Welcome to this week’s Linkibuzz.
Our first story for this week covers the startup world in the UK post-Brexit. There is a lot of uncertainty for many startups in the UK, but one entrepreneur seems to think there is still a reason to be optimistic.
Next, we look at a Silicon Valley investor named Chamath Palihapitiya who is challenging all conventional wisdom regarding how startups look at and measure success. He challenges startups to ditch the weird, fancy metrics and focus on the only thing that matters – profitability.
One of the major reasons why startups fail is because they remain in stealth mode, at least that’s what Zach Ferres. the writer of our third featured story, argues. In the article, he advises what startups must do to avoid stealth mode and give their businesses a chance to succeed.
Lastly, we cover how employees are beginning to favour companies that offer professional development and career growth rather than perks. Any startups looking to attract the best employees should read this article and see where it fits in their own business.
In what should be music to the ears of startups based in London, Matt Clifford, who is the co-founder and chief executive of Entrepreneur First, has recently said that he has closed three seed investment deals since the Brexit.
We’re all aware of the uncertainty faced by many startups based in London in a post-Brexit world, but Clifford doesn’t believe it will make any difference. In fact, he still believes that the UK will continue to be a hub for startups because it offers things that other European markets simply can’t match.
The biggest point he makes is that the UK is an English-speaking market, giving it access to other global markets where English is widely spoken. Then there are the numerous tax benefits startups get in the UK, plus the fact that there are the prestigious technical universities like Oxford and Cambridge. These combined make it very hard for any other European market to compete with.
According to some executives like Clifford, there is still an opportunity for UK startups to shine in a post-Brexit world. Only time will tell if this happens or not.
In this post, we have a Silicon Valley investor who has dared to question the conventional wisdom of many Silicon Valley startups.
The post focuses on how many Silicon Valley startups have a tendency to ignore profits when starting a venture-backed company, as crazy as that sounds at first glance, and instead focus on accounting metrics that don’t really affect growth.
As the writer points out, many startups focus on metrics like positive economics and positive cashflow without really focusing on what matters – profitability. Now, Silicon Valley investor Chamath Palahapitiya is challenging this wisdom and challenging startups to focus on profitability rather than fancy metrics if they really want to succeed.
It’s sure to rile up many in the Silicon Valley establishment but Palahapitiya speaks from personal experience from his time as a Facebook executive. He was there when the company went to being a public company trading on the stock market. He saw the way the company spent money, more than what it made, but then got a big-time return on investment on that money.
It’s certainly an interesting read for anyone involved in a startup now or anyone looking to found their own startup.
Is stealth mode sinking your startup? According to the writer of this post, Zach Ferres, it’s a major reason why many startups fail. Stealth mode is essentially not telling the world about your product or service.
Ferres is someone who has been involved with hundreds of startups so he knows a thing or two about those that fail and those that succeed. He argues that there are many startup founders that think they have good reasons for staying in stealth mode but those reasons actually affect their chances of success.
Some of the reasons Ferres points out include:
- Not wanting people to steal their idea.
- Not wanting to spoil their big launch plan.
- Wanting a first mover advantage in their industry.
However, according to Ferres, it’s these reasons that will potentially cause your startup to fail.
Instead, he advocates getting out and telling everyone about your idea, ditching the NDAs and creating a laser-like focus on your ideal customer if you really want to succeed. Interestingly, Ferres rightly points out that Uber wasn’t the first mover in that market but they were the one that ditched stealth mode.
And we all know how successful Uber is at the moment.
We all know that to build a successful company you need the best employees but how do you attract the best employees to your company? Not only that, but how do you get them to stick around and show loyalty to the company once they arrive?
It’s one of those areas that companies are also dealing with in an effort to retain a highly-talented and skilled workforce. Many companies tend to focus on perks and bonuses to attract the best employees and keep them around long-term. It’s a strategy many companies have adopted and they all compete with each other to offer better perks than one another.
However, it seems as if employees are more interested in things like professional development and career growth. According to a study taken by 7,000 working professionals, only 25% of them say they wanted perks in a company. The rest of the respondents said they favoured professional development and career growth opportunities.
This demonstrates that for many employees, they want something a bit more substantial rather than a materialistic perk. Something that will allow them to contribute more in their lives and their companies.
What this should tell all startup founders is that they should strive to create professional development and career growth opportunities to attract the best employees to their company and retain them long term.
This article reveals some interesting insights into this area so we recommend you read it if you’re looking to build a highly talented and skilled team of employees.
Our first featured story looks at the startup world in the UK post-Brexit. While there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the startup sphere in London, there is optimism in some circles that it’s not the end for startups in the UK.
Our second story looks at a Silicon Valley investor who dares to challenge conventional wisdom used to evaluate the success and growth of startups. Essentially, he argues that the only thing that really matters is profitability rather than any weird accounting metrics that many startups focus on.
Our third story explores a major reason why many startups fail according to startup veteran Zach Ferres. That reason is staying in stealth mode and he advises what you should do instead.
Lastly, we looked at how employees are now beginning to favour professional development and career growth over perks at a company. Rather than superficial perks, they want career growth and professional development opportunities.
We hope you enjoyed this week’s Linkibuzz and stay tuned for next week’s post.