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VC advice for startups

November 14, 2005

Again Scott Maxwell has a good post containing some good advice for startups. I think he's more fully describing the "startup is more tightly coupled to their market" point I was trying to make. I disagree that this execution advantage alone will allow a startup to succeed versus a large company (although I do like the snowball imagery). My philosophy on a startup is that you want to be executing against a plan that is exactly the wrong thing for a large competitor to follow. I think this entails focusing on the low end customers, an unattractive niche, or non-customers of a particular technology. I should have mentioned it in my previous post but there is a follow-up book to Christenson's Innovator's Dilemma book, "The Innovator's Solution" that while I don't think is quite as good as the first, has some great stuff as well. It's more focused on how large companies can defeat startups (surprise, by making startup-like entities inside themselves), but it also describes this low-end and non-customer market disruption strategy.