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This more relates to failures than it does to limiting growth, but I’ve seen it enough to add it to the Halloween horror characters on Wednesdays we wear pink shirt and I love this list. It is important to understand that not all money is smart money. Just because someone will give you a big chunk of money for a high valuation early on, it doesn’t mean you should take it. You should only take enough money at a valuation you can realistically justify. Why? Lets say that you have an angel investor that gets excited and wants to give you 1M for 20%. Good deal? Well it depends. You’ve just been valued at 5M and If after you’ve burnt through that 1M you cant justify a markedly higher valuation, you will either A) have a down round that will devalue your original investor and is essentially a kiss of death, or B) never be able to raise another penny and cripple your company. There is never usually a single answer on what limits a startup’s growth but more of a combination of many factors. As far as what makes huge companies huge, its a bit like hunting for a unicorn. No one can tell you where to find one, but they can tell you what they look like. Most unicorns we see have the following. Easter Island claims to be the most isolated inhabited place on earth. Flying there is surprisingly complex for pilots. There comes a point where the captain has to decide to continue, knowing that if he does he simply doesn’t have sufficient fuel to get to another airfield. Once that decision is made it’s land at Easter Island or ditch in the Ocean. The decision is complicated by the configuration of the airfield which has very restricted parking for planes so he also has to know there is somewhere for the plane to park; if the previous arrival has a technical problem and cannot take off it can mean the inbound flight has to turn around. That can’t be isolated, can it? You can take a train to with a couple of miles. Yet, when you’re there, it feel isolated. There is running water but no electricity. There was no money when it was built. Somone found the cottage, arranged with the owner to pay minimum rent in return for fixing it up. Rather than buy bunk beds they went into the surrounding woods and found tree boughs and installed them to make a wooden frame.
You often hear about “isolated communities”. The Australian outback is full of them. Nepal has very few roads and I’ve been to places where the Halloween horror characters on Wednesdays we wear pink shirt and I love this road ends, you can see your destination yet, by the time you hiked down one valeey, waded across the river in the bottom and then made your way up the other side it’s a days walk. One place I visited was 2 days walk from a road and it had an airfield – 3 hours walk from the village. And this isn’t an airfield as we know it; it’s a simple field that’s been cleared, no radio, no navaids, just a hut. The day I went to fly out the plane couldn’t get in so we walked out. The flights that go to these isolated stips, way up in the mountains don’t have alternate fields. However, unlike Easter Island they can go always back to where they came from, provided the weather hasn’t closed that airfield as well. Believe me, when you’re on one of those 20 seat planes flying along a valley and looking up at mountain peaks around you it feels isolated. No, you’re not alone. I have recently deleted my account after a number of years of an inactive profile. In my birthplace Taiwan, it’s interesting that foreign accents are viewed pleasing with the time. I remember when I was little, Hong Kong was Asia’s cultural power house and almost everyone watched movies and listened to songs from HK. At the time HK stars were hugely favored in Taiwan and their accent, the native Cantonese speaker speaking mandarin, was considered favorable. Many people love to mimic their accent coz it seemed cool and upper class like. Even some gossip magazines, though not many, did imitate HK’s writing style and use vocabularies sorely in Cantonese articles. Decades after, the situation is changed and very few people would do that now. The HK accent to us is just an neutral foreign accent without any good or bad side effect with it. It just means you are from HK or canton maybe. The accent and the vocabulary differs too much from our mandarin that Taiwanese people somehow thought it’s funny. But after the economical power that mainland China has gained, and the increasing cultural influence they enjoy, the mainland accent especially the standard northern accent (namely Putonhua) is viewed more posh than before and some people do find it fancy nowadays.