Recently, Fortune came out with its annual survey of the ‘World’s most admired companies’, based on a poll of executives across the world’s top companies. The result showcased three technology firms in the top five; Apple, Google and Amazon which clearly indicates the pull that IT firms generate. This should come as a great motivator for new IT ventures which are trying to find a footing in the market and make an impact in front of venture capitalists. Let’s take a cue from the ‘Most admired companies’, what makes these firms so special and attractive is something one needs to understand. Maybe if new enterprises are able to understand the reasons why these firms standout, they will be able to duplicate their success over a period of time.
Apple has topped the list third time in the row, obviously this means that the company is doing something right as against its competitors. What is Apple sought after for? It’s products and the ultimate experience they deliver! An extremely innovative company with a fierce fan following. The company has come a long way since it was established in 1976 and still does not fail to amaze and inspire its loyalists; a proof of this was their much awaited iPad. Similarly, Google and Amazon too are innovators and attract the best talent. Moreover Google has a powerful self-directed de-centralized approach towards product development, which means that there is no key “innovation” employee or manager within the company and the company can innovate even if it was divided into individual units. Forbes magazine describes this phenomenon aptly by saying that “Innovation will flourish for as long as masses are running.”
Going back to my earlier question of what makes a company great… I think according to me the top factors that new IT ventures should keep in mind in their pursuit of excellence should be.
Technology and Innovation – Innovation is the key, companies need to constantly re-invent themselves. Look at Google, the company has come a long way in the last 10 years. Initially, the company started making money by auctioning ads that appear alongside the search result, but has over the years produced some really innovative products like Google image search, Gmail along with making and integrating some of the best web based application companies like Picasa and Youtube.
Flexibility – Adaptation to the market environment and customer is the key for survival. IT firms are constantly adapting themselves to the changing market realities and making changes to their business models to create more value for themselves and consumers. The recession was one such market reality that separated the average from the best. While the average IT firms went down, those which survived knew how to make the most of the opportunity provided by the recession; hence the focus towards newer markets like India. These firms shifted their attention towards the Indian markets, at a time when the international markets became tough to crack.
Meritocracy – Age does not matter. Jeffrey Preston was 30 when he founded Amazon.com and Larry page and Sergey Brin founded Google while the two were attending Stanford University as Ph.D. students. Most technology firms do not get caught up in the years of experience web or degrees gathered before employing individuals what matters is productivity.
People – IT firms provide more support, training and coaching to their employees. Google has a unique working environment, where employees are actively encouraged to develop their own ideas for 20% of the time which they work. As you can imagine, this is part of the lifestyle which has generated the continuous new developments which Google is continually making.
The success of these IT tycoons is no rocket science. It is just good strategy and company building, with a few drops of excellence and discipline; a first-rate model to follow.
Alok Mittal, Managing Director
BharatMatrimony.com, India’s leading matrimony portal launched MatrimonyMatters.com – India’s most comprehensive and one stop online marriage resource destination in March. MatrimonyMatters.com is aimed to provide users with tips, advice and information-rich articles related to all facets of marriage. The website will offer detailed and accurate information on a wide range of subjects including Wedding Planning, Relationships, Beauty, Fashion, Health and Fitness - reflecting the changing attitudes, styles and trends in India and abroad.
iYogi, a 24/7, comprehensive, multi-vendor computer support company for consumers and small businesses has been recognized as one of the hottest companies in the New York City region by Lead 411. “Lead411’s Hot List” awards track fast-moving companies and provides recognition to global brands. The Lead411 research team scours through at least 600 press releases and business articles and this information is used to get insights into the fastest growing companies in US.
>UnitedLex, a global leader in legal and knowledge consulting and outsourcing solutions has been appointed by telecommunication company BT to support the latter’s in-house legal teams. UnitedLex will primarily assist BT’s global legal group in the commercial contracting and antitrust regulation fields.
iWeekend,: Canaan Partners was the platinum partner for the iWeekend event, held on Match 19-21 2010 at the Amity University grounds in Noida. The event was aimed towards bringing a highly motivated group of developers, business managers, startup enthusiasts, marketing gurus, graphic artists and more to select an idea and work together on executing the idea—launching the first version of the product (usually a web application), all in one weekend.
Bangaluru Investment Forum 2010,: VCCircle recently organized the Bangaluru Investment Forum 2010, on March 24, 2010 to discuss Bengaluru’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and entrepreneurial opportunities in emerging sectors like F&B, retail and in a myriad consumer services. Alok Mittal, MD Canaan Partners participated as one of the panelists at the forum’s “VCCircle runaway” track and also moderated the event’s “VCCircle Unwind” session.
Canaan Partners invests in entrepreneurs and works alongside them to turn visionary ideas into valuable companies. Since 1987, the firm has catalyzed the growth of disruptive technology startups and healthcare companies revolutionizing the practice of medicine. With $3.4 billion under management and more than 94 acquisitions and 54 IPOs to date, Canaan has funded companies such as Acme Packet, Associated Content (acquired by Yahoo), CommerceOne, DoubleClick (acquired by Google), ID Analytics (acquired by LifeLock), Match.com (acquired by IAC), SandForce (acquired by LSI), SuccessFactors (acquired by SAP) and Virsto Software (acquired by VMware), as well as notable healthcare companies such as Advanced BioHealing (acquired by Shire), BiPar Sciences (acquired by Sanofi), Chimerix (NASDAQ: CMRX) and Elevation Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Sunovion). Current technology investments include Blurb, Kabam, Lending Club, Performance Marketing Brands, SOASTA, Tremor Video and Zoosk in the U.S.; BharatMatrimony and UnitedLex in India; and PrimeSense and LiveU in Israel. The Canaan healthcare portfolio includes emerging leaders such as Liquidia Technologies, Civitas Therapeutics and DICOM Grid. Canaan maintains a presence in the global innovation hubs of Silicon Valley, New York City, India and Israel. For more information visit www.canaan.com or www.facebook.com/canaanpartners.
Have questions or need more information? We’d love to hear from you. Please send comments, suggestions or feedback via email to: