like this idea 🙂

  9. For me, this is just a painting by numbers show, that aims to please the audience, with something simple gimmicks, but might not really be relevant, when such numbers are just a personal best guess beyond any facts.
    I really feel sorry for every hard working startup that fails this dragnet investigation, and I really do not understand that still 14% of startups having everything right still are still failing because of failed funding…
    Investors that are doing nothing else, than keeping thumbs up or down, are old school overhead, and we need better, more intelligent people, that help with all other things than just money.
    With so much money waiting on the sideline, money is no longer important. We no longer need moneypeople investors, but experienced entrepreneurs and de bono networkers who are able to bring in and might help on whatever the startup is missing to become successful.
    Finger Pointing and dropping a startup – means killing jobs, ambitions and dreams for missed skills was yesterday.
    Fixing those flaws and bring it up to provide long term, sustainable and interesting jobs, projects , learning experience and research is the new more intelligent groove that benefits not just some clowns on stage but all of us.

  10. Even though the concepts are nothing new (supply and demand), and his weighting system was subjective, he had the power of history on his side so his assessments are not necessarily "biased." Timing is definitely an important factor, along with other things like persistence and resources (not just funding resources but also being connected to the right people).

  11. there's no accurate way to rate timing, it's a self-fulfilling metric, successful companies are retroactively considered to have had good timing, failures bad timing… the only way to judge would be to have a company that failed at first, but then another near-exact same company succeeded later… keeping in mind for example that while twitter and facebook are both social media companies, they are hardly alike in execution or real idea

  12. Well…Persistence, Timing and Money is the 3 main reasons for a startup to succeed. Being a CEO for a new startup taught me that, it's pretty obvious but it is the truth.

    Also "Needs over Quality" is the best weapon for a Startup.

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  14. In order to get the “scientific” results (2:45), the speaker rated the companies in each of the five areas based on how he “felt” they scored (3:07). There was nothing scientific about this.

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