The Top One Characteristic Of A Great Company

Fred Wilson, the renowned venture capitalist, wrote a blog last week about the top ten characteristics of a great company.

It’s a provocative list, written by a man who as he said himself has, “24 years and over 100 startups watched from the front row” as research to support his views.

Fred’s a great blogger because he writes to promote dialogue and then engages in the debate. When last I checked his list had elicited 179 comments.

As he freely admits himself, there were a couple of key areas that he left out. In part, I suspect, because he wrote the list in 15 minutes on his Black berry.

And in part because sitting in the front row is not the same as being on the stage.

Not worse. Not better. Not the same. Either vantage point is incomplete.

Where Fred and I agree completely on the Defining Characteristic of a Great Company I found buried deep in the comments section on his post. In response to one suggestion he wrote this:
“If you build to last you don't have to sell and that's how you build great companies.”

There are nearly six million companies in the U.S. alone.

Each of them took a lot of time, effort and money to create.

But most are not built to last. So, most of them don’t.

Which makes the decision about when to sell moot.

Unless you build your company to be great.

Which perversely costs a lot less.

And makes it worth a lot more.

So. Build for today?

Or build to last?

Tough decision.