4 Key Tactics the Pros Use for Launching a Profitable Startup

4 Unicorn Startup Lessons

I started WordStream in my 20s with nothing.

Just this month, it was acquired for $150,000,000 by Gannett.

Unicorn Startup Lessons

Here are my top 4 lessons I learned over the last decade from making a baby unicorn.

1. Project a Bold Vision

I pitched the boldest vision I could possibly imagine at the time –

A $100M marketing software company!

Believers found my vision in time –

Talent and investors who in turn helped make my dream a reality.

You ask, “What could you have done differently?”

I should have projected an even bolder vision 😉

2. Embrace Epic Change

First we made keyword research tools but prices and retention were awful.

Instead of making small tweaks, we pivoted to a selling a PPC management platform.

We changed the entire product.

Big changes = big impact.

3. Find Your Unicorn Growth Hack

My most spectacular growth hack is the AdWords Grader.

We showcase the product by grading AdWords account performance.

It took me and 3 engineers just 4 months to create this.

Yet it made the company a success.

Double down on your unicorn projects. Kill your donkey projects.

4. Make Unicorn Babies

You learn so much when building a startup.

Even when they don’t work out.

Don’t let hard-earned lessons go to waste.

I’m building my next unicorn, MobileMonkey – a Facebook Messenger marketing platform.

It’s that time again. I’m looking for believers. Talent & investor inquiries welcome!

Most startups don’t end with a big IPO or acquisition.

But they’re always an adventure.

And sometimes, can turn out better than you ever imagined.

I hope to make more unicorn babies.

You can too!

Photo via Shutterstock


Larry Kim

Larry Kim Larry Kim founded WordStream in 2007. He serves as company CTO and is the author of 4 Award-Winning Books on Software Development. Larry also blogs at the WordStream Blog and practices photography in his spare time.

3 Reactions

  1. To make a unicorn baby don’t you need 2 unicorns to mate?

  2. Kim: Congrats to you success! Inspiring read! 🙂

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