Sequoia Capital’s 2nd Gospel: Good business plans

Question of the Day:
Can your business mission be summarized on the back of a business card?

If not, then I want to make sure you all see this: Sequoia’s Gospel of Startups More True Than Ever. In it, Mike has republished Sequoia Capital‘s 1st Gospel for building successful startups called Elements of Sustainable Companies. it includes things like:
* Clarity of Purpose: Summarize the company’s business on [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…. etc.

Mike is right that these principles are even more important in the current market (and we’re glad others are fans of Teddy Roosevelt!)

But also I want to draw your attention to Sequoia’s 2nd Gospel, a list of tips for how to write winning business plans. In Writing A Business Plan, the firm says: We like business plans that present a lot of information in as few words as possible. The following format, within 15-20 slides, is all that’s needed.”. So here’s the list… Read More about Sequoia Capital’s 2nd Gospel: Good business plans

Thought of the Day: Live in the Arena

A very thoughtful reader offered up an inspiring quotation in his comment yesterday to our recent post on AllPeers, Good Lessons in One Graceful Failure.
We think it is worth promoting. Matt wrote in to say…

I know that this quote is used a lot, but it sits above my desk:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Teddy Roosevelt

By definition, founders live “in the arena.” So here’s to you! We suggest you paste TR’s words to your wall, too.

And thanks, Matt!