Billion or Bust

Recently I had the chance to watch the On Doers interview of Allen Nance and hear him talk about the quest to build billion dollar businesses. Silicon Valley has averaged one new billion dollar tech company per quarter for many years now while most cities, Atlanta included, are lucky to have one billion dollar tech company every five years (Air Watch was the last Atlanta one and sold for well over a billion in 2014). Allen’s new venture, Tech Square Labs, aims to create two billion dollar tech companies in the next 10 years.

Earlier today @danprimack tweeted a billion or bust comment from a corporate development person:

To me, most entrepreneurs don’t set out to build a billion dollar business. Most want to solve a problem, build a great lifestyle, create jobs, and control their own destiny. I’m a fan of thinking big and shooting for a billion dollar company, but realize it’s not commonplace. Entrepreneurs would do well to outline their goals as early as possible in the entrepreneurial process and make them known to anyone that will listen.

What else? What are some more thoughts on having a stated goal of building a billion dollar company?

3 thoughts on “Billion or Bust

  1. For first time entrepreneurs, the goal should not be whether to build a million dollar company or a billion dollar company. The goal should be building a successful company that is either sustainable by itself or is of value to the acquirer. Whether the company is worth 1 million dollars or 1 billion dollars, the founders will learn learn immensely in the process, which will get them ready for building the billion dollar company the next round.

  2. Greetings from Atlanta: City of Peace. Hi David. I agree with you “most entrepreneurs don’t set out to build a billion dollar business.” Since we’re all living in this ‘new era of transformation’ and there is a greater emphasis on serving and giving, rather than getting and accumulating, then focusing on building a billion dollar business naturally becomes secondary as important.

    In my opinion, the entrepreneurs that excel in the best way are the ones with big hearts who create products and/or services that meet the key needs of individuals, companies, organizations and communities. Deep down, wise leaders know (sometimes through errors of judgment they’ve made) that cultivating and acquiring a big heart offers a greater return-on-investment of time as compared to establishing a big bank account.

    I offer myself as a prime example. In a Spiritual Capital sense, I’m already a $Billionaire because my heart is fully invested into seeing Atlanta fulfill its true destiny of becoming a global capital of peace so it can inspire our entire global family (THAT is our city’s historic possibility and secondary to our city’s common statistics that every city has). In a Material Capital sense though, I’m practically penniless because I know too little on the tech and social-networking side to make a success with my *audacious service campaign.

    It is exciting that many are being convinced that focusing on Service needs to remain primary. Don’t take my word for this position though. Instead, please consider these wise words from Albert Einstein: TIME Magazine’s “Man of the 20th Century.” He stated:
    “The value of a man resides in what he gives
    and not in what he is capable of receiving.”

    As entrepreneurs design their lives, families and companies around how to emanate gratitude then their products, services and success will naturally give back to the community. David, as an example, look at the Atlanta Tech Village (ATV). It is a great gift that you have given to Atlanta: The Unofficial Capital of the South, representing 7 states and 77 million people. I will forever be inspired by my first ATV Tour.

    If there is any recommendation that I can offer you, your ATV entrepreneurs, and blog-followers it would be to primarily focus on cultivating great virtues like Gratitude, Peace, Courage and Service. Here is a favorite video on Gratitude that I share widely and wildly:

    Also, these following quotes (14 in total) emphasize Service, Urgency, Vision and Courage. They have nourished and directed my personal path, and that of our organization, Atlanta: City of Peace, Inc (ACP). This first one is especially fitting since in a few short days (Dec. 11, 2014) many will be celebrating the exact 50th Anniversary of Dr. King’s Nobel Peace Prize Lecture in Oslo, Norway:
    “Everyone can be great
    because everyone can serve.”

    Mahatma Gandhi stated:
    “The best way to find yourself
    is to lose yourself
    in the service of others.”

    Leonardo da Vinci stated:
    “I am never weary
    of being useful
    in serving others…
    I cannot do enough.”

    George Washington Carver stated:
    “It is simply service
    that measures success.”

    Virgil (70BC-19BC) stated:
    “Fortune favors the brave.”

    Louis D. Brandeis stated:
    “Most of the things worth doing
    in the world had been declared
    impossible before they were done.”

    Johann Goethe (1749-1832) stated:
    “Whatever you can do
    or dream you can, begin it.
    Boldness has genius,
    power and magic in it.”

    Rabindranath Tagore stated:
    “I awoke and saw that life was service.
    I acted and behold, service was joy.”

    Horace (65BC-8BC) stated:
    “Don’t think, just do.
    Begin, be bold and
    venture to be wise.
    Carpe diem!”

    Aristotle stated:
    “You will never do anything
    in this world without courage.
    Courage is the greatest quality
    of the mind next to honor.”

    Dr. King stated:
    “We are now faced with the fact,
    my friends, that tomorrow is today.
    We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now.
    In this unfolding conundrum of life and history,
    there is such a thing as being too late.”

    (THIS old Proverb calls us to ‘mitigate’)…
    “Without vision, THE PEOPLE PERISH!”

    Sam Walton, Founder of Walmart
    (revenue 2014: $476 Billion), stated:
    “Capital isn’t scarce; vision is.”

    CS Lewis stated:
    “Courage is not simply
    one of the virtues.
    Courage is the form of every
    virtue at its testing point!”

    [Calling Courageous Collaborators]
    *my audacious service campaign
    seeks re-design, mktng/social pros:

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