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Trend-Spotting: UltraLight Startups

Posted on Wednesday, Apr 30th 2014

If you are intrigued by how a 32-person company can be acquired for $19 billion, you must pay attention to the ultra-light startup trend. We’re doing case study after case study on the 1M/1M blog on this trend, so that you can get a diverse but visceral feel for how entrepreneurs are building these businesses. 1M/1M itself is an ultra-light startup, and we firmly believe in this method of building and scaling companies: efficient, highly productive, technology, not people driven strategies.

Here is a set of case studies that you can study further to get more details:
  1. FineArtAmerica: The company got to $5 million in revenue with only 3 full-time employees. Entrepreneur Sean Broihier is a developer himself, and has successfully automated large parts of his business. He has also used outsourcing as a core strategy. [case study]
  2. TextMe: TextMe is a messaging app in the same general space as WhatsApp. The company got to $10 million in revenue with a $1 million investment from its co-founders (no outside funding), and just 12 people. [case study]
  3. WatchUWant: An e-commerce company that went from zero to $6 million in revenue with ‘me, myself, and I’ – says entrepreneur OJ Whatley. Buying and selling a high-ticket item – luxury watches – from home was key. [case study]
  4. CarPartKings: An e-commerce company with outsourced distribution of hard to source items has taken Michael Dash to almost $10 million in revenue with 14 employees. [case study]

In the above case studies, you will find real attention to details and focus on the fundamentals. Unlike WhatsApp that required huge amounts of venture capital to succeed (usually hard to come by), these entrepreneurs have all done it with modest means. Even TextMe, the highest capitalized of the lot only used $1 million in capital.

There’s much to learn from these entrepreneurs and their extremely disciplined approach to business building!

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