CapitalPitch Blog

Episode 13 Part 1 - Glenn Butcher - Overnight Startup success is never overnight!

[fa icon="calendar"] 16/10/2018 1:12:25 PM / by Lucy Courtenay

Lucy Courtenay

In the majority of cases the overnight startup success stories that you might read or watch online, did not happen overnight! The success is a result of hard work, dedication, time, effort and energy of a dedicated team of individuals, who have probably spent many years getting the Startup to its current position.


To reach the point of mass attention, the startup will have gone through at least five capital raise rounds, possibly a debt round, signed deals with a significant partner/s, expanded the product offering, hired, moved office locations, fired some employees and consultants, made product pivots and amendments to board members and advisors. Essentially, the startups has been around for a few years, not a few hours.

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Businesses start as a good idea, some are great ideas! But to turn an idea into a successful business takes time. There are many learnings to consider from value, best market fit and pricing. You also need to consider product design, testing, re-aligning, trials and failures. The success of a startup will often come down to people on your team, the market and your understanding of your ideas value


If we look at the history of some of the big name startups, that are now million dollar companies, we can see that there was no overnight success.

Twitter for example was created in March 2006 and launched in July  of that year. It was not until 2012, some six years later that twitter had over 100 million users posting over 340 tweets a day. In 2016 the number of users had increased to 319 million.


If we look at facebook, the website was launched in February 2004. It was initially limited to members who attend Harvard. It was expanded to other higher education institutions and high school students. It wasn’t until 2006 that anyone who was over the age of 13 was allowed to become a registered user of Facebook. In 2012, eight years from launch, was the company valued at $104 billion with more than 2.2 billion active users.




Rovio Entertainment, founded in 2003, the makers of Angry Birds build over 51 games before getting it right and succeeding with Angry Birds. Angry Birds was launched in 2009. Airbnb which was started in 2008, and to keep the company running during the early years its founders sold cereal boxes for breakfast. AirBnb is now valued at $25 billion.


One company that  could have perceived quick success was YouTube was created in 2005. In 2006 it was bought by Google for $1.65 billion. It now operates as one of Google’s subsidiaries. In February 2017 there was more than 400 hours of content upload each minute and 1 billion hours of content being watched on Youtube every day.


The success of a Startup is dependant on the who, what, where, when and how of the product. To start a business, grow it and produce products that people can’t live without, takes time.


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Topics: Startup, Venture Capital, Entrepreneur, Podcast, investing, investors

Lucy Courtenay

Written by Lucy Courtenay