PlayerSearch Blog

by Ted Kasten, Founder of PlayerSearch

Sequoia Capital’s Elements of Sustainable Companies

I recently came across a post on Techcrunch that linked to Sequoia Capital’s Elements of Sustainable Companies. Here are the elements:

How I see this applying to PlayerSearch/Advanced Sports Media is in italics after each category

Clarity of Purpose: Summarize the company’s business on the back of a business card.

Aggregating sports content from around the web and making it searchable by player, team or topic.

Large Markets: Address existing markets poised for rapid growth or change. A market on the path to a $1B potential allows for error and time for real margins to develop.

60 million sports fans on-line (as of fall 2006).

Rich Customers: Target customers who will move fast and pay a premium for a unique offering.

Free offering…but the target customers are highly educated males between 21-45 with above average household income according to the FSTA market research.

Focus: Customers will only buy a simple product with a singular value proposition.

PlayerSearch…search for player…simple enough?!

Pain Killers: Pick the one thing that is of burning importance to the customer then delight them with a compelling solution.

So much great sports content on so many different websites that it has become impossible to keep up with your favorite players and teams while holding a real job, being a good husband and taking care of the kids. Ego is also of burning importance to our customers as true sports fans want to be the first to know everything and every player.

Think Differently: Constantly challenge conventional wisdom. Take the contrarian route. Create novel solutions. Outwit the competition.

1,000+ great content sites and blogs focused on sports content with new sites appearing every week. 1 sports content focused search engine – PlayerSearch.

Team DNA: A company’s DNA is set in the first 90 days. All team members are the smartest or most clever in their domain. “A” level founders attract an “A” level team.

This is a tough one as it was only me for the first 1,045 days!

Agility: Stealth and speed will usually help beat-out large companies.

Three guys in shared office space is about as agile as it gets.

Frugality: Focus spending on what’s critical. Spend only on the priorities and maximize profitability.

See “shared office space” above!

Inferno: Start with only a little money. It forces discipline and focus. A huge market with customers yearning for a product developed by great engineers requires very little firepower.

Done. Not necessarily by choice!

I think this is a good list. No list is all encompassing or perfect for every start-up or industry, but if you had to boil every key element of starting a sustainable business into a top ten list I think this is a good one. It is clear and concise and fairly specific while covering a lot of different areas of a company from the overall market to the customer to the product to the team. Good stuff!


March 20, 2008 - Posted by | Entrepreneurship |

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