New technologies and inventions are best created by small,
independent developers, however, they are best commercialized by
large organizations with deep pockets and established routes to
market. Some small developers grow into large corporations
taking the route from Zero-to-IPO, but for many this is not
possible, or doesn’t make sense. The short sprint from
Zero-to-Asset Sale is a completely different route—it involves
building a company to sell from the ground up with the focus on
creating assets and packaging them in a way that best appeals to
a corporate buyer.
At its most basic level, there are only three components to a
successful business: a great product, a market of paying
customers and a route to market that connects them together.
(Route to market = distribution channel + sales force + brand
name + executive team + administrative system + everything you
need to deliver the product to your customer).
Building a great product can take a couple of years of focused
research and development. Building an effective route to market
can take decades. Building a market of willing customers is
something best left to the Gods—even Bill Gates has little
influence over this component.
Whatever your product, there are sure to be a number of existing
companies out there with established routes into your market.
Even if your product is unique and way ahead of the pack, your
target customer is certain to have some form of existing trading
relationship with other suppliers. So here’s an idea:
Focus your startup on building a great new product and combine
it with another company’s established route to market.
Your product should benefit from your undivided attention, and
your partners’ route to market is probably much more established
than anything you’re likely to build yourself within the time
This idea is certainly not new. However, it’s an idea that’s
sure to become increasingly popular as it grows ever more costly
and time consuming to build new routes to market from the ground
up. For an online technology trading exchange that’s frequented
by technology buyers check out
Notes about Milestones
Milestones have to be achieved in parallel—when reviewing these
milestones, it's important to recognize that the process is not
entirely serial. Management has to work on several milestones in
Milestones are different for every
company—the list of milestones has to be tailored for each
company to reflect its specific market, technologies and
Milestones have dependencies—some milestones
cannot be commenced until others have been successfully