Growth and Branding
A venture backed company with no growth is dead. The business of venture capital is growth, so assuming 50% of your growth is determined by your market (see starting up quotes and product quotes) and assuming you can build an ok product to get started, the rest of the adventure is growth. Growth is the score. Branding is why people will pay you more despite your offering being the same as a competitors’. The rest of the quotes in this post are inputs to score.
Culture and brand deeply interconnect, this is very subtle and can only be seen over time. This is why company-founder fit matters a lot.
Marketing is like sex: only losers pay for it — Epigram by Antonio García Martínez
You can tell if you are in front of a winner or a looser by understanding their customer acquisition costs.
Startups mostly don’t compete against each other. They compete against no one giving a shit — Justin Kan
Many teams make the world smaller by looking at their direct competitors too much. Your real problem is being ignored, and you can work with your competitor on that problem.
Users only ever have three states: the’ve never heard of it; they’ve tried it; they use it. What you’re managing is state change. So the framework is, what causes those changes? The answer should be rooted more in preference, choice and psychology than in some quantitative thing — Chamath Palihapitiya
Brands are not wrappers. Brands are based on the values of the founders, and then they spread to the people who work for the company, and that psychological contract is spread to the customer — Dan Levitan, Maveron
Brands are promises, credible until they are betrayed. Thats why they are deeply connected to company culture and team virtues. More on this on the culture quotes post.
You have to stand for something important. What are your core purpose and reason of being? Those should be the guardrails within which you create the enterprise’s meaning to your customers — Howard Schultz, Starbucks founder
You either die a hero, or live long enough to become the villain — Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight
If you build a challenger brand, you might eventually become the establishment quo and you’ll struggle keep your promises. Make your brand about a mission, not about challenging others.
Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell — Edward Abbey, The Journey Home