Decacorn, Hectocorn and Popcorn Companies
Beverly Hills Post
by Henry Maynard
San Mateo, CA/ BHP/
After unicorn, the term coined after a mythical figure, is this decacorn, hectocorn, popcorn really necessary? The classification has been refrained, deemed ridiculous by most VC & business community, only to be adopted by ego-hungry, fame-seeking entrepreneurs and industry professionals which crossed the line, putting the integrity of these entire companies at stake, on the verge of mockery.
Remember. This is quasi, nominal valuation of mostly unprofitable, money-losing companies which does not reflect instrinsic value of the sustainable means of production.
There is only one term "unicorn" coined in 2013 by Aileen Lee, a venture capitalist. Lee coined the often-used Silicon Valley term unicorn in a TechCrunch article "Welcome To The Unicorn Club: Learning from Billion-Dollar Startups" as profiled in The New York Times.
A unicorn is generally defined by her and VC industry as a privately held startup that has a $1 billion valuation or more – something rare (like a unicorn). We could say 10 billion unicorn, 100 billion unicorn. Unicorn is a term and has a meaning in context, while decacorn, hectocorn does not, and corn is not a measurement unit.
Popcorn company is the satirical term invented in 2018 by Ivan Taslimson, a veteran entrepreneur, after learning the "unicorn" term for the first time in 2017! Despite his former company in December 2005 reaching over a billion dollar valuation pre-IPO (prior to planned 2010 listing on NASDAQ, to be submitted to Securities Exchange Commission). Therefore, technically was a unicorn company.
Later many tech professionals found fabricated words, such as decacorn, hectocorn, etc. which were supposedly a casual designation for 10 billion & 100 billion unicorn respectively.
That prompted uproars from several experts and analysts questioning the credibility and integrity of such outlandish designation or classification. And whether the main objective or motive of founding a company, creating innovative products is truly to be on the something-corn cheesy race? That's when the term Pop-corn company was born, addressing the underlining issue. Since then the term has been highly cited by several online & print news outlets.
"Remember.This is quasi, nominal valuation of mostly unprofitable, money-losing companies which does not reflect instrinsic value of the sustainable means of production." Ivan Taslimson
Aileen Lee has been assessing tech companies for more than 15 years, says when the desire to become an entrepreneur precedes the specific idea for a business (let alone to become unicorn), this is the wrong way to go about it.
As the founder and partner of Cowboy Ventures, Lee has set about understanding what makes US-based software companies valued at $1 billion or more so successful.
Based on her extensive experience, Lee tells The New York Time's Adam Bryant that she doesn't think starting a company should be the goal.
"It really has to come from a place of having an insight about a problem that you personally have a connection to, or a problem that you see customers are having where you feel like you've got a mousetrap that's much better — not marginally better — than what's out there already," Lee says.
"Starting a company and being a founder is really hard, and most companies fail," she explains. "You really have to have a deep commitment and belief in it and be willing to see it through many ups and downs."
In addition, as the co-founder of Solstice Ventures, Taslimson has been concerned and assertive, on so many instances, when in certain countries, the startup ventures becomes billions, but only the powerful investors & funds get obnoxiously rich, over the top valuation somewhere out there, while the entrepreneurs were put under extreme pressure, scrutiny, all eyes on them, sacrificing plenty of things, drenched to the last drop.
Let alone, with unclear future, because the board can technically oust the founder(s), or something else, anytime when things go wrong, in many cases beyond the founder's control, mistake or force majeure.
As a resilient founder of ventures himself, surviving so many crisis, watching countless mega-ventures went bust since the dotcom bubble burst, he added:
"I developed complete empathy on challenges & hardships faced already in place, to be a successful founder, creating innovative products for the market & value for the investors. Eyes have been distorted, creating vicious chains of reaction. And there are definitely ways to fix the flaws, as I'm eager to improving the whole industry."
"Starting a company and being a founder is really hard, and most companies fail," she explains. "You really have to have a deep commitment and belief in it and be willing to see it through many ups and downs." Aileen Lee
Sources: Business Insider, Asia First Media. Credits: Rachel Gillett, Patrick Choi
Tg: KPCB, Kleiner Perkins, incubator, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Google, SpaceX, Tesla, Cowboy, Solstice, Hyperloop, Genesis