Many entrepreneurs dream of having their startup become the next Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter… However, to learn from their success you need to go back in time and not be blinded by who they are today. Look at these companies when they were no bigger than your startup is today. What made them grow faster than their competition? Let’s look at the hacks that turned around these little startups into the giants they are today and how you can learn from their success.
How a partnership boosted Microsoft’s growth
In 1979 Microsoft was one of the many startups, trying to break through in the PC industry. In the late 1980’s however, Microsoft controlled the operating system industry. Versions of MS-DOS ran on more than 80% of PC’s. How did this happen? The ‘growth hack’ that fueled Microsoft’s growth curve in this early stage was: Partnership.
In 1980, Microsoft formed a partnership with IBM that enabled them to bundle Microsoft’s OS (MS-DOS) with IBM computers. IBM would pay Microsoft a royalty for every sale. The platform was now able to quickly gain critical mass and achieve network effects.
Takeaway #1: Find A Strategic Partnership
Who can you partner up with? Standing on the shoulders of giants can be a great way to fuel your startup’s growth. Find a partner that already has an established distribution channel, targeting the same audience as you are. Find ways to deliver value this potential partner with your product.
How a Killer-App skyrocketed Apple‘s sales
In 1976 Apple released the Apple I, the company’s first product. Built by Steve Wozniak and marketed by Steve Jobs, the company eventually sold about 200 before jumping to their next product, the Apple II. Though the Apple II was a big improvement, it still didn’t dramatically boost the company’s growth. Until one killer-app boosted this little’s startups sales: visicalc.
VisiCalc was the first spreadsheet computer program, originally released for the Apple II. It turned these strange new machines called PC’s into highly productive machines for a huge number of businesses. People started buying Apple II’s, just to be able to use this single app.
Takeaway #2: What’s Your Killer-App?
What killer-app or killer-feature can turn your startup around? What single feature or use of your product can dramatically improve people’s lives? Find the one feature that can attract a big pool of customers because of it’s enormous value it adds to people’s lives. Read more…