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  • Writer's picturejulienguth

Forget Unicorns. Startups Should Be Camels.

In Silicon Valley, the entire ecosystem is aligned around one thing: the cultivation of unicorns — startups valued over $1 billion. Unicorns were once a rare breed, but in recent years, the stable of billion-dollar thoroughbreds has grown to about 350 unicorns around the world.

In today’s world, unicorns represent more than a valuation. Rather, they represent a philosophy, an ethos and a process of building startups. When being a unicorn is the objective, very rapid growth is the method. The tools are abundant venture capital, a deep and ready talent pool and a supportive startup ecosystem. This approach has worked well in Silicon Valley for some time. But in the wake of failed IPOs, the pushback against tech models and the range of social ills plaguing the Valley, the approach is losing its luster. And for the 99 percent of entrepreneurs outside the valley, where capital is far less abundant, and context is night-and-day, the objective was never practical to begin with.

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