In many people’s eyes, Silicon Valley is where many successful startups and innovators go to get rich. There is no doubt that many of the most successful companies in the world are located in this region. But you may be interested in the fact that most of the start-up companies that are established in Silicon Valley just because they are not able to attract and retain expert human resources, attract investors, and gain the trust of customers in the early stages of work, they end up going bankrupt. But what is at the heart of this success and failure?
Acquiring wealth and getting rich is not the driving factor of successful startups; Rather, the mission that the founders of startups have in their minds and hearts causes their progress. Startups that intend to make a valuable change in the world and improve the current situation will ultimately create the most value and return for themselves and their investors. Of course, those unfamiliar with Silicon Valley’s atmosphere may see some contradiction. How is it possible for the founders of a startup to work for themselves and, on the other hand, be able to make a profit? Is it possible not to look for money and, after some time, achieve fabulous wealth?
A startup or start-up is a company or project undertaken by an entrepreneur to seek, develop, and validate a scalable business model. While entrepreneurship refers to all new businesses, including self-employment and businesses that never intend to become registered, startups refer to new businesses that intend to grow large beyond the solo founder. At the beginning, startups face high uncertainty and have high rates of failure, but a minority of them do go on to be successful and influential.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Startup_company
Making money is different from the goal of a startup
Jim Bricksdale (CEO of Netscape) gives an interesting answer to this question: “Saying that the purpose of a company is to make money is like saying that the purpose of life is to breathe.”
There is no doubt that if we don’t breathe, having a purpose in life will have no meaning. But we must be careful that if we believe in our mission, this mission will become part of our ethical requirements, and our business model will be developed based on it.
Making money is one of many concerns of successful startups.
Achieving big goals is something that takes time to be done. For a business to succeed, we need a business model. Although this model is ultimately profitable, it should be formulated based on the mission you have in your mind and heart. You are not supposed to choose between achieving the goal you have in your heart and making a profit.
Successful companies prioritize their mission
Many of today’s successful companies have been formed based on their founders’ mission and have reached their current superior position. The founders of Google (Larry Page and Sergey Brin) had in mind an ideal future where every user could easily search for information on the web and everyone could easily access it. With this approach, Google was able to organize a large amount of info over several decades.
The inner belief of the founders of a startup in their mission is an essential factor in the success of their new business.
The founder of Facebook also thought of facilitating and expanding human communication. This way, he could provide a more effective communication ground between Internet users worldwide. But for entrepreneurs and founders who are more concerned with getting rich, things may turn out too soon.
Leaving the startup in the middle of the road
Starting a new business is a challenging task. Sometimes, entrepreneurs stop trying because they need more financial resources or customer interest in the offered product. So far, we have seen many examples of such startups whose founders have failed in the middle of the road for various reasons.
But another type of startup exit happens less often when a larger company buys the startup. Now and then, we hear that a top company buys a startup and makes it it’s subsidiary. In this way, the startup founders will get good money, and their investors will benefit to some extent.
For startup founders, buying their company from a big company (such as Microsoft or Yahoo) is a pleasant dream. But if we look carefully at this situation, we can see that this is also abandoning the work in the middle of the path. Companies have yet to be able to change the world the way they intended initially by merging with a larger company. In most cases, the startup is bought by a more prominent company, shuts down, or its employees are fired.
Selling a startup to a more prominent company would destroy the founder’s dream.
Selling a startup to a larger company may be even riskier than letting the company go because of problems. Any investor who invests in a startup also imagines the option that they might lose all their money due to the company’s failure. Now, if a giant company buys a startup, the previous investors might get a significant profit, and that’s why this option is very favorable for them. But the point is that this startup may never be able to achieve the mission it originally envisioned for itself.
Startups that didn’t give up
“Larry Page” and “Sergey Brin” were able to bring Google to its current position by adhering to the mission they had drawn for themselves to organize information on the Internet. The two believed in their mission so much that they even rejected Yahoo’s $1 billion offer to buy Google’s search engine. It should be noted that Google’s total shares are now worth more than 350 billion dollars!
Yahoo offered Mark Zuckerberg a billion dollars to buy Facebook a few years ago. Interestingly, this proposal was made while this social network was very closed, and most people could not join it. However, Zuckerberg rejected these special and more extensive offers from other companies, such as Google. Zuckerberg envisioned this mission for himself, which should connect different people worldwide. In this order, today, the value of Facebook has reached more than 200 billion dollars.
Many of today’s top successful companies resisted the temptation to sell their companies years ago.
Suppose Google and Facebook were sold to Yahoo for $1 billion. Could Google, under the shadow of Yahoo, deal with projects that were in line with the mission of its founders (such as scanning books in the world’s libraries or organizing academic articles)?
Why is the precise definition of a company’s mission important?
In each of the above examples, we saw that the great mission that the founders of a company have in their minds and hearts is intertwined with their financial success. According to Maulavi, “Since a hundred came, ninety are also with us.”
Of course, we should remember that the employees of a startup should also believe in the mission defined for the company. If the company’s employees work in the company only to earn money, they will leave there as soon as they get a better job offer.
Interestingly, experienced investors are also well aware of this point. Many believe that founders who sincerely believe in their mission should be sought.
Every company must eventually succeed financially, or it will go bankrupt. But the reason for the existence of a company should be its mission. If a company forgets its mission, it will soon taste failure and destruction.