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Execute on That Idea

Posted by Mort Greenberg on October 27, 2008

All of us over the past few weeks have been in conversations about how the economy has negatively affected online advertising.  While there are companies that have let go of employees, or have wound down, there are some looking to get started, there just has to be. The entrepreneurial spirit is very contagious. Anyone out there that has an idea for a business that generates revenue from online ad sales, keep fighting. And of course, anyone looking to get started with an idea, fight through to execute on that as well. While I’m sure you already have a great business plan format, here is one I came across online from Sequoia Capital.

 

http://www.sequoiacap.com/ideas/

 

Writing A Business Plan

Business plans that present a lot of information in as few words as possible are the best. The following format, within 15-20 slides comes from Sequoia Capital:

Company Purpose

  • Define the company/business in a single declarative sentence.

Problem

  • Describe the pain of the customer (or the customer’s customer).
  • Outline how the customer addresses the issue today.

Solution

  • Demonstrate your company’s value proposition to make the customer’s life better.
  • Show where your product physically sits.
  • Provide use cases.

Why Now

  • Set-up the historical evolution of your category.
  • Define recent trends that make your solution possible.

Market Size

  • Identify/profile the customer you cater to.
  • Calculate the TAM (top down), SAM (bottoms up) and SOM.

Competition

  • List competitors
  • List competitive advantages

Product

  • Product line-up (form factor, functionality, features, architecture, intellectual property).
  • Development roadmap.

Business Model

  • Revenue model
  • Pricing
  • Average account size and/or lifetime value
  • Sales & distribution model
  • Customer/pipeline list

Team

  • Founders & Management
  • Board of Directors/Board of Advisors

Financials

  • P&L
  • Balance sheet
  • Cash flow
  • Cap table
  • The deal

http://www.sequoiacap.com/ideas/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elements of Sustainable Companies

Start-ups with these characteristics often foretells the success of a business and the likelihood of it becoming a sustainable, enduring company. We like to partner with companies that have:

Clarity of Purpose

Summarize the company’s business on the back of a business card.

Large Markets

Address existing markets poised for rapid growth or change. A market on the path to a $1B potential allows for error and time for real margins to develop.

Rich Customers

Target customers who will move fast and pay a premium for a unique offering.

Focus

Customers will only buy a simple product with a singular value proposition.

Pain Killers

Pick the one thing that is of burning importance to the customer then delight them with a compelling solution.

Think Differently

Constantly challenge conventional wisdom. Take the contrarian route. Create novel solutions. Outwit the competition.

Team DNA

A company’s DNA is set in the first 90 days. All team members are the smartest or most clever in their domain. “A” level founders attract an “A” level team.

Agility

Stealth and speed will usually help beat-out large companies.

Frugality

Focus spending on what’s critical. Spend only on the priorities and maximize profitability.

Inferno

Start with only a little money. It forces discipline and focus. A huge market with customers yearning for a product developed by great engineers requires very little firepower.

 

http://www.sequoiacap.com/ideas/

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