Startups, Brands and IPOs


After successful IPOs, companies add dough to the coffers, members to their boards, and oversight from investors. Near term, they are often given time to catch their collective breath. Funding a round is hard work. And depending on the size of the company and the raise, everyone needs a big exhale.  But within a year or so the pressures to grow start to mount. Where will growth come from? How will we accelerate? And don’t forget to watch the runaway – the burn.

Typically post-raise, lots of new server boxes show up. Popcorn machines. Software. Desks and Beats headsets. But when the accountants start asking about returns, the business hats come out.

Spotify, it was reported today, is looking to be more than a streaming music service. They are making two podcast purchases. And they won’t stop there. More forms of content are on the horizon for Spotify. Don’t ask me what. Pressure’s on. It’s what happens to highly funded startups.

Startups need a brand strategy to help them understand their value – to themselves and customers. It also helps with focus. When Netflix went from DVDs in the mail to streaming movies, 5 years after their IPO, they stayed “on value,” on brand claim. Nice evolution.

Startups without an understanding of brand claim and proof, looking to grow in non-endemic ways, are apt to wander the desert.

Study the care-abouts and good-ats, baby.