It takes as much work to build a 50 million dollar company as it does to build a 5 billion dollar company. This is not only something I have always believed in, but have recently heard from Israeli startup legend Yair Goldfinger. Peter Thiel, a Silicon Valley legend founder of PayPal and Facebook investor, is writing a book on how “Innovation in America is dead”. Entrepreneurs think that if they go after a niche market with a small idea,they will be able to sell to Google for 50 million.
The problem is these different entrepreneurs are right. Google is now buying one company a week at an average of 27 million dollars a company. Now if you look at the other big tech companies, Facebook, Microsoft, Ebay, LinkedIn, Amazon, etc, you can get an idea of how many small bullshit ideas are turning founders into millionaires. Very talented, dedicated people, are encouraged to be lazy, to think small, and to target a niche market that an established company will want to eventually purchase. The government is actually furthering this case by making it prohibitively expensive for companies to go public and thus more encouraging companies to sell to the Googles of the world as the only option.
American innovation is not dead it is sidetracked by an ecosystem that encourages entrepreneurs to not swing for the fences as every startup should, but to build quickly and sell to Google even quicker. After you complete the first sale, you go work for a major tech company, and then begin the process all over again. Rinse. Wash. Repeat.
What people forget, is that to become a category leader and be worth 50 million or even a 100 million requires you to be smarter, better, and faster than all your competition. To become a category leader requires 7 days a week of work, nights, and weekends. Google does not buy losers. The days of Larry Page and Sergey Brin bringing the world wide web to the consumer, or Mark Zuckenberg using the web to connect people to people are over for now. Innovation is not dead it has been sidetracked and web 3.0 is eagerly waiting for the new crew of Legends.