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Biggest Reason Why Startups Succeed

Success in any business is a result of a number of factors arranged together optimally. However, some of these factors form the foundation without which other would not function. Idealab’s founder and CEO, Bill Gross shares his views on the key drivers of success and which one stands out.

Based on his experience of 20 years with Idealab and over 150 startups, including 9 unicorns, Gross highlights the following 5 drivers:


  • Ideas
  • Team/Execution
  • Business Model
  • Funding
  • Timing
He admits that like most entrepreneurs, he used to think that idea is everything. However, with time the single most important factor turned out to be timing. History has witnessed numerous great ideas that failed simply because they were ahead of their time. Some of the notable one were:


  • WebVan – online grocery store
  • Boo – online clothing store
  • Letsbuyit – group buying
  • AskJeeves – Quora of the 90’s
  • eToys – ecommerce platform for toys
  • WebTV – internet tv
  • – online store for pet products
On the other side of the spectrum are the ideas that come too late and enter into an already crowded space or where substitutes already exist. Bill Gross emphasizes on the fact that you must test your idea to see whether your target customers are ready for it and ensure that its timing is right. This is where market research and idea validation become indispensable.

Watch the full video here:

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