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The Single Biggest Factor For Small Biz Success

We’ve had the chance to talk to many local retailers since the beginning of the year, and it’s always interesting to hear what each considers their “lucky” card or “ugly” misfortune, whether they’re able to power through tough times or not.  Though we’ve always proposed passion and grit would get a small business through difficult times, we haven’t conducted research.  Not formally, like what we’re about to show you.

Bill Gross, CEO, Idealab

Bill Gross is CEO of Idealab in Pasadena, where he’s led the company to create and operate more than 125 different companies since 1996.  He boasts many successful companies, and more than a few failed businesses.  Which got him wondering… what makes successful companies so?  And exactly why do so many fail?  Here are the common factors he identified for any and every startup.

  1. IDEAS.  The AHA moment, that leads innovators to believe that their idea has a market.
  2. TEAM.  Possibly more important, a company is only as good as the people managing the vision, right?
  3. BUSINESS MODEL.  This is my mantra; plan the work and work the plan and know what to expect so you can manage the surprises.
  4. FUNDING.  With enough investors, any business can thrive till they hit success, supposedly.
  5. TIMING.  Is the world ready for your widgets? Did you hit that perfect stroke when consumers have demand for your goods?

The single biggest factor for success?  We didn’t see this coming, but it makes sense.  In comparing 5 highly successful and 5 surprising failures of Idealabs, along with 5 highly successful and surprising failures of NON-Idealab companies (including AirBnB, Uber, YouTube and more), the results were undisputable.


To know the answer, check out Mr. Gross’ 6 minute presentation for TED Talks last March.  It’s worth your time.





Fabulous In Omaha
Monique Trosper