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From Start-Up to Unicorn

From idea to start up, from startup to unicorn, from unicorn to super-unicorn, this is the mission of every entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs work to build products, solutions and people that will ensure their ideas are executed. They also worked to see that their executed idea can be referred to as startups. Then the company finally grows to an extent it can become a unicorn.

It is obvious that most entrepreneurs don’t really understand what a startup and a unicorn are. Why some companies become unicorn? How can you build an idea into a business that will be a unicorn? How do the three laws of value in wealth creation work? What determines the transition of a company from startup to unicorn? This article will handle the above questions in different series. Now let’s get started;

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What Do You Say Is A Startup?

If we want to humorously and literally define a startup we can say it is a business that is kicking off. Though the literal meaning shows some element of the meaning of a startup but that is not the full meaning of a start-up. Let’s see the financial experts and authoritative meanings of the term startup.

Neil Blumenthal Definition of A Start-Up

According to Neil “a startup is a company working to solve a problem where the solution is not yet obvious and success is not yet guaranteed.” That means a startup is a company that is still in the experimental stage of business building. It is a stage of a company where the problem to be solved and the proposed solution are still the major problems of the company.

Paul Graham Definition of a Startup

Paul Graham is the co founder of y combinator an acceleration and incubation company. He said “a company that is 5years can still be referred to as a startup.” The focal point of this definition is the 5years metrics used by one of the professionals of accelerators. Why does he categories startup to be companies that has been in operation for 5years. I believe the 1-5 years a company is still working on product development, user experience, customer acquisition and brand awareness. So, we can conclude from this that a company in the first 5 years is still working to build brand awareness in the market.

Forbes Definition of Startup

According to one of Forbes articles it stated that a company cease from being a startup when it fulfills the following conditions;

  • When the company is acquired by another company like LinkedIn was acquired by Microsoft.
  • When the company has more than one office
  • It has a revenue greater than US$20million
  • When it has over 80 employees
  • When it has over 5 people on its board
  • When the founder has personally sold shares

So, any company that has not fulfills the above condition falls under the startup category.

Progress Ibrahim definition of startup

A startup company or business is a company that just commences the execution of the business models and building product, people and process for the scaling of the business. April Logistics is a startup because it’s building the product, process and people of the company.

Now, evaluate your business to know if you are a start-up, comment below if you are and why?

What Does A Unicorn Mean?

According to Techopedia a startup company is a company that started out small but has since increased its market capitalization to say, US$1bn or more. While a super unicorn is a company that has exceeded the US$1bn capitalization, they have a competitive edge in its industry. Companies like Econet Wireless, Dangote Group, Facebook, Twitter, Lyft, Uber are super unicorn.

How To Apply The Three Laws Of Value In Building Unicorn

The three laws of value as propounded by progress Ibrahim in his book #SRULES clearly shows the foundational facts behind how value is created which ultimately translates into great company brands. We shall consider the three laws of values and provide an application in the building of your dreamed unicorn

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The Application Of The 1st Law Of Value

The 1st law of value states that every substance and person is initially at a raw state to be harnessed. An example is a new born baby that has the potential to become a doctor in the future and a tree that has the potential of a chair in the future.

This first law shows that everything was initially non-developed and under-developed. It shows that at the initial state there were more problems to be solved. A situation where everything is in a raw state shows that there are huge problems to be solved. The solution needed is innovation and inventions in order to transform the people and substance to a level where they would be very useful.

We shall consider the raw state of the following areas of life;

  1. Initial state of Technology
  2. Initial state of food and agriculture
  3. Initial state of construction
  4. Initial state of mineral resources

Initial State Of Technology

According to technology is the sum of the ways in which social groups provide themselves with the material objects of their civilization. History has it that the first Homo Sapiens had nothing like technology. Everything then was devoid of technology. There were no cooking utensils, no means of generating fire, no energy source, no agricultural tools, no means of communications, no internet, no books, and no clothes among other things. So, this is the stage in human development where there was zero technology, the first law of value played here that technology was in raw state then.

Then the following questions about their ways

of living started coming in such as;

  • How do we generate heat? This question lead to the discovery of fire and how to generate it
  • How do we eat good foods? This question leads to the invention of pots and cooking utensils for cooking and discovery of various foods.
  • How do we travel from one place to another efficiently? The answers to this question lead to the invention of means of transportation.
  • How do we communicate? The answer to this question led to the invention of the communication technology and computers.

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The above solutions are invention to make living better,enjoyable, efficient and pleasurable for humanity. What question can you answer today in your nation, your city, continent to make human life better.

Initial State Of Food And Agriculture

Agriculture is one of the oldest occupations in the history of human existence. While agriculture is the process of cultivation, production of food and rearing of livestock, food is the final outcome of agricultural activities.


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There was no agricultural tool at the initial state of man. There was no hoes, cutlasses, spear, hammer, arrow, hook etc and food were in the most primitive form. This was why Thomas Malthus predicted in the 20th century that the population will grow in Geometric Progression(GP) while agriculture will grow by Arithmetic Progression (AP). That is to say while population will grow by multiplication, the means of sustaining this population will grow by addition. But, advancement in agricultural technology has reversed the prediction of Thomas Malthus that in some countries the means of sustaining their population is growing more than their population growth.

The Initial State Of Construction

The first human being lived in a cave. At this time there was no knowledge about building, construction and architecture. Though, every material needed for building where available but it was yet to be discovered that those materials are useful and that there is a need for a better place to stay

Today, you can see the development of civilization by comparing the new York city Trump Tower with the caves of the ancient days.


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Initial state of mineral resources

Mineral resources are natural gift of humanity. But these natural gifts are hidden in the earth's crust, it has to be discovered, uncovered and harnessed for man’s benefits. We have the limestone which can be used to produce cement for construction purpose, we have iron ore which could be used for the production of ionic tools, we have crude oil which could be used as a source of energy and petrochemical products, we have uranium which is also source of energy generation etc. but these mineral resources were not known in ancient times.

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It was the problems that human being faced on a daily basis that led to the discovery of these natural resources and the extraction of their values for human benefits.

Look, we have sectors of the economy that are for mineral resources like petroleum and energy sector, agricultural sector, the construction sector etc.

In a nutshell, the solution to the problems faced by the early humans who live on the surface of the earth brought about the modern civilization and technology.

In building a unicorn, an entrepreneur should ensure that his products and solutions make lives better than it is without the product or solution just as electricity made life better than when there was no electricity, Google made access to information universally possible by inventing the Google search, Google map among others.

What problems that will make human life better you feel should be solved. Kindly, Comment your answer below .

The Business Models of Billion Dollar Worth Entrepreneurs

Have you ever wondered what makes some business start-ups to succeed and become global giants while others fail?
With 3S Rules you will learn from global icons who founded companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, Lyft, Apple, Alibaba and many others on how they discovered their business ideas.
3S Rules will give you a first hand founder mindset on how to build your billion dollar startup idea.

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