Do small businesses and entrepreneurs want to go big – and maybe make another million or two? Or a billion? Few would reject more wealth – if it has been acquired legally and ethically.
The method commonly used by the entrepreneurial establishment is the VC-based ecosystem with a focus on product innovation and minimum viable product (MVP), strategy development based on the availability of capital, followed by pitching for capital – and complaints about VC shortfalls when the most entrepreneurs can’t get VC because sophisticated investors don’t fund dreams.
On the other hand, the Unicorn-Entrepreneur (UE) ecosystem can help entrepreneurs create and control more wealth by using the unicorn secrets to take off without VC.
#1. Pivot from First Mover to Smart Mover.
In contrast to the current focus on innovation and capital, many Unicorn Entrepreneurs (UEs), including Gates, Jobs, Dell, Bezos and Zuckerberg, are imitated the idea or used ideas that could be easily imitated. 99% passed with financially smart strategies and skills. iInnovation classes to develop innovative MVPs are less important than financially savvy skills to beat the MVPs.
#2. Pivot from fast growth to smart growth
To earn high annual returns, VCs want rapid growth, accept high risk, and fail at 80% of their ventures. UEs seek smart growth before Aha (Aha is when potential is clear) when capital is expensive, scarce, controlling and dilutive; and rapid growth after Aha when capital is cheaper. Bob Kierlin (Fastenal) used unicorn skills to grow 30% per year from internal cash flow (see Bootstrap to billions).
#3. Pivot from capital intensity to capital efficiency
There is not enough capital to fund every entrepreneur’s dreams. VC is for the best, capital-intensive 100 (approximately) companies out of 100,000 that subsequently fail in about 80% of funded companies. 94% of billion dollar entrepreneurs started without venture capital by leveraging capital efficiency skills before Aha and smart capital after Aha.
#4. Pivot from VC-Control to Entrepreneur-Control
Before Leadership Aha, ie before an entrepreneur has proven leadership skills, VCs replace the entrepreneur with a professional CEO. They would have done this up to and including 75% of companies. Steve Jobs is a good example. After Leadership Aha, VCs want to fund the venture because of the entrepreneur’s leadership. Examples are Jan Koum (WhatsApp) and Brian Chesky (Airbnb).
#5. Pivot from the Silicon Valley elite to Global Talent.
The current VC-based ecosystem helps about 20 out of 100,000 entrepreneurs – mostly from elite schools and Silicon Valley. To help entrepreneurs like Joe Martin build more unicorns everywhere, learn financially savvy strategies and skills from billion dollar entrepreneurs to take off without venture capital.
#6. Pivot from pitch competitions to skill competitions
Pitches are the first step in the VC ecosystem, although no one consistently picks winners from startup pitches. That’s why more than 10 VCs rejected Jobs and Page and Brin. Switching skills can build more unicorns everywhere. These skills can be developed and rewarded.
#7. Turn from equitable wealth creation to wealth creation and preservation.
Early VC is expensive and diluting. To create wealth and keep more of it, Unicorn-Entrepreneurs avoid or postpone VC. Of the $22 billion entrepreneurs, those who delayed VC retained 2x the wealth created than those who got VC early (The truth about VC). And those who avoided VC maintained higher multiples. Sam Walton got rich avoiding VC. Gates, Bezos and Zuckerberg delayed VC to get it under control. Smart entrepreneurs not only focus on creating wealth, but also on preserving wealth.
MY TAKE: Instead of wasting resources on VC ecosystems, the Unicorn-Entrepreneur Ecosystem can develop more unicorns for less, everywhere, by pivoting from first mover to smart mover, from fast flip to smart growth, from capital intensive to capital efficient. from VC control to entrepreneurial control, from the Silicon Valley elite to global talent, from pitches to skills, and from wealth creation to wealth creation and preservation.