Successful startups share certain characteristics

A Decacorn is a company that is worth more than $10 billion.  There are a number of these startups and it raises the question – do these startups have something in common? Are there particular characteristics that make a startup a winner?

It is only about 15 years ago that the first decacorn was founded.  Microsoft invested $240 million when it acquired Facebook.  Now known as Meta, it has now reached a value of $10 billion.  This is a first for a startup.

Unicorns are becoming more common, as is the appeal of a FairGo casino login where you can have fun and enjoy some downtime.

But according to Failory, there are currently 48 decacorns.  These include well-known names like Canva, By, and SpaceX.  They are all working in totally different areas but their worth is something they have in common.

Do Decacorns have specific characteristics?

Many experts believe that there are certain characteristics that some startups have that aid them in becoming a decacorn.

Associate Professor at the University of Sydney Business School, Krithika Randhawa, says that it is important to know that decacorns are not “older versions of unicorns”. She says “Decacorns grow in value much faster and more sustainably than a unicorn, doubling their growth every year for more than a decade.”

But according to Jamie Pride, entrepreneur and venture capitalist, and author of ‘Unicorn Tears: Why startups fail and how to avoid it’, unicorns and decacorns have very similar qualities.  He believes that “While decacorns are widely seen as the ‘new unicorns’, the reality is the foundations of a high-performing startup are the same regardless of the valuation.”

So how do we recognize the next and up-and-coming decacorn from the scores of new startups?

Some say it is all about the people involved rather than the idea itself.  The Founder and Managing Partner of Decacom Capital, Debneel Mukherjee, whose headquarters are in Singapore say “You have to figure out why a founder is a founder, why a founding team is doing what they’re doing and what they are willing to sacrifice or go through to make this happen.”  He goes on to say “And then do they have the hard skills that will enable them to really have a crack at the hard problem they are trying to tackle?”

What kind of path is the company pursuing?

According to Mukherjee, an important thing to consider is whether the company is involved in “meaningful work”.   He says staying away from “copycat models”. And stresses that “Only truly original ideas can have disruptive power”.

Those startups with a “quick flip” mentality, and not looking at the long-term picture are also not on the correct path.  Mukherjee says “If you’re just here for making money, then we’re the last ones to invest money.  That’s what we have to figure out in our conversations with founders – what is the drive? What is the motivation?”

Jamie Pride concurs and states that “The biggest challenge is that startups should not pursue unicorn/decacorn status as a focus.  Startups who are more about their valuation or their customer typically come unstuck.  Startups that focus on creating a great product that solve a valuable problem for a customer will be rewarded.”

Professor Randhawa explains that “Beyond radical and scalable technologies, investments in innovation and disruptive business models are also at the heart of the massive growth potential of decacorns.”

According to Mukherjee the importance is being proactive rather than reactive, always trying new things and searching for new streams of revenue and, at the same time looking for those really important issues.   But this is no easy task.  He says that “Disruption never happens from inside.”

Global success

Looking at the most successful startups and you’ll see that they generally have a worldwide presence. Pride reports “There are very few unicorns/decacorns that are not global.”

Having a global approach means that companies spread quickly geographically. This has a “multiplier effect” internationally, according to Randhawa.  They are also surfacing in areas other than Silicon Valley.  She says “Decarcorns are sprouting all over the world.”   We see them in Asia, China, Germany and India, to name just a few areas.

The vast majority of decacorns are founded on technological innovation.   They also have to have relevance.  Mukherjee says “We try to see, what are the technologies that are becoming really versatile due to certain changes?”

He refers to the Korean Air Lines crash back in 1983 to show how this works.  The US decided to make GPS available to everyone.  “As a result, a huge sea of opportunity opened up, which has disrupted large marketplaces and created significant value for the producer as well as the consumer.”

Clever tech companies, according to Pride “Can also harness their in-house expertise to fuel their growth. He explains that “They usually leverage technology to support hypergrowth and scale – hence why unicorn status is disproportionally centered around software technology startups.”

At the same time, a ‘digital ecosystem of partners’ has the ability to enhance the chances of a startup’s success. “Decacorns invariably adopt an ecosystem approach to scale their reach and impact,” says Randhawa.   She adds “They tap into external stakeholders with complementary capabilities for collaborative development of products, services, and offerings, which have global appeal and market potential.”

Startups need to stay committed, even when the going gets tough, and not be afraid to fail.

Mukherjee sees the US remaining at the forefront of the startup field for the time being. He says “In America when you fail, you come back, you do another startup, and nobody blinks.  But elsewhere, the risk appetite is low.  You must be prepared to go through anything, go to the wall, and walk through fire. It’s about survival. It’s about longevity.”

When your company is doing well, it is important to remain grounded and make sure that your business model has long-term sustainability.  “If you are a unicorn or a decacorn, if there is hardly any stake left in the company for you, then why will you run that extra mile?”

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